Camino Day 1: Ouch!


A hospitalario from Holland performs surgery on my blisters.

I got maybe 10 minutes of sleep last night and woke up angry and stiff. Then, I noticed I had a bad blister on my toe. This was not a good beginning. When we started making our way uphill onto the actual Camino I immediately regretted agreeing to this. I was hating everything, including myself.  As we walked further I noticed the beauty around me and began to wake up a little. I’d loosened up and started thinking more positively. As we got higher the hills got steeper and the mountains began to open up and the sun shone bright. It got hotter and I started sweating, my breathing became labored. I was miserable but completely motivated at the same time. Then my toe started protesting. I could feel the pressure on the side of my shoe pressing my toe inward. It was killing me. I could also feel another blister forming on the heel of my opposite foot. It was now all I could think about. 
My feet were the only bothering me. I felt my feet dissolve into the fiery, hot burn of the blisters and the suffocating hiking shoes.  I guess I’m a flip-flop/barefoot kinda girl. When we finally reached Orisson, I realized I was done and could not go any further. 
I hurried to the shade, sat down at a table perched on the edge of the mountain, kicked off my shoes, tore off my socks and propped my feet up. After 5 minutes of recovery and self pity I began to feel the mountain breeze and the sun shining on my face. I was comfortable. 
I then enjoyed the best pastry I’ve ever had in my life and freshly squeezed orange juice that was to die for. We eventually realized that we would need to take a taxi to our destination for the day, Roncesvalles, Spain. First I felt guilty, for forcing Dad to pay for a taxi and miss out on the adventure. Then I felt embarrassed, knowing that fellow pilgrims would see me giving up and getting into a taxi. They were probably laughing at me. But during the taxi ride I realized that it’s an individual journey and it’s not that I gave up, I was just injured! Dad told me to listen to my body and pay attention to pain. My feet were telling me “girl, you need to chill”, so I smiled as I enjoyed the the Pyrnees from the window of the taxi and I once again began to relax. I even got a few minutes of sleep! 
Now, I am happy to be in Roncesvalles, a beautiful little place to kick back and give my feet a rest!

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