Day 8 Blood in the Boots

Day 8

June 6, 2019

Yup…. not the best day yesterday for my dogs. My PF is a bit of a constant companion at this point, but the back of my right heel was under attack. I was feeling quite a bit of pain, although I hadn’t really walked very far at all. (you may remember I decided to hop in a cab to try and prevent injury)

Yesterday night in Porrino I investigated the inside of the boot….and sure enough it was a bit of a mess. My expensive Salomon hiking boots developed a ridge inside the back of the heel which immediately dug a hole in my body…..and some of the contents of my body leaked out. (Created enough of the mental image I am sure)

after so many kilometers of walking to have a boot do this is a bit irritating. I can deal with it….but sort of maddening at the same time. A quick trip to a pharmacia and I have the cloth tape required to protect my heal…..

It is worth remembering all the blisters I’ve seen on so many feet…..this is so minor, and easy to protect. I suspect most people will experience this injury from new shoes. 

Last night after having a shower I decided to visit a Vodafone shop to find out why I was unable to use my phone. This, as it turns out was the direct result of the plan I was sold. The package I bought allowed for a maximum talk time of 15 minute with a 5 Gig data limit…… so, the fellow in the Vodafone store sold me a better package including 15 gig of data and 90 minutes of talk time….unlimited incoming just in case you are interested.

Finally I decided to grab a baguette, some blue cheese, and a nice red wine…..and call it dinner.

This turns out to have been the right choice. I was joined after a while by Miriam from German, a very pleasant young woman and we chatted for a couple of hours until the sun started to set.

Time for bed…..and it wasn’t soon enough.

When I woke, my plan was to get out of town as soon as possible as the forecast was for rain to begin around noon, and there is a large mountain dead in the way of the Camino. Awfully inconvenient actually. Any time there is a lung burner and it is combined with rain….it is bound to be a challenge. As it turned out the real rain would hold off, but there was a constant drizzle all morning, verging on rain from time to time. 

At first I protected my wound with tape, gauze and carefully putting on my socks. Once this was completed I packed and “got out of Dodge”.

Starting before 7:30am the climb up was almost all asphalt and cobblestones with a couple of crushed stone paths. Of course when you think you are at the top….a corner reviews a steeper portion to come. Best not to think you’re at the top and before you know it….you are. 

I was also surprised to learn Freddie Mercury was performing in the As Baloutas Fest in this area soon. I don’t read Spanish fluently…but I could easily understand….so I am planning to buy two tickets as soon as possible. Wait a minute….this show was held on the 10th of May…….

If you’ve followed my Camino’s before you will know the decent is decidedly more difficult….and I want to give John Brierley credit, where credit is due. (John Brierley writes the most widely used English book on the Camino) John says when you reach the top the decent is really, really steep…..I add to his description…treacherous, especially when wet.

This was nuts!

The path was on asphalt so my poles couldn’t get a real grip, and I was reduced to turning sideways bringing my back foot beside my front, then moving my front foot ahead by less than a foot. Repeat for about 20 minutes, making almost no progress, then you look behind you and you see the next pilgrim’s boots beside your ear……OK, this may be a bit of an exaggeration…..  If I didn’t feel my life would have been endangered a picture would have snapped a shot mid way. Self preservation won out…’s the view from the top. Interesting the road builders stepped the road. This way falling pilgrims would only roll into a ball and travel down only 100’ of hill at a time……..

Finally made it to Rendonela….. hade a quick bite to eat and checked in. It was a great day after all. At theplace I stayed, called Albergue de Herba, it turns out some more really interesting people are here as well.

Gilleam from Scotland

Michelle and Yani fro Germany (daughter and Mother team)

Young Mi from South Korea

Anika from Germany

Mary-Jane from Porto, Portugal 

Palm from Taiwan….. just to name a few.

Michell asked if I would play the ukulele for her….so I obliged. Gilleam announced a “Ham” was in the house….. she was right. I played 4 songs, and then everyone wanted to sign the uke….. good for me.

A little later Young Mi made everyone a salad and Korean egg omelette……amazing! 

Again a magical moment shared between people with no more a connection than arriving at the same place and spending a night.

I wanted to buy a box of this stuff…..but don’t have a use for it, I don’t think.

And now for something completely different…….

I was not sure I wanted to tell this story, but now I have had a change of heart….especially after having been encouraged by others. Here’s the shortened version.

On the way to Casa de Fernanda I ran into two ladies, Patti from Oshawa and Dianna from Germany. Our walking pace was very similar and as it turned out Patti and I had reservations at Casa de Fernanda. 

We had been walking for about 20 minutes when we came to a walled house (compound) with a beautiful door opened by a crack….Patti wanted to know if it was a restaurant or an Albergue…. so I was elected to open the door and look in. It turns out this was a private residence.

As I closed the door the three of us could clearly hear the sound of a woman…..let’s just say in rapturous passion… really, really deeply into this.

The three of us looked at each other and we smiled, some saying “Where is she? That’s quite unusual isn’t it. Should we actually be listening to this?” Funny part is we were all trying to figure this out where the sound was coming from. It sounded quite close……walking back along the wall, then listening at a drain pipe….this sound was seeming to come from everywhere….

I decided to walk further up the road….the sound was just as strong there….crazy. Dianna said…”.it’s stopped”. I looked back, then realized it was coming from me! I am constantly taking pictures and my phone is the source of the sounds……

The phone had automatically loaded a pop-up ad for a male enhancement supplement….. the source of the sound we were hearing.

Since arriving in Portugal my phone was receiving pop-ups…..but at this particular time  the audio was quite the entertainment. I hadn’t paid any attention to this minor inconvenience until now…..

I accepted the mild ribbing I received…..and we all laughed, and laughed, and laughed…..

A unique time on the Camino Portuguese……..