Camino Highs and Lows

Updated with photos May 16, 2012

It’s really beginning to look like the movie Groundhog Day on El Camino. Wake up, walk, lather, rinse, eat, sleep, repeat. In 10 days we have covered approximately 120 miles. Before I came here, I seriously thought I would be walking 30km days with no problem. “I mean, I ran a marathon, I’m pretty fit.” But, my body had other ideas consisting of bringing my ego down to size.

Walking from Estella to Los Arcos was beyond picture perfect. It was like I was photoshopped into one of the most beautiful places in the world. Bright blue sky, a slight breeze, long grass of every shade of green, rolling hills, vineyards, wildflowers, mountains in the distance, butterflies, I even passed a wine fountain – seriously, it was almost too amazing. And even better, physically, I was feeling like a rock star.

Yes, that would be a wine fountain.

The landscape was like a dream.

One of the many vineyards of the day.

My walking buddy of the day since our pace was similar. We didn’t talk much because we were both listening to our iPods. Every once in a while we’d stop, comment on the landscape, then continue on. Days later, I ran into him again and discovered he was French.

But, this feeling was short lived because the next day I woke up to pouring rain. I don´t want to complain as much as I did on this day, but I´ll just say that 20km in the cold rain straight up sucked. When Audrey and I arrived (looking like wet rats) at the hostel in Viana we were greeted with 3 tiered bunk beds. Not exactly ideal sleeping and living conditions. To make the day even more frustrating, my Achilles tendon was severely inflamed and I could barely walk. Yup, overall a sucky day.

The next day, I nearly took the bus but once I realized it was Sunday and I was going to have to wait 2 hours, angry, depressed and frustrated, I decided to give it a go. I walked 9km, over 3 hours…in my sandals. It was rough, but I think it loosened up my Achilles, lifted my spirits and the next day I was able to bust out a 23km day with energy to spare.

Self portrait titled “Limping 9km in Sandals”

But doing much better the next day and walking 23km

More vineyards

And yes, that would be a snow-capped mountain in the distance.

So, as you can see, the El Camino has been a series of highest highs and lowest lows on so many different levels. However, I am loving every second of time with my Camino Family (Audrey, Jim and Franz) and will be really sad to leave them once we arrive in Burgos this Friday or Saturday.

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