Posted by: knitknigel | May 23, 2009

Frogging the Camino

Here´s a chance for my non-knitting friends to learn a little knitting nomenclature. First, tinking. When a knitter tinks a project he unknits it, one stitch at a time, to get back to a place in the knitting where there is a little error that needs correction. The word tink you may have figured out, is knit spelled backwards. And you tink when the error is not too far down in the work.

Frogging is something else again. That´s where you see a great terrible error so far down in the work that you know that tinking  it will take longer than knitting the project ever did. So you “rip it, rip it rip it” – hence frogging!

And I am in the process of frogging this camino of mine. After my two days of rest in Burgos with Doctor Geordie, I got out and walked two more days in the countryside. It was lovely walking, getting towards the meseta, where the landscape is flat and goes on forever. Some describe the meseta in almost mystical terms – a chance to be alone with yourself in a wide open landscape where a tree you can see in the distance can be a two day walk away.  When Geordie and I walked it together the last time, we both loved it. There are fields that go on forever and the blazing red poppies that line the roadway amongst the green sheaves of wheat are an especial delight.

But this time, my feet could not take the walking. Those last two days of walking were so difficult, as my blisters, grew on the soles of my feet and then bruised. My little toes were tender, the backs of my legs were giving me a problem or two as well, and the blisters on my heels did not go away.

So at Castrojeriz, among my camino friends I decided that I needed to frog this camino – to rip it back to a place where I could start again. So I called Geordie and we talked, hence the decision for me to take the bus back to Burgos and then the train to Madrid for a night with him and then the two of us continued by train to Torremolinos to give my feet time to heal with the “aire y sol” (the air and sun) that the nurse in Castrojeriz had recommended. And it was nice that Giorgio and Bertrand in Torremolinos are having a party tonight so we can go enjoy some good friends and good wine.

At the same time as coming to this decision I was also knitting my second sock – and with people waiting for the great moment, I finished the Santiago shell on the leg front, knit the cuff, cast off the sock and put the new pair on my feet to celebrate. Photos were taken, my socks were toasted with wine, and my friends celebrated along with me. And so to bed, to get up early for the 8 am bus.

My trip to Madrid wasn´t easy mind you. First I had to walk down a lot of steps to the bus stop – and going down hill on my blistered feet is the hardest. There were several other pilgrims on the bus, two of them ending their camino for now as they had planned. Mikel suggested I take the bus to Madrid from the bus station, but I insisted that the train gave me more pleasure.

From the station I walked  gingerly to the old town to have a breakfast coffee and to catch a taxi. He drove me out to the station which is a good 10 minutes out of town on the edge of the countryside. There I discovered that the fast train I was expecting to take was not going because of repairs to the line. So I decided to catch a local bus back to the bus station, after consulting with Geordie who had been checking the schedules on the internet for me. Back in town, I went looking for a taxi, but as I did so, also checked my pocket and discovered to my horror that I no longer had my wallet. Missing 50 euros was not so bad, but losing my credit and bank cards as well as my drivers license was not so wonderful.

I walked back to the taxi stop and took another taxi out to the train station. Luckily I had enough change in my pocket to pay for the fare. Then I went in and up to the counter where I asked if my wallet were there. And some wonderful man said he was pretty sure it was. So after 10 minutes of red tape in the back rooms, and my deliverance of my passport as documentation I got my wallet back – after signing an in-triplicate document. Whew. Everything intact.

And now I had to wait – because the next train was at 3 pm and it was only 11 am by then. So I spent four hours in the rather empty train station, having a menu del dia, casting on for another sock,  and generally relaxing my feet.

So now I´m frogging the camino. Ripping it back to a place where I can again walk without the pain of blisters. This means relaxing here in Torremolinos, then heading back to the camino route. I won´t start where I left off – there isn´t enough time for that. My plan is to get to the point where I can walk the last week of the route, beginning on the same day as if I had walked there. That way, I may meet up with those wonderful people I have been walking with. Rosa and Rita, Dorte and Pierre, Irene, Christian and Jacques, Andrea, and all the others whose concern for me was so genuine and helpful.

I´ll keep you posted on the blog, so look for more from me as I recuperate. I bought vaseline today to rub into my feet – many of the pilgrims use it to keep their feet supple, so I´m going to give it a go too. And once my feet are in a little better condition, I´ll do a little walking to keep my strength up. 

¡Ultreia! my friends. Onward!

Posted by: knitknigel | May 22, 2009

Blistering the Camino

Two days rest is not enough, by a long shot. After our sad goodbye in Burgos I was off walking the route. Funny that Geordie saw my backside walking up the street while he sat in a taxi on the way to the train station. Then even funnier to see the train he was on blasting by me out in the country side. If I had talked to him on the phone one more minute I would have noticed the train coming and he could have waved at me. I waved at him anyway.

On the walk yesterday I had my feet bandaged by Geordie, but it felt like I was walking on sandpaper all morning – thank heaven I was only going 21 km. When I got to the albergue, the nice woman saw me limping and gave me a lower bed. Then when I took off my shoes and socks I realized that I had blisters further down my foot pads, new ones, which explained all the pain.

This morning I woke up at 6:30 am, and my room was empty, every bed vacated. People are in such a hurry. There was only one couple left organizing themselves and they got off before me because I started padding my feet with the magic Pho-Om recommended by the doctor. Didn´t work worth a damn. My feet continued to scream in pain all  morning and even though I enjoyed a nice leisurely breakfast after a two hour walk, when I started walking again, the pain was even worse.

Only another two hours to the next town where I´m staying tonight at the albergue. First I was given the choice of an upper bunk or a pallet on the floor, so I took the floor. When I sat down on the pallet though I think I could feel the floor under my bum, so I decided that I could climb up to an upper after all. The bed is much more comfortable.

Then I got lots of advice and lots of bandages from a nice man from Valencia who gave me at least five big bandages, told me how to cut them and how to care for my feet. People on the camino are very generous.

I had a visit to the nurse in Castrojeriz, who bandaged my feet tenderly, especially my toes, which looked kind of ugly. Then I hobbled to a restaurant about 400 meters away. I think it took me a half hour on the sides of my feet. I had my menu del dia with two Spanish bicyclists one of whom was on his sixth bicycle trip to Santiago – twice from Seville where Geordie started his earlier Via de la Plata trip a couple of years ago and was continuing from this year.

It was a nice evening with people sitting at the albergue and visiting with folk I´ve been walking with for awhile as well as new people. I had time to think and relax so will have news for my next blog entry tomorrow. You know the results if you have been reading Geordie´s news but you will get my take on it next.

Posted by: knitknigel | May 17, 2009

A Conjugal Visit

I jumped the camino today. Shocking news, but then you knew all about it because I told you yesterday. Got up this morning and had breakfast with my fellow Pilgrims then said my goodbyes as they all (I thought), left on their journeys. I took a little longer over my packing because I didn´t have to get on the road. Hung around the albergue which was a very nice one. Last night we all had a meal together in their dining room – a thick fish soup, a communal salad, then a leg of chicken with potatoes, a good bottle of red wine and flan for dessert. Turns out the pool boy who was cleaning out the pool yesterday turned out to be the cook too.

I asked directions to the bus stop in Belorado and one of the hospitaleros said he could draw me one, because after all he was an architect and specialized in urban planning. Good for me – the map was very easy to follow and the bus stop was only about three blocks away, so not so hard.

I spent the morning hanging around in cafe-bars because the bus didn´t arrive till 12:00. I had a cafe con leche and a croissant first then ordered a second cup of coffee just as the owner brought out a platter of mini-bocadillos. I immediately took one of the tortilla española which was still warm from the frying pan. Hmmm.

After a third cup of coffee I decided it was time to move, so left that cafe and went to another one nearer the bus stop. Had coffee there and then walked to the stop itself where I found another 11 pilgrims waiting for the bus. Their were two couples with babies walking the camino. The Irish couple I´ve spent some time with. They are off to Leon so they have time to finish the camino. They are pushing the baby in a stroller on the camino! The other couple are from Australia and they are carrying their baby on their backs. The other takes the big communal pack! Hard work. And there are albergues where they can´t stay because babies are not allowed. Theoretically they would disturb the other pilgrims if they cry. Too bad they don´t ban snorers, but then I might be tossed out too. As someone said, it´s not very Christian – no room at the inn for babies here.

The bus trip covered two days of walking – about 48 kilometers, and took 50 minutes. Whee. When I arrived I saw Geordie standing against a wall waiting for the bus to arrive. It was lovely to see him but he wanted to put me back on the bus because I haven´t shave in over a week. Some conjugal visit this will be, smile.

I´ve got tomorrow to discover Burgos, the place where I had my blisters tended to on the last camino. The doctor told me to get some Pho – om for my feet when I get here at a pharmacy or a physio clinic, so I asked him to write it down for me – and he did, in big letters – F O A M. Hmm, wonder if that´s a trade name.

Geordie and I had a nice menu del dia today – wonderful grilled leeks and wild mushrooms as a starter, and bacaloa with peppers for the main course. And Cheese pudding which is like a thick sliceable custard, Delicioso.

Adios for now. It´s nice to be resting my feet.

Posted by: knitknigel | May 16, 2009

A Blistering Pace

I´ve certainly been moving fast. Maybe too fast. Today even though it was a beautfiul day, with sun, a nice cool breeze and relatively easy walking my feet were not happy campers at all. I got a lecture from the Danish woman who told me that my running shoes were definitely the wrong choice and that I should have leather boots like hers. A little later now!

When I got to Belorado today it was about 12:30 and I was very ready to stop. I found a great albergue which, although 5 euros, has a pool! Too cool to swim in it, but hey, a pool! Very hot showers, a nice bed, lower bunk with more head room than usual so I´ll be able to sit up in it without knocking myself out, too.

On the way, not only my feet were suffering. My hands swell up every day, and at one point I couldn´t bend my fingers to touch my palm, the fingers were so tight. The rest of me, including my mind, is fine. I enjoyed singing, making up silly verses for songs, singing a few Newfoundland ditties, like The Kelligrews Soiree, and generally making things as easy as possible.

Ater checking in at the Albergue, I walked across the street to a restaurant that I discovered went right through to the other side, where there was a huge open plaza. I had no idea. I talked to the owner, and since it was early for the menu del dia I got directions to the Centro de Salud. Winced my way over there and was seen right away. The first thing the doctor said when he saw me  was, “Ah, ampollas”. (Blisters). Yep. He worked on all six of them, the most painful of which are on the pads below my big toes, which are the weight bearing part.

He told me to rest, so tomorrow I´m taking a bus to Burgos, two days down the road where I will meet Geordie and take two days off. If thinks work our aright I will be back on track with the same schedule two days from now. Let´s hope those feet work then.

Must get this done. Supper tonight at the albergue by donation at 7:30 and breakfast at 6;30 for 2 euros. Looking forward to the camaraderie. Now to hobble off to take some more painkillers.

Posted by: knitknigel | May 15, 2009


One of my favourites.

One of my favourites.

More Camino friends

More Camino friends 

Knitting while I wait to register

Knitting while I wait to register

My Camino friends at lunch

My Camino friends at lunch

Early in the camino, early in the morning.
Early in the camino, early in the morning.
What you do at 8 am on the Camino!

What you do at 8 am on the Camino!

On  the top of the world with my knitting

On the top of the world with my knitting

My shoes and leg on the way to the top of the hill

My shoes and leg on the way to the top of the hill

Knitting the camino

Knitting the camino

The sock in St. Jean Pied de Port

The sock in St. Jean Pied de Port

Sheep on the camino.

Sheep on the camino.

On the way to the Alto del Perdon

On the way to the Alto del Perdon
Posted by: knitknigel | May 15, 2009

The Polyglot Camino

Today was a good day. Yeah, my blisters hurt, and yeah it was cool up on the highlands, and yeah, I don´t have my old guides, but – it was only a 4.5 hour walk, it was over rolling land, with not too much up and down, I took a slightly different route through an old town while everyone else when through the new, not so pretty conurbation, and I wrote and sang a song in my head: As Happy as a Lark in the Morning!

Twas lovely.

Back at the beginning of my camino, I was surrounded by Canadians. At least 10 or 12 from Quebec, and 12 more from Newfoundland. Now they are all behind me. I feel sometimes like the only English speaking person on the camino. When I arrive at the albergues I am surrounded by people from France, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Brazil, and I´m sure other places I haven´t yet establisled. But my sock knitting entertains them all; I am going to be in many photo albums around the world after the Camino is over.

Last night I finished my first Camino sock and it is lovely. The colours are great, and the design was fun. It´s a toe-up sock, with wool and cashmere yarn from Hand Maiden in Canada, and it has a Scallop Shell decoration on the front of the leg. It impresses everyone. Last night a woman from Nájera where I stayed sat down with me, drew out the shape of the sock, asked me all kinds of information and told me she was going to try knitting with one needle toe-up as I did. (But I forgot to tell her that I increased only 2 stitches in 3 rows on the sole/gusset, so I hope she figures it out.

Scallop Shell decoration

Scallop Shell decoration

Tonight´s albergue in Santo Dominogo de la Calzada is very very nice, even if the volunteers are very officious. The man checking us in kept asking all the pilgrims to be quiet, and the women who showed us our rooms wouldn´t let us go upstairs until she said so. Then she appointed beds like a sargeant-major and when two of the people who came chose two lowers instead of up and down she was a little miffed.

But – there are tons of showers, separate ones for men and women, lots of beds, a really nice lounge, well-appointed kitchen and I have power next to my bed so I can recharge my camera batteries.

And Santo Domingo de la Calzada is celebrating it´s 900th birthday this year, while the Albergue started operating in 1044! (The building is new, but the society is old).

I´m going out soon to find the white hen and rooster in the church. There is a legend about this. A couple and their son were going to Santiago but the son was falsely accused by a young woman whose advances he spurned. He was condemned to death and hung. The parents went on to Santiago and prayed for the deliverance of their son. On the way back they stopped and saw that their son was hanging on the tree but still alive, so they went to the bishop to ask that he be taken down. The bishop was eating dinner and said, “Your son is no more alive than this roast chicken on my table”. At which point of course, the chicken leapt up and began crowing. So the son was saved, of course, and for that time on two chickens are kept in a coop in the church!

My friends, I am going to go get some good food and some fine wine of the La Rioja region I have been walking through today, past acres and acres of vineyards as far as the eye can see. Que aprovche.


Posted by: knitknigel | May 14, 2009

Let the Camino Be Your Guide

Two days ago I had a nice walk to Los Arcos. The weather was good, and the route was not too hilly. I had a good lunch in the pueblo and then relaxed with my knitting in the garden of the Albergue. All was good. Then, I decided to check my notes for the next stage of the walk to Logroño. I pulled out my pack, unzipped the pocket where I keep all my guide information and …. nothing. It wasn´t there. I panicked, but looked though the rest of my pack. NOTHING. Oh, my god! NOTHING. My camino bibles were gone, the book from the confraternity in England, my guide by the Vancouver couple, my book of maps, my extra maps of towns along the way, my guides to a couple of the cities, which Geordie had laboriously copied for me.

What to do? Well, like Elizabeth Smart, I sat down and wept. I had no idea what I could do now. I´m in the middle of northern Spain with no guide. Pulling myself together, I phoned Geordie, who didn´t answer his phone (he was sleeping!). Then I discovered that I was sitting outside the public library so I went in and took over a computer. I found the website where one can at least develop a daily itinerary of the route, and a contour map of the route with the elevations. Then, after lots of worry, and searching for the librarian, I finally was able to print the pages. And didn´t have to pay – aren´t libraries wonderful?

Geordie called and after some discussion we decided that I would continue on my route, looking for a book, and he would meet me in Burgos, four days away. Maybe I would take a bus and get there early.

So the next morning, I took off, with just my printed list of towns and distances and my contour map, and made it to Los Arcos. In the morning I had panicked myself because now I couldn´t find my wallet, but finally I realized I was sitting on it. But my pen was missing so I didn´t get to record my distances. Somebody in the Estella library now has a really nice pen to write notes with. I bought another in Logroño for 1 Euro.

But I made it, following the yellow arrows of the camino and the people ahead of me. I walked alone for lots of the time, but always the camino was with me – the yellow arrows beckoning me on.

Today I had a guide. I found a book in Logroño too with the route shown and described. I have a copy of the same book at home, but this is at least the 2007 edition. It worked fine. Phew.

I wish my feet were working so well. I had blisters on my heels which I pierced with my needle last night, but managed to upset my bottle of iodine and it took some doing to clean that up. I put some bandages on those blisters, and used Compeed on the small new blisters developing on the pads of flesh below my big toes. Walking today was a little like torture. I discovered that I preferred walking uphill. Walking downhill I put all my weight on those two blistered spots and it was agony. Even with 600 mg of Ibuprofen.

But, I walked 29.4 kilometers today – the longest day yet. It took seven hours and when I arrived at the albergue they weren´t even open. I arrived at 2:15 and they opened at 3:00 pm – a few unhappy pilgrims, since they all wanted showers and some food.

I walked for two hours with a woman from Madrid. She talked at me in Spanish for the whole time. I think I understood about 1/3 of it, but I nodded a lot. She was a great companion, we had a very similar pace although she was walking without a pack – she´d sent it on ahead in a taxi, because it was too big. She smoked too, like many of the pilgrims – how do they do it?

In Navarette we stopped and had a great caffe con leche, and we both bought bocadillas (sandwiches). Hers was ham and cheese, while mine was tortilla española, but we split them. They were delicious. And I had an extra coffee.

She was also very helpful, because I had found a telephone on the street in Logroño. I saw it spinning after it was nicked by a car, so I went into the street to pick it up. I couldn´t get any info from in about the owner, but when I showed it to Rosa, she took charge. There were several calls on the phone, but she couldn´t get it to work, but finally someone called and she was able to talk to her. Turns out it was the daughter of the owner. The owner lives in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, which is our next stop, but Rosa told her that she would leave the phone in the albergue here in Najéra. Problem solved.

My blisters have been lanced, I´ve had an interesting meal with two young handsome Brazilian men who speak excellent English and now I´m going out to knit a little more. But not before telling you about my afternoon meal. I started with seafood paella, not bad, but then we all three ordered the special lamb dish. The waitress said it was leg. It wasn´t, it was foot and stomach. Honest. The little knuckle bones were there, the tendons, but not a bit of meat. However, the lamb stomach was protein, and the sauce was very spicy. I liked that part most. The two Brazilians wheedled extra food from the waitress, for Felipe, grilled ribs and for Rafael, bacalao. And I got a taste of both. With that we had two bottles of fine Riojan wine – this is La Rioja from whence many fine red wines are produced. There were lots of vineyards along the way. The grapes are just miniscule right now, but they will make fine wine soon enough.

So my first day with my new guide, my big blisters, my new friends, my tired feet. I keep moving forward.

Posted by: knitknigel | May 12, 2009

The Camino is the Training

Back in March and April, Geordie and I would get up early and after deciding if the weather was amenable, we would dress, then go off, first to find a coffee and then to train for the camino with a good long walk. Often Geordie would be out an hour before me, and we would take different routes around or through Stanley Park. There was rain sometimes, there was cool air, and occasionally we took ourselves up a hill. That was our training; that and a walk up to Melriches which was indeed uphill and took less than 10 minutes.

Others have different training regimens, with weights maybe, and some serious walking, but when it comes down to the Camino, the only way to prepare is to do it. There is no way that we can give ourselves training that includes a really good steep hill, and then another one above it, a steep downhill on slippery soil, a nice walk along a mud track where the mud sticks to your feet and pulls you in. There is no training that can prepare you for traversing a hillside on a stony track, to face a wind that pushes you back, to look out over a wild vista where you are the only thing around that talks – to yourself.

It´s been only 7 days and my training continues apace. The physical training is relentless – five or six hours walking over wild terrain is not easy. And the mental training is there too – as you tell yourself that you really can get up that slope, that the mud ahead will not go on forever, that somewhere, kilometers ahead there´s a flat path, and even a caffe con leche waiting at a bar in some little village where they are waiting for you to arrive.

And there is no way you can train for the camaraderie of the Camino. It is obligatory to greet those you pass with a buen camino or a buenas dias. When you arrive at the albergue, old friends from two days ago greet you with pleasure. You lunch with them, you eat dinner with them and if you are me, you sit around knitting socks and talking with them. And then, of course, you sleep with them – listening to the sounds of the night, snores, farts, grunts even sleep talking.

And it isn´t everywhere that you can arrive at a winery with a fountain to enjoy the wine on tap outside. I arrived at 8 this morning and the pleasure we had standing around that spigot taking our fill of good Irache wine cannot be duplicated.

So the Camino is training me. I will be strengthened by this.

Ultreia, my friends. Onward!

Posted by: knitknigel | May 11, 2009

Montse and other knitting

Today was a good day, only five hours to walk 22.4 km, so I feel it´s time to throw a little knitting into the mix. So, the answer to the knitting question “What kind of name is Montse?” is answered. Montse Stanley wrote a book called the Knitter´s Handbook which is a kind of bible of knitting. Any serious knitter has checked it out and many a knitter has a copy in the collection.

I have always wondered where the name came from. Montse is not a regular turn of the mill name after all. And the Camino has answered the question for me. On my first day on the camino I met a young Spanish woman (she´s here in the albergue with me right now) and her name was, as you guessed, Montse. As she explained, it was a nickname. Her full name is Montserrat, the town up near Barcelona and the French border. I´m sure that it explains Montse Stanley´s unusual name and I feel I´ve added a little to my knitting knowledge by discovering it.

And more on the knitting front – this afternoon, as I sat outside the albergue in the lovely sunshine, I finished the foot of my sock and began turning the heel. I´m glad to get there. I just unknit about 8 rows of knitting before I started the heel, so it was even more knitting than planned.

I had a great meal today – beans, then lamb shank with shoe string potatoes. Miam, miam. Good wine too.

On the walking front – I now have blisters on my left heel and the little toe of my left foot. I must stop using that side of my body for a day or two and I will be fine.

On the landscape front – walked past wheat fields, vineyards in leaf, over hills and down dales, poppies everywhere now, a beautiful day for walking. No mountains, but a few hills.


Posted by: knitknigel | May 10, 2009

At Alto del Perdon I Sat Down and Knit

It just seemed right. It was an amazing day. I woke late, 6;30 and everyone was moving around me getting ready to start the walk. It took me another hour to get myself organized; I don´t know why it took so long but it did. I found out if was raining, so that was my first task, to find my raingear. Got to wear it a second time.

When I stepped out into the lobby of the albergue, one of the Newfoundland crew was there getting her blisters seen to and attempting to communicate with the hospitalera. I became the de facto interpreter, so I didn´t actually leave the Albergue until 8 am.

The rain wasn´t bad, and the walk was easy, although I did get a little confused about which road to take. I didn´t get lost though. We walked through the city and onto another town on the roads, where I had a coffee with my New Zealand friends. Then it was off into the country.

And the adventure. Shortly after leaving Cizur Menor, the way started to climb. Soon we were on a narrow path along a farmer´s field and the mud began. And continued for a couple of hours. I think it rained all night. It was one step at a time, each shoe sucking up from the mud with an audible squelch, one foot forward, pull it out of the mud, then the next. The mud accumulated under my shoes, so that soon, I was two inches talled and my shoes were two inches wider.

At one point I noticed a man climb up a bank into a higher field, so when I could I attempted the same thing. It was about 4.5 feet high, and as slippery as silicon gel, so I was having a hard time. Then Akio, the guy above, saw me and offered me his hand. It took three tries to get me up, as I kept slipping into the bank. Finally with his help and some fortuitous tree limbs I got up and the two of us set off in the field, crushing a path through the wheat.

When we got to the end of the field we were faced with a creek that had appeared. To get round it we had to climb another 5 foot bank up to a lane. I didn´t need a hand this time but it was tough.

And of course it wasn´t over. We were climbing up to a high ridge, and the mud just continued. At another point I took a lower course then realized I should be on the higher route, but again couldn´t make it up. Finally an Italian man saw me and offered me the end of his walking stick and hauled me up bodily.

When I got to the Alto del Perdon, it was a pleasure to stop and relax. From here on everything was downhill. I had my photo taken with my knitting next to the very modern iron sculpture of a line of pilgrims in the wind. (The path climbs up and under a long line of windmills which a Danish man I walked with for a few minutes proudly told me were built by the Danes.)

So I pulled out my knitting and celebrated my arrival at the top of the ridge with a row of knitting. It felt good to do it there. I also got to eat my very large apple and a container of lemon yogurt which tasted wonderful – I kept thinking of lemon merengue pie and my mother.

Down was almost as hard as up, except that there was very little mud. I guess I was on the windward side of the mountain now. The problem was that it was very steep. But finally I reached some level walking and moved briskly along. The path took me to a couple of villages and finally to Obanos where some people stop after Pamplona. But I wanted to make it to Puente La Reina so I pushed on – it was only another 2.5 km. When I arrived at the first Albergue I saw, I stopped and decided to stay. There is a public albergue about 500 meters down the road, but I was done for the day. I got a lovely bed, and had a wonderful shower which didn´t even require me to keep pushing the button to make the shower run. As a matter of fact the shower had 6 extra jets and one of those rain shower heads. Heaven!

A little detail. I have a phone which contains a step counter. The route today is described as 24 km but my step counter told me I did 30.1 km. And I walked 33000 steps, and used up 3500 calories. That´s a whole pound. I do hope it was a pound of fat!

I am relaxed now. I had a menu del dia, walked into Puente la Reina, to and over the amazing 13 century bridge with its 11 arches, and back into town for a nice glass of wine at a bar where everyone was watching a soccer game – they were very excited. Tonight I will have the Pilgrim menu at the hotel above the Albergue. Yes, we are in the basement. If I want a window I could probably have one for 50 or 60 euros, so my 8 euro bunk (lower) will do me just fine.

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