Have We Really Walked 100 Miles?

Today we topped 111 miles on our Camino, which is 1 mile more than my trek hiked at Philmont when I was 18 years old. Granted our backpacks were heavier then, but we did our trek in 10 days and Lauren and I are only on day 9 right now.

So I guess the point is that walking isn't all that difficult to do even when you're not in your physical prime. Hell, half the people here are retirees. I'm coming to find out that its really all mental. Out feet hurt so much I just want to sit down and quit just about every day. (Although on the good advice of Nurse Rosey that we met on the trail, I started taking Celebrex once a day, which is a prescription arthritis medicine in the US but only $40 for a 30 day supply over the counter in Spain. It works wonders on knees!) However, where when I was younger I probably would have sat down and quit, or at least started throwing things and yelling in frustration and anger (or maybe getting in a fight with my brother, Jeremy), I apparently have learned some more self control in the last 10 years.

People keep talking about how much you change on the Camino, but I'm not really feeling the magic yet. Although, as clich├ęd as it sounds, if I do see anything now, I see how much easier things are when you just buckle down and keep at the job. I almost imagine that the 60+ year old people may be having an easier go at it than we are, since I'm sure they've learned this lesson long ago.

In other news, we've been seeing some pretty amazing stuff and meeting some great people. I think the best part of the Camino is the loose fellowship along the trail. Its so easy to meet people, and we may walk with them for 2 or 3 days, or see them day after day in the albergues, and then not see them again for days or ever. But they've all been memorable if short friendships that I'm sure we won't soon forget.

We're on into La Rioja, the most famous wine producing region of Spain and its vineyards as far as you can see. We've been sampling their bounty in the form of grapes plucked nervously from the vines and in the wine that is included with the price of every meal. We actually bought a bottle of wine for 1€ and it was pretty decent considering. Tomorrow we will be in Najera for their San Juan Martir y Santa Maria la Real festival, which apparently includes a bull and paella competition. Mmmm...paella.

The walking has been a bit easier going since we're out of the mountains for the most part. We will have a couple big inclines to top yet before we head out on to the meseta in 5 days. All I'm hoping for is dirt trails and no more pavement. I don't think my bruised feet can handle another kilometer of asphalt.


  1. Can't wait to see pictures of those vineyards!

  2. I looked it up... "Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain." So did you get in on the tasting end of the competition? I love to read your comments about your own feelings and conversations with others. Your pilgrimage is a journey of significance and you have had much insight already...keep spirits and feet up when you can! I am happy to hear the Celebrex was available and hope it is helping both of you.