Saturday, May 23, 2015

Camino de Santiago Saturday 23rd May: Day 11

Alto do Poio - Ventas de Naron
65.7km (+2-3km for navigational errors!),  total time on the way 11:30hrs

A tough, tough day. My left calf/soleus was sore and stiff all day, my feet were just generally hurting, I had a most peculiar pain in my right big toe on and off, and I developed a nice blister on my right heel.

I left at 06:30 after a cafe con leche and a pastry, having really struggled to get my shoes on due to superbly swollen feet.

Blue, cloudless skies for the third consecutive days, and the birds sang to ease my pain. The countryside is much greener in Galicia, almost English-looking. Some lovely downhill trail towards Triacastela initially loosened my calf up a little. It was much warmer than yesterday and I was in a t-shirt by 08:00.

Tricastela was a pleasant little town, still waking up. I managed to go the wrong way out of the town and added at least a kilometre. 

On the way to Sarria, I met Marty Coffey from Arizona. The conversation was started by the fact that we had identical shoes on - Hoka Stinsons. Now well into his 60's, Marty is an ultra runner having completed Western State 100 and Badwater in the 1990's. We had a great chat.

Arrived in Sarria. This is typically the point where a lot of Spanish weekend-trippers join the Camino. To get your compostela in Santiago, you only need to have walked the last 100km - Sarria is approximately at the 110km mark.

The main church was closed. I popped into a sports shop and checked out their shoes. My Hokas were getting a bit battered, but there was nothing that would give me the extra cushioning I needed to get me to Santiago. It was me and my Hokas all the way.

Had a very tasty bocadillos and also found some proper ice cream - only the second such occurrence on the camino. It had been mainly Magnums to this point. On the way out of Sarria, I quickly visited Monastery de la Magdalena. I had to ring a bell to enter, but inside it was a haven of peace.

Managed 2 further wrong turns before Portomarin. Noticed many more walkers with small packs - the Sarria starters. My calf was hurting all the time now, limiting the amount of running possible.

Sign posting in Portomarin was a little confusing and just to make matters worse, a taxi driver directed me in the wrong direction. Thanks!

I wasn't feeling in the best humour by now and realised that any further distance today was a bonus. I decide to go on a bit further and was happy to see "Santiago 100km" sign. Never though I'd be happy to see a 100km to go sign!

It was a steep climb out of Portomarin, at the top of which my blister became agonisingly painful. I was reduced to a shuffling hobble. Fortunately I met another pilgrim and our conversation took my mind off the pain. This lady had started from Le Puy in France and had just gone past her 1500km mark!

Stopped at the very pleasant Casa Molar in Ventas, with its dorm in a converted barn. Took my sock off to survey my heel blister and discovered that my 4th toe had been completely taken over my a blood blister. I hadn't even noticed that one!

Had a beer and 2 packets of crisps as recovery, then a pleasant meal, followed my a Magnum! Back in the dorm, someone suggested I see a doctor about my blister if it was no better in the morning. No comment.

I am now 80km from Santiago. Will give that a go tomorrow but now sure that my legs have got that in them. I have now covered 55-72km for 11 consecutive days - no wonder I'm a bit knackered!!

Phrase of the Day:
Courtesy of Marty Coffey: "I fricking love it out here" - and that pretty much sums it up.

Comment of the day:
Canadian ladies: "Why are you running?"
Richard: "Probably for the same reason you are walking"

No comments:

Post a Comment