Day 11: Pain

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep...and miles to go before I sleep.
— Robert Frost

July 10, 2015
Viana - Navarette
Worst part of the day: Walking in the horrible heat
Best part of the day: The mini pilgrims’ reunion

Mural in Logroño 

Mural in Logroño 

Today is supposed to be sweltering, and I am not looking forward to it. This time, refusing to be caught in the hottest part of the day, I decide to get as early a start as possible. Setting off downhill from the city, the day begins on a gravel path, and I spend some time walking with Dominic, a pilgrim from Sydney, Australia.

I enjoy a long breakfast in Logroño, where, despite my insistence to avoid the heat, I end up waiting for some friends to catch up with me. 

Leaving Logroño, there is plenty of shade on the otherwise endless, scorching walk through the city park. I dig around to find the third grader in PE class still inside me somewhere, and decide to run through a few of the sprinklers.

Lunch consists of another classic pilgrim picnic - bocadillos with tomato and canned tuna and mussels. I get creative and put together fruit and yogurt cups, using our banana peels as a bowl. Today is David’s mom’s birthday, so he sends a video wishing her happy birthday. We finish lunch, and head through the rest of the lakeside park, where Joanna catches up with us.

Lunch in Grajera Park

Lunch in Grajera Park

The day continues to drag on after lunch, and I find my attitude heading south quickly. I am frustrated that I am lagging behind my friends, and feelings of loneliness begin to creep in. I fall back even further, angry that, after waiting for everyone, I am now walking at exactly the point in the day I wanted to avoid.

Following shadeless, rolling trails - up and down hills, through fields, and then finally up into Navarette, we stumble into the municipal albergue and I all I want to do is drink Gatorade and sleep until morning. I am beat, and feeling the lowest I have felt for the whole Camino so far.  Somehow, I rally, and agree to head to a nearby bar to catch up with some of our other friends.

Little by little, our gathering turns into a mini pilgrim reunion. As we sit down at Bar Deportivo to enjoy dinner, our table grows - the Irish arrive, and Penny and Andrew, with Cas (a Canadian teenager walking on his own who had passed us earlier that afternoon), as well as Edith, Helga, and some others. Dinner is just like my host mom in Madrid, Concha, used to make - watermelon gaspacho, fish and stuffed peppers, and my favorite dessert: arroz con leche.

The pain of the day is forgotten, and we stay up until the 10:00 albergue curfew, enjoying food, and wine and each other’s company.

What energizes you?

What helps bring you up when you think you’ve sunk to your lowest?


Katy ZweifelComment