Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blisters and Success

When I first started thinking about walking El Camino , I started looking into equipment and ways to treat issues that might arise.  All along I understood that my pre-occupation was really about trying to gain some control over a situation that basically was out of my control.  I knew things would happen that we're not anticipated - that is part of the gravel adventure.

Still, I went through eight different boots before I realized that "you go with what you got!"  And after two months of walking around Charlotte in my nifty backpack (which always seemed to be askew), I sort of humbly (after re all I am an old man who does not k ow much about Backpacks) went back to REI to see if they could help me adjust it.  They took one look and pointed out that it was a size large, and I need a size small!  It only took two tries to get what they think is perfect.

And, in many ways It is. What I like about today's backpacks is that the weight rests on your hips rather than your shoulders.  Neat, eh?  Well for old men who have little butt left and not large hips (in spite of my belly) I have realized my pack cannot get tight enough so it does not rest on my shoulders. I've learned to accommodate that.

And my boots.  Today my feet have a few blisters, and when I googled blister treatment, I was not surprised that there is no perfect or evn agreed upon strategy.  Pop or not to pop?  Band aids or leave out to air?  Like so many things in life, there is no clear path.  So, I've done my best.

I walked into Astorga really tired and went straight to the first hotel - it was some kind of spa.  I was determined to sleep in my wn room and have my own bathroom.  The desk clerk took one look at me and suggested I go to a cheaper hotel.  She acted like she was helping me out, but I think I was far too grubby to stay there.

So I have a nice room and soon will be off to sleep.  But I am writing this seated on the bidet since the .ights in the room are so dim!

But, you know what?  I'm so happy to be here, back on my Camino!  And I'm looking forward to walking up the mountain and then down the other side the next day.  It will be challenging, but I am confident. I can do it, even with my backpack resting on my aching shoulders and my left foot taped in various ways.  If I pushed it, I could be in Santiago in 10 days.  Maybe that will happen.  Or maybe I will go slow and just enjoy the scenery.  However it is, I will be happy walking on the Camino.

Buen Camino to all!

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