Tomorrow we ride! Well, really, I’ll just be walking. After much consideration and consultation with my better half, and the purchase of a small day pack, I will be shipping Henrietta (my big pack) for a few days to give my knee a further break, and will be setting off again tomorrow morning.
In just a few days time, I’ve gone from barely able to put weight on it, to walking normally with the assistance of a brace from a local farmacia and daily sessions including all mother’s ice pack hack, the bag of frozen peas from the local Eroski. Life is good.
Slow and steady wins the race. I just need to build up the muscles to protect my knee on the downhills. A local guy suggested pole adjustments when I encounter a steep decent. I think I will make it if I am smart. Jeff has offered to drive from home and bring me anything I might need. Especially as I get closer to Burgos and Leon. They’re only a few hours from Palas.
Its funny that I have never had knee problems before. So it’s a whole new world for me, hearing from people plagued with them. I never understood those who said that downhill was more painful than uphill. But now I do.
Oh well. I have more time to enjoy the off stage obscure Albergue, small church or hermitage, and random rarely visited shrine. With shorter days walking, I can write. And there is always español.
I met a group who only spoke Spanish. The older gentleman had a few words of ingles. We talked a bit. He laughed.
‘I am very sure you will be fluent by Santiago.’ He assured me. The others nodded. ‘You have a very good accent.’
Just the kind of encouragement I needed. My verb conjugation is kind of starting to gel. One of our Belgian peregrinas at the Happy Camper told me it would happen. That the linguistic fog would lift. And patterns would emerge.
Perhaps this is all happening perfectly. I’ve said all along that I wanted to take it easy. But my actions were not speaking as loud as my words. Now they are aligned. Out of necessity. I hear you, universe!
Luckily there are unlimited supplies of frozen peas between here and home. And speaking of home, it does feel strange that my goal is to walk home. Sure, Santiago is just another three days hence. Jeff will join me to finish. But the enticement of home is a powerful motivator.
For most of my adult life I have been a bit of a nomad. I’ve lived in studio apartments and big houses. In cities near and far. But they were just buildings, and I have never felt like they represented ‘home’. This house in Palas is the first time. It’s not fancy or grand. It’s got it’s quirks. And that suits me. So this time, as I walk I will do so with a new motivation. I’m just walking home. It may take awhile, but I’ll get there. Because, as Dorothy told us all as she clicked her ruby slippers together in The Wizard of Oz – There really is no place like home.