Sunday, June 12, 2011

On the Road Again!

Mileage to date: 

I´ve completely lost track of time, but I think it´s Sunday and Day 13.  Yesterday it was exactly 2 weeks since we left home.  Time has gone by so quickly!

Well, as the title says--we´re on the road again!  Yesterday was my first day to be on the trail after being diagnosed with an injured ankle.  The swelling has gone down just a bit, but the tips of my toes are still numb.  When I stop for an extended time, they begin to burn like they are frost bitten.  We have begun the second phase (of 4) in our journey.  During this time we will experience a lot of flat roads--which is just what the doctor ordered.  Today we experience only the second day of sunshine!  Everyone was laughing at me because I kept saying that I was an Arizona girl and I could die without sunshine! :)

I thought I would do something a little different in this post.  You already know that we are walking and walking, but we are experiencing so much more.  Maybe some random thoughts and experiences might give you a better idea of what´s going on here...

  • I rarely hear English each day--sometimes only from my mom.
  • An Italian man was trying his best to speak English as he told us a story and he said, ¨When I stand up in the morning...¨  We busted out laughing because he meant, ¨When I wake up in the morning..¨ LOL!!
  • I´ve met a wonderful lady named Ingrid.  She is originally from South America, but has lived in Holland for 43 years.  I just chuckle everytime she tries to get up from a chair or bed.  She always, ¨Yoy, yoy, yoy, yoy, yoy!¨  It´s just so funny the way she says it!
  • When we buy a sandwich (i.e. ham & cheese), they always have it already made and sitting on the counter--UNREFRIDGERATED!!  I will buy one, eat half and save the rest for much later.  It doesn´t spoil!  Also, they do not put lettuce or condiments on it--just meat and cheese.
  • I sent home 9lbs of stuff yesterday and probably got rid of 5lbs before that!  My pack is so much lighter.  I no longer have a fleece jacket, sandals or a sleeping bag!
  • I have worn the same clothes (all day and to sleep in) for 3 days in a row!!
  • I have done two things that I swore I would never do on the camino...Shaved my legs and wore socks with sandals while wearing shorts! LOL
  • I am completely comfortable sleeping (in a separate bed) next a complete stranger from a different country! LOL  I am no longer ashamed of how I look in the morning!
  • On the trail, everyone is equal!  It doesn´t matter where you come from or how much money you have--everyone is an instant friend.  The camino has brought us together!  Nobody tells what they do for a living.  Although, I suspect that I have met some every important people :)
  • Yesterday, we met a man from France.  He asked me about my ankle.  He said that he was a medic and if I needed any help, he would be happy to look at it.  He adjusted my tape today and I can tell by his bedside manner and medical vocabulary that he his a Doctor!   
  • When you are walking on the trail, another hiker will never walk by without saying hello and buen camino.
  • We have many meals with others who do not speak the same language, but yet we are able to communicate.
  • It is still light at 10pm.  It looks like it´s more like 6:30pm.

This is a typical day for us...
Wake up around 6am  (in our clothes for the day)
Quickly pack out things and brush our teeth.  Forget the hair and makeup! haha
By this time it is 6:30.
If there is a bar (cafe) open, then we could get a hot chocolate and toast.  If not, we must wait until we arrive in the next town.  This may be 6 or 7 miles away (2 to 2 1/2 hrs).
We walk and walk and walk for a 7 to 10 hours.
When we arrive, we immediately go to the albergue and hope that there is a bed open.
You must remove your boots, show your credentials (passport) and pay.
The Albergue can cost anywhere from 5 - 10 Euros ($7 - $14)
You are shown to your bed--where there are at least 6 other beds and as many as 20 in a room.
We shower right away and take our dirty clothes to the sink where we can wash them by hand.
We hang them out on the line, hoping that they will dry by the next day.
After that, we may find lunch but usually we are too tired and the feet are aching.  We will lie down for 2-3 hours and sleep. 
If I cannot sleep or have extra time, I will locate the computer or write in my journal.
The afternoon is quiet time for the pilgrims. 
By 6pm we are awake and check the laundry.  We also look for a place to eat.  Dinner is served at 7:30, but occasionally we can find something earlier.
We eat, visit with new friends and then return to the albergue for bed.
We are usually in bed by 9pm and it´s lights out at 10.
Then we do it ALL over again in the morning :)

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