I am writing this afternoon from an albergue in Liendo, Spain. This albergue or hostel is run by the local parish, so I’ve heard the bells tolling a couple of times since we arrived around 3:35 PM. Albergues can also be run by private individuals or non profits, including the municipality. Pilgrims bring a lot of money into the community on a daily basis, especially during the high season. Some communities love pilgrims more than others. Liendo welcomed us with a big sign as we left the trail and entered their pueblo. Bienvenidos Peregrinos!
I’m writing from a room in the albergue, one of two, that will sleep a total of 16 tonight. We are full! There is one shower and two toilets and a kitchen. Laundry machine is sometimes provided (usually no dryer). We try to wash our clothes about everyday, but in our nifty portable washer. (Will post photo later). You can imagine how stinky clothes get after a day of hiking.
The road today was a long one for me. We hiked 15.5 miles, my longest hike with weight (longer than any of our training hikes). This is also our 4th day of walking. We’re feeling the fatigue in our bodies, especially our feet. Mine are aching right now…pulsating like someone has beaten them with sticks all day. Here I am, after my shower (which felt glorious), elevating my feet.
I walked with a small blister today, but we covered it with tape that my friend Lise Sagdahl gave me when we were in Trondheim. It worked great, Lise! My feet thank you! This is the blister without the tape.
As you can see, it’s a small blister, but old timers on the Camino take quick care of any blister, no matter the size. Problems with blisters can escalate quickly and have landed pilgrims in the hospital.
So…how much can my feet handle? How much pain am I willing to endure. So far, I cannot claim a serious injury, just sore feet!
There are others who seem to be able to handle the walking without issues. Many can walk further and faster than we (I should say “me”…Jason has more ability than I do, at the moment) are able. Even a few older folks have passed us on the trail, like Marcella from Oregon. She’s one of the few Americans we’ve met on the Camino. I haven’t asked her age, but I think Marcella is about 65-years-old. She is only carrying around 10 pounds on her back (she’s smarter and wiser to do this!) and she is hiking in thin socks and Keen sandals. She has already accomplished the entire Camino Frances in a previous year. She says she likes to keep her average day trek to between 20 and 25 kilometers. If you forgive my coarse language. Marcella kicks ass!