What a ride or rather- walk.
The Camino Frances is the most popular route of the Camino Santiago de Compostela with almost 40 000 ‘Pilgrims’ having done it in June. I was one of those who started it on 1st July and it is easy to see why it is so popular.
The scenery, the hospitality of the locals and the physical challenge are some of the drawcards.
Today I arrived in Pomplona after having walked almost 70km which in a way doesn’t sound too far but the route was one of the hardest I have done. I walked from a quaint little town at the bottom of France up through the Pyrenees mountains through some heavy mist and fairly cool weather, down the other side with scorching sun to get to Pomplona just in time for the San Fermín running of the bulls festival.
I joined up with two American ladies and shared bunks, stories, meals and miles with the common goal of getting to Santiago. I was grateful to walk with someone the misty day as visibility was very low so was good having someone ‘having my back’.
Our hostels have been warm and homely to comfortable and sterile to pokey and unusual.
My biggest problem so far has been my light sleeping. I am extremely sensitive to noise when my eyes are closed and my long time friend of earplugs has been unable to keep out the long rumble of snoring. I have finally managed to use music in one ear to block out and that has helped a little. But my batteries ran out and my body got very excited when a good song came on and I would start to dance (well my calf jiggled). After a bonus of about 4 hours sleep it seems as if my latest issue is blisters. Deep under the pads of my feet. I think it is from the extreme braking I use when going downhill. Unlike my running blisters, these seem to hurt and my grimace is being mistaken for my friendly smile.
Today I decided to take a day off to give my ‘sole’ a breather. I have booked a massage and intend to explore the beautiful city and absorb the excitement growing in the city for the festival in 2 days time. It does mean that my walking partners change but it will be okay. My body needs the rest and on this pilgrimage stage, my body is in charge.