Another non sailing post, but I promise that this one will be hilarious. It´s been a few days since I could access a computer so there´s a lot to update!
Meg and I managed a solid 130 km of fun, catching up, making new friends, and ending our days with bocadillos and glasses of Rioja in the first five days of our trek. The one thing plaguing me this entire time though, has been the blisters. Oh the blisters. Bought a second pair of shoes which was great at first, but then got more in new spots. After a particularly gruelling 30km day, one of the albergues had a foot doctor to attend the pilgrims. Yess! Now was my chance.
I couldn´t even recognize the doctor at first, because I thought he was a gypsy. Dark ponytail, requisite designer jeans, and chain smoking out on the terrace. As I hobbled up, though, he made himself known. ¨Here, what is this?¨he asked as he helped himself to the armageddon that was my swollen feet, which were by now alternately oozing blood and yellow puss. It was official, my feet were now akin to Mordor, and were suffering from bug bites, blisters, a sun rash which looked like the melted cheese that´s on day old pizza with bits of rice stuck in it, and worst of all, very very swollen. While I thought that I was just being a wimp, and that it was normal not to have ankles on long treks in 35 degrees, my doctor informed me ¨no…this not norrrrmal. Your feet is infected and you must get antibiotics. You cannot walk until you are healed¨ With that he doused my feet in idodine which sent shreiks of pain and rivulets of pilgrim tears streaming down my face as other pilgrims in the queue gasped and…took pictures?! Once I gathered my dignity a bit, he warmed up to me and I cracked a joke by asking him to marry me. In typical Spanish form, he took a drag on his cigarette, thought a minute and said, ¨Yes, we can get marrried, but first you need better shoes¨
After all was taken care of, he gave Meg and I the following instructions: We were go hobble into the nearest farmacia when no one else was inside, looking as crippled as possible, (not hard really) and cry. Cry until the farmacist gave us antibiotics. Cry and cry and make a scene until they filled out prescription. Three days later and success! I´m ready to walk tomorrow and get back on the trail.
Irony though…is that on my rest day here in Bourgos, I checked myself into a hotel so that I could elevate my feet in peace. When I woke up my ankles had gloriously reappeared, but the nice fresh linen on my bed had betrayed me by unleashing an army of bedbugs on my arms in the middle of the night. Just my arms. After a few minutes of profuse swearing and hurling sheets around, I checked my pack, checked my clothes, checked my hair, and seem to be fine. Conclussion…Saint James clearly has some special test for this pilgrim. Wonder what´s next? Last night there was a thunder storm and I was pretty sure that he was going to facilitate me getting struck by lightning. But there´s another 500km to go for St. Jammy, as we´ve nicknamed him, to continue flinging monkey shit at my head. We´ll see what else he brings us.