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El Camino Day #5

Day #5 El Camino

Sunday 17th September

Punta La Areina > Estella

Distance Walked: 22km-ish

My pedometer I’d bought conked out yesterday, well, it works fine, I just so happened to clock it, like a video game I guess. I wasn’t aware it did that but at some point I looked at it and it was flashing on 99,999 steps and the kms walked and time was flashing and stopped counting, so I don’t know how far into the walk yesterday it happened and I can’t measure exactly my distance or steps anymore which bums me out a little. I don’t know why I was so excited to count it all, but when you’re doing such a long journey it’s kind of cool to be able to reach a milestone. In all honesty, I don’t know how good it was measuring my steps or time or overall distance anyway. I think I might have gotten a dud. The manual suggests that you should walk 10,000 steps per day to be a generally fit person. I was up to 100,000+ in 4 days so I think that means I’m awesome and way better than you. The distance walked today was supposed to be around 22km but when I reset it this morning and saw it at the end of the day it measured about 15km, so again, I have no idea what my overall count will be. I guess I’ll go off the suggested route and measured distances the map says. Even the maps differ from street signs we read along the way, but the general consensus is that it’ll be 800km in total to Santiago and from there I’ll have figured out an app to measure the remaining walk and make sure I can pop a party popper when I clock 1,000km! Yippee!

My sleep wasn’t great last night. I had the bottom bunk but it seems I’ve been waking up every hour or so throughout the night in a mild panic that the alarms will go off. Or that I’ve overslept. I’m not setting an alarm, I’m relying on every other jerk to wake me up. They’re not jerks, but when it’s 5am and they’re switching lights on 2hours before you plan on getting out of bed, it’s hard not to want to murder them. I’d had a baguette and ingredients for lunch prepared and filled my flask with boiling water so I was all set for the day. I was pumped for a day without having to stop for coffees, lunch or major rest stops. The intention was another full day at a good pace. About 1km into the walk I was feeling soreness in my right foot. I’ve got some blister action still on the left heel and my toes are having arguments over who should get more space in the shoe, but now my legs are getting soreness in places I hadn’t had before. Shins are tight, calves and the top of my right foot. The terrain is still somewhat hilly so the idea of walking 30km days isn’t sounding too achievable at the moment. I must listen to my body and today my body said I should slow down. It was a pretty nice day weatherwise. Sunny but crisp in the morning. I’m powering through the hills on the climbs, I walk pretty fast, but then take my time and chill out with a cup of tea or just to rest. Others consistently keep walking, while some stop for lunches and sightseeing along the route. My goal today was to get to town while the sun was shining and do a load of washing! Way to aim high! So I did, and I got most of my clothes washed and almost all of it dried. I’ll be walking tomorrow with some socks pinned onto my backpack to air out but that’s all part of the journey.

The town I’m staying in tonight is called Estella. A pretty town, shitload of churches as always and nice cobbled streets. Not good for the feet, but good for photographs and beauty. Being a Sunday, there wasn’t a lot open in the way of stores, but a few of us found a nice restaurant to get some pizza for dinner and a bottle of red. I found out today that there was some kind of comedy show going on in the town square last night that we’d stayed in. I was a little upset I missed it. I could have jumped up and done a quick 5! Well, likely not, but it’s always nice to see local fiestas going on instead of being indoors playing cards or in bed at 9pm. I’ve vowed to google events coming up now and see if I can coincide my walk just in case I cross paths with something interesting. There’s already talk of a grape festival in a few days starting, and if we get to walk bare foot on grapes that’d be pretty awesome! Although I’m not sure how the batch of wine would taste after a bunch of sweaty pilgrims who’d just walked 20 odd kilometres put their smelly blistered feet in the grapes. Yuk.

I met a guy on the walk called Jacques today, it is his 69th birthday. He’s from Quebec, Canada. Happy Birthday Jacques. Walk on.

¡Buen Camino!

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