05.06.2011 - 05.06.2011
It's a bright sunny day and two speedy Norwegian ladies zip past me sporting red hair and hot pink t-shirts. Fresh Camino-meat, I think – there is no way they have been walking for 10 days. I stop to talk to them in the next town, and sure enough today is their first day. They're doing five days in total, then flying back to Norway, and they have been doing the Camino in stages for the last two years. I see lots of little brown mice on the path today, or “raton” as a Spanish man tells me. He later helps me pierce a blister, telling me he's a surgeon – only to clarify afterwards that he's a veterinary surgeon.
And now I'm sitting in Castrojeriz in a bath of sunshine with little birds (irondelles in French) swooping and chirping all around me. The music collecting around the bar must be from a western; a 1930's Sinatra-type voice gently sings to Spanish guitar and I could be somewhere else... I am somewhere else, somewhere that just is Else. My blister is still... a blister, and to give you some incredibly exciting news my right foot (currently under una bolsa con hielo – bag of ice) has swollen in the middle to the size of a soft-ball. A voice echoes in my head; “you've got to learn to listen to your body, it's part of the Camino.” Hmm, I think I'm not doing such a good job of this. I still walked 28km today. But I do get the feeling I'm going to have to stop and rest at some point. We started the Meseta today, dropping in over little Spanish hills to the charming town of Hontanas for one last pineapple juice before the days and days of shadeless flatlands that follow. I feel fantastic, “hereuse” as Jacques would say. “It's impossible to walk the whole day and not feel happy afterwards.”