Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Puenta la Reina to Estella

Gosh -- I keep forgetting to bring my guide book so I can spell the names of the towns and rivers correctly. My apologies to everyone for that! 

Oh boy -- the Camino gives and gives! I had dinner last night with someone from the US. At last! But it may have been her last day. She had blisters bad and was going to call it quits but then she had decided to take the bus back to Pamplona today to get a bike and she would ride the rest of the Camino! 

That thought crossed my mind last year, but I wasn't prepared to do that, so I walked for a couple more days and then threw in the towel. I wish her loads of luck! While biking would definitely take less time and hopefully less toll on the body - certainly the feet, some of the terrain is challenging to walk up, never mind going up with a bike. Yep --- we see cyclists every day and for the most part, they follow the same route. 

Plus you would miss loads of things, like the ant trails across the roads! It reminded me of the second Harry Potter book, until I remembered later that those were spiders, not ants! Sigh..........  The brain tends to wander here and I suppose Iˋm up to my old tricks of making things up!

I ate so much last night at dinner that I almost felt sick. Pasta as a starter and then paella and lastly, flan for dessert. But that got used up real quick today. 

I had an amazing sleep as we were only three in the room and no snorers!! We had our own bathroom, so that helped as well. One of the alarms went off at 5:30 so not much sleep after that. The first lady was gone by 6 AM and the second about 20 minutes later. I had nothing to do since I was now wide awake, so I left at 6:40. 

Today was hotter (I think) than other days, but weˋre still lucky to have a fair amount of shade once the sun gets up which is about 9 AM. That could be earlier - I have no idea - I am NOT watching my watch in the least. 

Have you noticed there is more mention of steps or stairs or kms? Yep. Im try to let go of all that. I'll use the numbers in the guidebook for reference when I write up the full story. 

I stopped in the second village for breakfast and saw chocolate milk. Well, a chocolate milk drink, not real chocolate milk. It was so sweet  - it almost killed me! ICK!!! But with a pastry and a banana - I was ready to go. As usual, we had to walk to the very top of the village and as a reward, there was a stamp for our Camino passport and a bathroom. No need to pee in the bush today. 

Even though we are out of the Pyrannees, there are many hills in Spain and I think we climbed almost 500 Meters or something like that. Again -- whereˋs my guide book to help me?

I took so many pictures and itˋs darn hard to share evertything with just a few pictures on Facebook. I hope to write up a real story, with all the pictures when I get home and get a real keyboard, although this little folding one is PERFECT for travel. 

So a km or two after starting, I felt something wrong with my little toe. At first, I thought it was my toe socks not sitting right, but I checked and it was a darn blister. How the heck did I get a blister first thing in the morning. I swear I put cream on my toes, but maybe I went lightly on that toe. Itˋs the one that always gets crushed by the other toes and thereˋs usually a mohawk shaped callous on it. So I drained it and left the thread in, although I see that the thread is now gone. 

Thankfully, itˋs small and Iˋm going to try some hikerˋs wool tomorrow to keep it happy. It doesnˋt hurt to walk, so I have to keep it that way. 

But the Camino provides and itˋs all about keeping humble and I guess I havenˋt been too humble about the blisters so itˋs time to keep quiet and focus on keeping those feet healthy!

I spent the afternoon yesterday sitting on the patio chatting with Sean from Australia as he told stories about his seven Caminos. OK --- seems a bit much to me, but anyway, he recommended this hostel in Estrella which is like pods! Yep - we are in bunk beds with curtains so itˋs totally private which is kind of cool. So I took a chance that I would get a bed and not ony did I but for 2 EURO more, I could have a bottom bunk (smaller room). Iˋm OK with that. So it should be interesting! And hopefully very quiet. 

At one point today, I passed a group of four people who were resting at the edge of town, just before the last push to Estrella. One of them was walking in socks and flipflops. When I arrived in Estrella, they were here, so I suspect they cabbed it! Hey --- you have to do your Camino how you have to! I see oodles of knee braces..

I wandered around to find something to eat and found a place where I ordered a ham sandwich. It looks very muh like a North American sandwich with square bread, not a baguette. Did they feel sorry for me or was that the usual?

Itˋs 4:30 pm and some people have just arrived from the SAME place I started. OK--- I am not a doddler and the more you doddle, the longer the day!!! Yikes --- I could not walk that slow - Iˋd be dead for sure. 

OH-- I wanted to make sure I got the toilet story in here! So my knees are not the best, although they are holding up OK and we just won't mention this trip to any medical personnel. The one thing I was worried about is the toilet situation. In many places especially in the larger alberques, there are NO toilet seats. I guess that solves the issue of seat up or seat down and remember, that you are staying in dorms of men and women. 

And just so you also know, there are no bars on the walls to assist. I think you get the picture where this is going. You must figure out how to get up and down without assistance!! Itˋs tricky, but Iˋm good at it! I must get a picture for my book because it's a good memory for me. I know - lack of toilet sears is big news.

There are so many little anecdotes that I donˋt want to forget them. One is my orange shorts. I brought one pair of pants to travel on the plane and ONE pair of orange shorts which I wear every day. They are fairly loose, but a total godsend in the hot weather. Lots of ventilation and like I said before, pride and modesty are out the window on the Camino. 

So I was intrigued when I spotted a man wearing a kilt. I saw him yesterday and again today. He happens to be staying in the same albergue as me tonight, so while we waited for the place to open, we had a chat. That was Mike. And Mikeˋs wife Linda (I hope that was his wifeˋs name) is a quilter!!! Small world! Hello Linda if you are reading the blog. 

Letˋs say that the kilt idea is very interesting. Itˋs actually made of quick dry material and you can buy at Sport Kilt in the US. Men and women. I might have to investigate that for a future hike. But what I find is that the tighter the pants or the clingier the shorts the hotter you are and you do NOT need to be hot in this country as itˋs already hot. 

For those that are curious about what's under the kilt, I dare not share! 

The bonus is that the pocket on these shorts is PERFECT for my cell phone. It's big and long enough that the phone tucks right in with no danger of slipping out. WOW - I had these shorts last year and not once did I discover that! It allows me easy access to my phone to take pictures of whatever I want and I've been taking loads of pictures, which is why I want to share more of them with you and I will at some point.

The only thing is I must be careful when I put it back in my pocket. It likes to take videos of my pocket. Trying to make sure the phone is off! Not completely off, but closed if you know what I mean. 

It's so fun to see the same things that I saw last year, but in a different light. I'm still calling my feet healthy and it sure makes a difference in how you view the world. I cannot imagine how people stay so cheery with dibilitating illnesses. 

I think that's all the stories for today. I need to get some stretching in and then to check out the route for tomorrow. 

Have a super day!!!!


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