Posted by: knitknigel | May 29, 2009

Lazing Around

We´ve been having a quiet time in Torremolinos, drinking coffee, eating, having a glass of wine or two, and visiting with friends. This is a small town, with lots of visitors, but if you want to hang out with someone, you can just drop in to Vanilla Cafe where Jamie is always ready to talk, to sing a little, and let you know if someone you know has been by lately. It´s an easy life, even if we live at the bottom of the hill and all the places we hang out are up top. There´s an elevator that runs from 9 til 9, so as long as we are not up too late, we can always get elevated for 50 centimos each.

Here´s a picture of one of the folks we hang out with at Vanilla of an afternoon. Note the jaunty neck scarf.

Such a natty dog.

Such a natty dog.







On Sunday there was a huge lace making display on the plaza in Torremolinos. It was an amazing event . hundreds of people making fine lace with bobbins wound with cotton. If you think knitting is complicated you should see these people working their bobbins and pins. And I was thrilled to see a young boy among the hundreds of women.

Women with bobbins

Women with bobbins

A young boy with his bobbins

A young boy with his bobbins







I´ve been working on getting my feet healthy – lots of vaseline and not too much walking. I bought a new pair of croc-like shoes that I´ve been using to walk around. They are lighter than my other walking-around-town shoes, so I´ll carry them with me when I set out on the Camino again.

Now an image or two of my feet for you. Warning. Graphic images ahead.

The nurse´s work

The nurse´s work

Healing happening

Healing happening

Not quite so ugly?

Not quite so ugly?





Yes, our plans are in place, the train tickets have been bought and we leave on Sunday morning. We are both taking the fast train to Madrid for one night´s stay and then we are separating again. Geordie is off to Ourense, where he will stay two night before setting out on the Via de la Plata again. And I am off to Leon on an early train, spending the night there and then taking an even earlier train to Sarria (5:14 am) where I will stay the night, then set out on the last leg of the camino.

The rules are simple – if you walk at least the last 100 kilometers of the Camino, you will earn your Compostela. It doesn´t matter how much you´ve walked before. You can´t arrive in Santiago, tell the Compostela office that you walked 400 kilometers from St. Jean and expect your document. That last 100 is the most important.

From Ourense and from Sarria, it is just over 100 km of walking, which will take 6 days for both of us. We are taking it easy.  I´m even doing a couple of 14.5 km days in there, and Geordie has some short days as well. This way, my feet might just survive. I´ll be taking the vaseline, using the double layer socks, hey, maybe I´ll even put on the new socks to add a third layer, to protect my tender tootsies from the road.

I´ve also started a new sock, which I plan to finish as I walk. Good think I´ve started it now, because it´s more complicated than the first pair I did, with lots of crossed stitches which I´m knitting without a cable needle. I have to pay lots more attention, because I´m crossing stitches for 4 rows in 12 and there are lots to cross in each row. I spent a lot of time working out the pattern with graph paper I bought at a big papeleria (stationers) in Torremolinos. I found a little Moleskine book with squared paper in the shope which probably cost 8 euros, then asked the staff if they had the same thing in a cheaper version. The clerk took me to the back where they had pads of paper, found the squared stuff and charged me 70 centimos – a lot cheaper.

So two more nights in Torremolinos. We are having a visit with Giorgio and Bertrand tonight, and spending tomorrow relaxing as usual, to get ready for a busy three days of train travel. I might also be lying low – avoiding security. Yesterday I went off by myself to look for the Decathlon Sports store I have heard good reports of. I took the local train three stops down the line, couldn´t find it there so asked a young woman where it might be. She suggested I go across the train track over the bridge, and next to Ikea.

So off I went in my clogs, crossed the access road, found Ikea – the biggest I´ve ever seen – walked half way around it, then across their gigantic parking lot to another huge building that wasn´t Decathlon, asked a security guard if he could direct me, but he couldn´t see how I might get to this place from there. So I headed back and decided that I would conintue my trip around Ikea on the way back to save a little distance. I ended up in their delivery area with a forbidding wall ahead, but saw some steps up to the road I wanted, with a gate. As I headed to it, two Ikea guys saw me and started heading towards me, saying no, no, you can´t go there.

But, said I, I want to go to the Plaza Mayor across that road. No, no, you can´t go there. Being a defiant guy and determined not to walk all the way around Ikea again, I went up the stairs and pressed the door bar with the big sign saying Emergency Exit Only, the doors opened and I went out, closing the doors behind me and walking quickly to escape the two guys. Every moment I expected to hear the whoop whoop of a police car, but there didn´t seem to be a chase scene happening so I went as fast as I could over the train tracks, down the road to the Plaza Mayor and hid out in an ice-cream shop where I had a huge scoop of the cool stuff, keeping my head down and my presence as small as possible. No sports goods purchased, but at least I´m not in a Spanish jail right now.

Ultreia my friends. Off to do a little walking.


  1. Nigel….. Yikes! are you SURE your feet are ready for more walking?????
    All is well here in VancouverLand….. the weather is amazing.

  2. Great to get the latest update. I am glad your feet are healing nicely. I think the plan for the last 100 kms sounds great. I wish you both the greatest success.
    Spring has come to Calgary – what a relief! Blossom is appearing and there are a few small leaves on the trees. Lilac Festival this weekend and we may even have a few lilacs!

  3. Ouch! I hope your blisters heal soon; just get to the point where you can touch Santiago. I look forward to seeing pictures of your knitting. Loved the socks with the emblem of Santiago!

  4. Nigel, glad to see you are healing. One small tip I got years ago and which seemed to help me is to walk an hour and then take your shoes and socks off and air them out and make sure the feet are dry. If you wear more than one pair of socks, you may even want to switch them around, so only the dry ones touch your footsies. Then do the same thing again after the next hour. Peace, my friend. Renate

  5. Nigel,

    Have you tried reclining w/your feet raised above your head level during your rest stops (about 10 min.)? A man that we met whilst walking the Grand Canyon last month told us that it reduces the lactic acid in the legs….or some such thing.

    NL has actually had a Spring! Flowers are everywhere; the stone wall sedum were lovely.


    Paula and Rick

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