Sunday, September 4, 2022

The long way home

 It felt very weird this morning to not get up and get ready to walk. Did I miss it? I have to confess that I did NOT. Isn't that terrible? NO -- it's not. It means that I made the right decision. I could barely face putting  my shoes on and leave the albergue!!!

I also had a small nap after everyone left. But when I went downstairs to leave, I see that someone helped themselves to my walking stick!!! I guess he (and I think it was the fellow in the room beside me) thought he was the last to leave and someone left their stick, so he helped himself to it. Of couse, I'm miffed, but it's all part of the adventure. so be it --- lt's move on 

Worse things have happened. 

Then I went to the outdoor cafe that is close to the albergue. I ran into the fellow from Toronto so we had another conversation. He is definitely NOT on the trip of his dreams and he needs to make some changes. I told him that  - whether he does or not  - well that's his choice. 

It was cool sitting there with the other pilgrims who were getting ready to leave. Then I met two people who were also on the injured list. Both of them had friends who were walking ahead and they were taking the bus to the next city. One person was from Las Vegas and the other from Isreal. I did not spell that correctly!!!! My brain is fried. 

So we sat in the outdoor cafe and ate salad, drank coke and swapped stories. It was a great way to pass the morning. And around noon, the pilgrims starting coming in. So we got to meet new people. They left to catch the bus and I thought I had better get mysel organized for tonight. 

You cannot book two nights in a row -- well, you can, but you have to check out and check back in. I also decided I needed to get some cash as I was down to nothing and lots of the albergues want cash. Thank god I did that!!

I slowly traveled across the bridge to get money and I thought I would splurge on a hotel tonight. HA!!!  I went back to the same albergue - it was 2 PM. FULL. I went to a hotel -- FULL. NO --- do you know how much it hurts to walk? OK -- I walked to the next albergue and thankfully they had room. But they wanted cash. So I had cash. I'm golden!!!!

No bunkbeds in the room, but I chose the only bed without an electrical outlet. Of course!!!  It's surprising the number of people who are forwarding their bags or taking taxis or bus. Why bother??  

Anyway --- why am I still here in Najera??? Because there is NO bus to Madrid today. The Spanish live a very casual life!!!  I think I bought a ticket to Madrid for tomorrow morning. Then to find my way from the bus station to the airport and then to get a ticket home. Oh the fun and games and I don't think there is a direct flight from Madrid to Toronto. I may be home in a weekd!!!!

All kidding aside, I strongly believe I made the right decision. While I was prepared and I got an A+ on my backpack and packing, I failed F on my shoes and socks. I'm not ready to put my heart and soul in this trip, so why "waste" further time, money and my health? I've come to terms with it. 

But I want to say that I've been overwhelmed by the suppory of everyone in my decision. Thank you so much -- it really means a lot to me. 

Now that I"m not walking, I dont think I should be eating all those pastries, but a couple of German ladies just ate some delicious looking pastries. thank goodness, I would have to walk to get some and I don't want to walk!!!!

Have a super day. I'm not sure I'll be able to blog tomorrow -- it depends on what happens at the airport. So do NOT be alarmed if you don't see anything from me. 



  1. Congratulations on getting ready for the trip you are a packing genius. The initial days of the hike were awesome. The decision to stop and take of yourself was a difficult but extremely wise decision. Life will sort itself out and then you will be off on your next adventure. Congrats. Jackie

    1. Thanks Jackie. Yep ups and downs. But all is good

  2. I'm sorry you have had to change your original plans but am impressed you completed your first week despite foot pain.
    When I used to hike, I wore 2 pairs of socks: A thin cotton pair under a heavier pair, generally wool. I sometimes had hot spots but no blisters.
    My biggest mistake was swapping out my boots' original insoles for a new pair but not keeping the originals with me...I was hobbling in 2 days and ended up losing a toenail a few month later.

    1. It is such a learning experience and very humbling

  3. Safe journey home, my friend! Come visit and we can have a cerveza together 😊

  4. I completely support your very smart decision. I recently hiked through pain for day after day, luckily without long term damage. It took me weeks to recover. I hope some healing takes place on your journey home. Safe travels.