I did not want to blog tonight. We are absolutely exhausted. Today was physically and mentally brutal. We have now completed 153 kilometres.
It started off great. We left Villatuerta around 8 and headed for Estella and had breakfast. A couple of kilometres past Estella, we arrived at Bodegas Irache – the home of the wine fountain!! I called Ron on his cell and let it ring once – just enough to wake him. He wanted to watch us on the live webcam from home but unfortunately it was down 🙁 we poured ourselves some wine into a water bottle and carried it in our packs for later.
We walked and walked. Stopped for water, stopped to admire the views, stopped often to refill our water bottles at fountains, and stopped for ice cream. We saw many of the regulars who we walk with, and stopped and chatted along the way.
At a small village on top of a mountain (they sure like to take us up many mountains!!) we rested with a British man and his son. We discussed walking to Los Arcos. He told us of a village between Los Arcos and where we were. We were happy with that. If the walk to Los Arcos proved to be too much, we would stop sooner.
We again began walking. Holy Frick it was hot. Very few trees. Almost desert like. The path continued… Continued… Continued…. We drank water, we applied more sunscreen, and drank more water. Continually stopping to drink. It was HOT! We were soaked with sweat. The flies loved us. Our feet hurt like never before. Every step was like a knife stabbing.
There was no closer village.
We saw signs.
“LOS ARCOS 9km”
“LOS ARCOS 6km”
“LOS ARCOS 5.7km”
It never seemed to get closer.
At the 6km mark, there was a man selling cold drinks. He told us how much further and I wanted to cry. I didn’t though. Had to keep it together for Karis. We each had a lemonade and more water and walked.
It seemed to go on forever. British man and his son passed us. We hate them now. We were certain we were going to die out there. Every so often a tractor would pass, covering our sweat soaked bodies with dust. We felt disgusting. We looked disgusting. And oh my god… The excruciating pain in our feet.
Karis’ feet hurt, but so did her knee from her fall after lunch yesterday. You could see the blood soaked through her bandage. Her brown, tanned face was filled with exhaustion too.
After what seemed like HOURS, we finally limped in to Los Arcos. And I mean LIMPED. The pain was so bad, that we went straight to a “Farmacia” to buy compeed (what everyone puts on their feet for blisters here) I was sure my feet were bleeding at that point, but knew if my shoes came off, I couldn’t walk at all. I had to sit in the pharmacy while I paid. Absolutely couldn’t stand. To start walking again towards the albergue took everything in me.
We reached an albergue called “grandmas house” (English translation) and hobbled through the door. There were many people around visiting. We were told they didn’t have room.
Now I wasn’t worried at all about finding a bed. There would be more albergues and we’ve realized by this point that we are not walking in a super busy time, but the thought of walking further completely overwhelmed me. I tried to look away and compose myself but the tears just poured. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand… Nothing would stop the foot pain.
The hospilatera running the albergue reassured me that there would be room at the municipal albergue, and that she would phone to check. Other pilgrims also reassured me. It wasn’t a concern – but I couldn’t talk to tell them that. It was the walk to the municipal that was overwhelming. She said she had room for 1 or 2 of us at grandmas house, and mom offered to go to the other, but she was hurting the same as me! And we weren’t splitting up!
We hobbled to the municipal, checked in (which seemed to take forever!!) and collapsed on our beds not knowing what to do with our feet. Rub them, soak them… Nothing seemed to help.
Thankfully, there was no blood on our feet. We re-cleaned and bandaged Karis’ knee. Rubbed each other’s feet as much as we could stand. Had showers, ate dinner and are now in bed.
Tomorrow is a day off.
We are checking into a hotel, washing our clothes and having bubble baths.
Even god rested on the 7th day. Tomorrow will be our 8th.