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Day 20 PS

  • WordPress cut me off – 
  • We arrived at a wonderful albergue – San Franciso de Asis – Mary, Sofie and I are in a room with 2 bunk beds all by ourselves with a private bath – free washers and dryers – good WIFI -we are feel like tourists tonight, not pilgrims. Tomorrow I am taking a rest day – the three of us will check into a hostel tomorrow that has a bathtub. If I don’t get too lazy I will hit the trail by myself on Thursday. Our team is spitting up – we are on different time schedules.

Day 20 El Burgo Ranero to Leon

May 3, 2016 Tuesday

Started at 6:45 a.m. Arrived at Leon #t 2:30

Walked 8.1 miles El Burgo to Reliegos

Took a taxi from Reliegos to Mansillas de las Mulas 3.9 miles

Took a bus from Mansillas de las Mulas to Leon 11.2 miles 

Today started with such promise and beauty but it was one of the most challenging days – physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Sunrise behind me – I am walking west

Notice the little sliceofmoon above the tree


Mary, Sophie and I had made the decision to walk to Mansillas de las Mulas with our back packs (remember Mary and I had been transporting our backpacks) and then take a bus to Leon.  We had been told by other pilgrims and even the guide book mentioned this as a good choice because of the hazards of walking into the busy city.  We have reservations for Wed night sharing a ripple room in a hostel with a private bathroom and a bath tub.. We made a deal to stay together because of the logistics of finding the bus station etc.  I was a little uneasy about this  arrangement – we have different speeds and my backpack’s weight is difficult for my ankle.  I was thinking the train might be a better idea, but did not take action and do it.

Wildflowers at daybreak

Wildflowers at daybreak

Wildflowers at daybreak


Our agreement to stick together lasted about 10 minutes.. Mary and Sophie could no more keep my pace than I could keep theirs.  The next 8 miles with a 22 lb pack and a sore ankle were indeed difficult.The extra 22 lbs reminded me of what it is like for our bodies to carry extra weight. I felt pain in places I have ever felt before. Why I didn’t feel these on the first 6 days of the Camino when I was carrying my pack every day, I don’t know, but I was miserable. How could I go from such a high and contentment of yesterday to such despair today?

My open sore from yesterday opened up and I was trying to stop the bleeding, trying to create a tourniquet with my hankie with one hand.

Picture looks worse than it really is


It was the longest eight miles I had walked: painful and stumbling and staggering. And it looked like this:

“The long and winding road” – well, not winding but long


You don’t want to know what went through my mind on those eight miles in four hours. Mind over matter. . . Prayer . . . Distractions . . .  I made a decision that today’s walk was not good for me and I would try to take a bus at the next town regardless of what the others wanted to do.

I literally staggered and limped into the first cafe I came to in Reliegos and asked in very broken Spanish where the bus stop was. No bus stop, but a taxi to Mansillas de las Mulas was only 6E.   The man behind the counter offered to call for me.

Pilgrims at the cafe/bar where I waited 10min for a taxi – laterI saw these same guys in Leon asking someone whee the cannibus club was

Waiting for the taxi

  
bu/again. 

Happy campers Mary and Sofie on the bus


Happy Camper Geri – note tourniquet (green hankie) and white glove on left hand

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Come back soon.  I plan to post my photography on these pages.  In the meantime, you can email me at cardsbygeri@yahoo.com