“If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
……. Vince Lombardi
Day 5 : Wednesday 10th October 2012
Earlier start to the day at 6am in order to get myself sorted out. It’s taking me almost an hour to have a quick wash, tend to my blisters, “plaster” them, massage my calfs with that magical cream Voltarol, rub my feet with Vaseline (it works!) strap my knees with “rodilleras” and then get changed. I must admit the worst bit, other than checking and rechecking, is putting the boots back on early in the morning. It’s absolute murder as I try to wriggle my toes into them, hoping that socks, boots and toes fit snugly into position.
Given my anticipated earlier start at 7am it was annoying once again to be delayed as I waited for my bill to be processed at this ungodly hour. Perhaps I should have sorted that out the previous night but frankly after having drank a half a bottle of an award winning wine and consumed the fine Galician food, I was in no state to attend to money matters. It was simply time for lights out and a good night sleep!
Unfortunately sleep did not come easy, in fact I slept little, two or three hours the most! Perhaps some apprehension creeping in ; I don’t know but I was not going to let that bother me.
Today’s walk was by far the shortest, approximately 18 km all the way to Rua, but more specifically to O Pino where my next rest place was located. As has been the case over the past few days and contrary to my own instincts I set off at a moderate to fast pace ignoring the slight pain I was feeling in my toes. I knew that after a while I would grow accustomed to it so there was no point in slowing down.
Due to the delay I set off at about 7.40am. It was still very dark and with only my lamp to guide me I strode off into the woods! After a while and at a distance, I could already make out the silhouette of Ricardo and his dog, who I later accompanied for a couple of Kms. Prior to that and for almost 6km I walked alongside a spritely old lady who kept on walking relentlessly without uttering a single word the whole time. That was fine by me because at that pace I couldn’t possibly have engaged in any conversation at all.
After this spell of approx 7kms with both Ricardo and “old lady” and a brief “descanso” I set off on my own for the rest of the walk. It was absolute bliss. The weather so far had been kind and the walk across woodland, farms and roadside paths which verged on woods was a joy especially as the terrain was much flatter and the path more “sandy”. This is especially comforting because walking on tarmac or cobbled and stony paths was playing havoc with my feet.
However after a reassuring start my feet began to feel the effects of the wear and tear that all these kms was causing my feet. I have to say that walkers who get no blisters must be the luckiest peregrinos. As for me not only were the blisters coming into play but I was also getting cramps in my right foot. This could well have been caused by my initial pace and so I therefore decided to slow down dramatically and I must have covered very little in the last hour. Having to go slower should have been my cue to take in the surroundings but the pain was becoming more excruciating to the point that I had to stretch and curl my toes periodically to ameliorate the discomfort.
As far as the todays scenery, I would venture to admit that it has been the best. I have quite enjoyed walking in the woods. It offers a sense solitude where only nature in its wildest form exists. There are, for example, no interruptions of car noise which in a way sometimes spoils the tranquility that you crave for. Nevertheless today’s trek cut across and seen some fine looking arable lands, corn fields, chestnut tree lined paths, narrow winding country lanes, quaint looking houses , some farms and to my detriment some roads and cobbled paths!
Today’s walk took just over 4hours (4 hours and 15-20 mins) and it was gratifying to find a well placed hotel which came highly recommended.
I had hoped that today’s walk would have been an “easy” one where I could recover a bit but unfortunately it has once again made me rethink tomorrow’s strategy as we make our final push to Santiago in what will be, according to the weather forecast, a very, very wet day!!!