Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Though it not be written down, I am an ass." Or, learning humility the hard way.

Carrion de los Condes to Ledigos, 23.5 km
Ledigos to Sahagun, 16.5 km by foot
Sahagun to Leon, 55 km by train

So, even though I moved everything last night looking for my iPod, when I moved my backpack in order to pack it, there was My iPod underneath.  I'm still not convinced someone didn't abscond with it, then rethink it, but it really isn't that likely.  On the other hand, considering how tired I am by the end of the day, it is more likely that I just somehow dropped it and missed it in the middle of the night last night. Even so, I probably shouldn't have voiced that above doubt aloud... As I was walking a little later this morning, I realized how incredibly jerk-like it is to voice suspicions of your fellow travelers, as well as to suspect them to begin with until you have proof of such underhandedness.  I did relearn the lesson to keep my valuables with me at all times, though, so the experience isn't totally wasted.

One of the many pieces of public art on the camino.  This is in the first square as you come into Carrion de los Condes.

But, in case I was going to forget this lesson in humility, God seems to have felt that I needed a further lesson.  So, about 2/3 of the way to Ledigos (side note: I keep wanting to call it Legolas), I had to change the bandages on my blisters.  I found a nice shady spot, plopped down my backpack, and then thought, "That should make a good seat while I am changing my bandage." 

The fated piece of shade...

Unless you are unaware of this, a filled backpack, while cushy, is altogether unstable.  As I was taking off my first sock, the backpack started to roll, and because I was only balanced on one leg, I went with it.  The next thing I know, I am laying face up in the ditch beside said shady spot, thankful that the ditch wasn't full of water--we had passed several filled irrigation ditches earlier in the day.  A trio from New Zealand saw me as I was struggling my way back up to the trail (all the while getting stickers in the foot without the shoe on).  As they walked by, they asked me if I was hurt...my response was: "Just my pride."  The rest of the bandage change was without event. Later when I saw them in the Albergue, the gentleman of the group told me that I looked like I had been playing in the dirt.  I started to explain, then recognized him--I couldn't help grinning in chagrin.

Me in front of a huge stack of hay bales, not long after the spill.  This part of Spain is called the Mesita, in part because it is pretty flat, and in part because it seems to be the bread-basket of Spain.  I have been walking by harvested wheat fields, or Sunflower fields about ready for harvest since Burgos (plus one small stretch of alfalfa).

On the way here, I stopped at a church from the 12th century in Calzadilla de la Cueza. Apparently, they have yet to need to change the locks...my hand is in the picture as a size reference.

Today, my lesson in humility has been multiplied, as less than a kilometer into my walk, the back of my left ankle started hurting (both of my ankles hurt/were tight yesterday, but I thought it was just normal tiredness).  At first, I thought it might be a blister, but when I stopped at a picnic area about a km from Moratinos, I realized that it is likely a tendon that is hurting, not my skin.

This is one of the many sunflower fields I have passed (this particular one is between Castrojeriz and Itero de Casillas.  I found it interesting that this lone sunflower was beside the road instead of in the field.

I cried. Knowing that I will be skipping some of the Camino and taking at least one rest day, not to mention a trip to the doctor to make sure I haven't totally trashed my legs, has been a hard pill to swallow.  It hurts my pride that I can't handle as much as I thought I could, and it grates on me mentally that I can't stick with the plan that I made.  

I was hurting so much when I saw this last night that I was jumping for joy in my heart... I couldn't have handled a jump if I tried! Only 1km until I could take my blasted shoes off!!! 

I am beginning to understand people who are leaving their hiking shoes in strategic places on the Camino.  Every day I wonder if I shouldn't have just worn my tennis shoes!

It is just hard to wrap my brain around the idea that I need to listen to my body and let it dictate how much or how little I can do, just as it is hard for me to leave my plans behind.  People keep saying that it is important to do so, but, in my head, I think, "If I do that, I won't get done in time for my flight home."  But, you can't argue with your aches and pains--they don't listen and they ALWAYS win.  Like always, I am learning the hard way because the easy way of taking others' advice didn't sink in.

According to my guide, I had actually only walked 105 km from Burgos to get to this sign, but I liked seeing that my first few days on the trail were adding up.

My picture of the sunrise this morning about the time I started hurting.

My friend Simone from Milan and the little church we stopped at right outside of Sagahun.  This church has been rebuilt 4x.  First as a Mosque, then, as a pilgrim's hospital, then as part of a leper colony.  It has a bell in it where you are supposed to make a wish and ring the bell 3x in order for it to come true.

Going forward, after spending an extra day in Leon, I will probably take the bus or the train to the point where I only have to walk 20 km per day in order to get to Santiago, assuming that the doctor lets me keep walking after a rest day (maybe two if absolutely necessary).  I have read about people who have had to go home because of injury, but I really don't want to if I don't have to.  Pray for me, and please pray that I can get the name of an english speaking doctor!!!

Me, standing on the halfway point on the Camino from Roncesvalles.  It is less than 50 meters from the church in the above picture.

My room in the Hostal Guzman in Leon.  I will have continuous WiFi while I am here, so if you want to/need to reach me, please do so between now and the morning of the 7th. I will be checking email a few times while I am here.