May 2nd, 2018. VillaFranca Montes de Ora. Camino de Santiago.
After yesterday’s jaunt, I felt broken.
I woke fine, had a good breakfast and managed the first 12km fine, despite it being damn cold and having a biting headwind… I walked with Amanda, a retired doctor, who was suffering from Achilles issues. As usual, conversation makes the km go by faster and easier.
After leaving Amanda at Belorado, I continued on. It was a hard slog when my left calf and right thigh started cramping around 20km. I was thinking that walking a 22km day wasn’t a great idea, especially when – somehow – I was still 6km away from my final destination for the day. I had to keep going – I was pre-booked and my bag had been sent on.
I texted Amanda and she suggested tonic water. It has quinine in it and it helps with cramping faster than, say a banana would. I stopped at a bar and had tea, tonic water and a banana. I needed something to kick in and fast. The day was getting on.
It’s becoming an ongoing joke that whatever the kilometers state on an app, map etc…, I should add 20% for the realistic distance.
Around 24km my left calf/ankle really started hurting (!!) and I essentially crawled into town. I took a picture of a lovely, very picturesque trail that was probably the hardest part of my entire walk – and it was flat!!
I finally got to the hotel and realised I had a shared bathroom (after the long day, this was a major bummer). Unfortunately I had to wait to use it as someone was taking a bath (?!) – in the only bathroom. Luckily, Sharon and Jerry had arrived ahead of me, which is why I had the long day to catch up with them – and I was able to find their room and immediately ask if I could use their bathroom. Priorities!
To top the entire day off, I settled into bed a few hours later, in my private room, and had the bed collapse on me. It literally went out from under me. Choice words escaped my lips (I can laugh about it now) but it was a fitting end to a really challenging day.