Nope, that's not a typo. So, I've been going along, blister free, and no real foot issues. Amazing and wonderful. Today, about 1/2 way through the day, I started having shooting pain that started in the heel bone and went up to pretty much my head - uh oh! Each step was so painful at the end, I laid in bed for some time after arriving at albergue (got a bottom bunk - yippee!!) waiting for the pain to subside before doing any ¨chores¨. This isn't good.
Someone recommended heel inserts that have a kind of hole where your heel bone has some room to go. Headed off to the farmacia, and after some charades (how do you say heel or better yet heel bone in Spanish?!?), I left with what I was looking for. Hoping tomorrow will be better.
The albergues are getting filled with more and more pilgrims now, as there are only 3-4 more days to Santiago. There is also a buzz of excitement in the air that you can feel. Lots of folks talking about their first times arriving in Santiago, and so excited to see it again. Others anticipating what they will experience when they arrive there for the first time. I have no preconceived notions of what lies ahead, but am very much looking forward to it, and anticipating what special significance it will hold for me.
I enjoyed dinner with the "pack" I mentioned yesterday, and we had a great walk around Pontevedra after dinner. It is a very large and bustling city. It was actually too much overload after being alone on the Camino for most of each day... yikes!
At dinner, the group spoke about their experience coming up the coastal route from Porto and shared some amazing pictures. While this is not in any guidebook (coming up the ocean side all the way to Redondela), Rolf had a friend who sent him detailed instructions. All along the way, they were the only 5 in the albergues, and were able to all get bottom bunks, go to sleep and awaken when they wanted, etc, etc. - what a treat! They said that they are taking a detour off the main path again tomorrow - following what is called "the spiritual way", which is said to be the route that they took with St. James' remains, and is very secluded and beautiful. They asked me to come along. It will add one day to my journey, but I would enjoy the solitude (oh, and there's a boat ride at the end to bring you back to the main route in Padron, which would be fun!), and this route also counts for the Compestela in Santiago, so I'm in!
So I'm off to find a monastery in the middle of nowhere tomorrow!
Oh, did I mention that today's albergue had a laundry room?! With a full on coin operated washer AND dryer (didn't think they made dryers here, as there are ALWAYS clothes hanging out everywhere). It was 4 euros for each machine, and no one had entire loads, so a mother daughter from Spain and I shared. You can't imagine how good dried laundry feels and smells!!! We all spent time with our faces buried in our laundry before we folded it. What a treat!
Another amazing treat - when we returned from dinner, there was a woman set up doing foot massages!! Oh, yeah, I was in - the wait (there was a long line as you can imagine) was definitely worth it!!! Maybe this will also help my heels! (and she was very impressed that I had no blisters! - well, at least that is what someone translated for me).
Start: Redondela, spain (7:30am)
End: Pontevedra, Spain (2:30pm)*
* would have been more like 1:45, but about a mile before the albergue, Pedro and Americo from Portugal (passed back and forth a few times today on Camino) were having calamari and wine at a cafe on the way, and invited me to stop for a bit as I was walking past. Best calamari I've ever had. And can't tell you what the wine was, as it most often comes in bottles without labels here, but enjoyed a glass, and then I was off again (after taking a picture)... thanks!