Woke up feeling the early symptoms of tonsillitis kicking in and the sharpness of the blisters pierce through my toe. Suffice to way, I wasn’t too enthusiastic to walk 6 hours today. But as per unusual, we got up at 6:30am, had our jam and bread (which is no longer as satisfying as it was a few days ago) and were out the door by 7:15am.
Getting out of the town of Estella was met with a few wrong turns as it was quite poorly signed compared to all the towns we’ve passed by. Eventually with the help of our trusty guide book we were back on track. Whilst today’s walk was technically quite an easy one, I found the first 2-3 hours exhausting – the feeling of lethargy and extreme fatigue took over me and all I could think about was being in bed. I certainly felt like I was coming down with something but knew I had to persist because 1) there was no way in hell I was calling a taxi and 2) the more breaks I took the longer the day would last.
One of our first stops for the day was the famous wine fountain which seems to have an everlasting supply of red wine for the pilgrims (well actually we found out later it ran out by 10am). Best of all its free!
By 9:30am we slowly made our way up toward the town of Azueta where we came across a HUGE fig tree full of ripe figs. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. We ate about 15 figs and already I was starting to feel better. About an hour later I remember we had purchased a huge block of Nestle chocolate the day before so quickly popped my bag down and grabbed it out. Within 20 minutes Jason and I guiltily inhaled the entire block and I felt like I was on cloud nine. All of a sudden my energy levels were up and I practically started sprinting with Jason having to work hard to keep up with me. I felt so alive and roaring to go that we kept at an almost sprint pace for over an hour. So once again the Camino has taught me a valuable lesson; chocolate is medicine.
As the sugar high started to wear off we bumped into our Irish bunk buddy from the night before, Mareed. We stayed with her for about half a hour. She is 63 years old and travelling with her friend Ann-Maree who unfortunately had to take the bus again as she was still in pain. Mareed says her husband is much older so it is always difficult getting out of Ireland as she is his carer, but it just so happens that he was visiting some relatives for two weeks which gave her the small window to do a portion of the Camino. She told us that when they first married they spent about 8 years living in the rural parts of Nigeria but eventually had to leave due to the increasing violence in the country. These days she lives on the coast in Ireland, swims in the cold ocean everyday and takes her dog for a 5km walk at least once a day. I can only imagine the life she has lived. Her dream is to one day finish the Camino with her grand kids. We hope that happens.
By 1:30am we arrived in town and pleased to have been both allocated bottom bunks. I inspected my blisters which hasn’t seemed to improve so I opted for the Swiss Army Knife blade to pop and drain it. Aahhhhh the relief!
Spent the rest of the evening at the hostel for some much needed rest and home cooked pasta which the other hungry pilgrims delved into too!
Total cost for today
Breakfast: €1 – Jam and bread
Lunch: €2 – Ham, cheese and olive baguette
Dinner: €4 – Home cooked pasta
Snacks: €2 – Chocolate
Total per person: €11
Til next time
Ann & Jason xo