I´ve been back on the walking train now for 11 days and have covered about 400km since the fun and games that were my cellulitis infection. It´s been an eventful week, not least of which has been the reappearance of my ankles. This is seriously exciting stuff my friends, because I hadn´t actually been able to identifuy any ankle bones since I left Canada. I´m telling you, I´ve got the bloody ankles of a supermodel! Things are helped by a pair of neon pink compression socks (affectionately called ´the supermodel socks´, and five, yes count ém five sock changes each day. OCD? Maybe, but if it means that I can walk again then bring it on! Now I just need to curb my insatiable desire to rub my feet at every opportunity. This morning I was sitting at the breakfast bar massaging my toes as the food arrived…had to go wash my hands before tucking in. Also, is it socially unacceptable to leave bits and pieces of your feet everywhere you go? I´m pretty sure that there´s a piece of my pinky toe under the choire seats in the cathedral in Leon…oops, but maybe it will still be sitting there in another 200 years, and then they can call in a pilgrim artifact.
We have stepped things up a notch on the blister front, and have abandoned silly needles and thread, compeeds, and all those small time remedies. I am now the proud owner of my first hypodermic needle. When I´m really nice, and usually if I buy her a cervesa first, Meg will stick my blisters with the needle (clean of course), suck out all of the water, and then inject the little bugger with iodine. Not for the faint of heart, because it stings like you can´t imagine, but effective when you need to walk 30k the next day. Besides, it gives you Camino street cred.
Am I obessed with my feet? Maybe, but you know what I´m really obsessed with? Getting a good night´s sleep. As a Canadian, I enjoy a nice crisp room with plenty of fresh air, and perhaps the sound of crickets or even a loon outside my window. What I don´t enjoy, is a particular brigade of Italian cyclists who seem to stop at each and every albergue as us, and seem to think that it´s more important to check their mobile phones than it is to bathe. I beg to differ. The night before last, I got into a bit of a standoff with one such Italian, as he parked himself next to the one and only window in our room of 25 bunks. Picture 25 bunks full of tired sweaty pilgrims, half of which are middle aged and snoring in orchestrated concert. I awoke because I was covered in sweat and couldn´t breath…but more accurately, I was covered in the condensation of other people´s halitosis. It seems that during the night, my favourite Italian had closed the window so that he could sleep freely in his tightie-whities without being hindered by a blanket. May Saint Jammy send him a piegon to shit on him in the morning.