There are no photo opportunities on this internet device that I´ve rented for a while. Otherwise I´d totally take a picture of my left foot. Instead, I´ll just let you know the following information:

  • I left Pamplona at 8:10am. I got to Puerta de la Reina at 3pm. I stopped for about an hour along the way, maybe a bit less. I covered 24.5 km.
  • That´s about 4 kms an hour, which I will consider to be a total win considering my training speed without a pack was 5km an hour and about 75% of today was going up or down a giant fucking hill.
  • You know what´s awful? going down a muddy hill with loose stones all over the place.
  • You know what´s really not so fun? Realizing after about 22kms that you´re probably going to lose a toenail.
  • You know what´s not attractive. A blister the size of the entire ball of your foot. Good news is, I´ve totally had this exact blister before. I know exactly where and how to pop it. 

You know what´s pretty great? People who fill up your water when you run out on the trail. People who squeeze your shoulder when you look like you´re going to die. People who let you draft behind them. People who distract you by introducing themselves and telling you a little story. Also, knowing that every single person has fucked up their feet by day 4 of their trip makes you doing it on day one not that bad. You know what´s the best? A hot shower because you booked it up those hills and got to the hostel early. Also nice? A covered clothes line so you can dry your clothes, even though it´s raining (and sunny at the same time).

I walked over a giant hill (seriously only Gatineau Park style, but still) today that had aweird name, like the Hill of Pardons or something like that, through a lot of fields, past some ruins and wildflowers, ate some lunch that consisted of (I kid you now) two eggs, three skinny chicken breasts, one grilled pepper, french fries and a side of bread. Dudes. Who eats that much? I had an egg, the chicken, and the pepper. That was the best, saltiest chicken I have ever tasted in my entire life. Ever.

I forgot that I don´t want to eat when I hike. It hurts too much. I also forgot what dried copious amounts of sweat feels like. Crusty, all over your face. I forgot to fill up at the drinking fountains (never again).

I´m at the hostel of the reparados (no clue what that means) run by a monastical order. I just drank a full fat coke. My lower bunk mate (5 sets of bunk beds in a room, 10 rooms) is Allen from Scotland. He´s also going through a life crisis. He just volunteered to leave the public service there and his friends also had many of the same reactions as mine did. His wife is waiting for him at home. He´s lovely. Hard to understand, but lovely. I actually met him yesterday in Pamplona when he asked me for directions.

Allen told me that today (his fourth day) is better than his first, when he thought he was going to die, and his second, when he hadn´t had any sleep, and his third. His heels are totally fucked up. His backup shoes gave him a blister. I kind of feel like following Allen until he takes a rest day. His life story and his pasty skin and his bad feet are making me feel a connection.

Also, I met Paul and (I think her name is) Sandy, from Bristol. Absolutely lovely. And then there were the French. Or, as I will henceforth refer to them, the packless fast french. They have their luggage transported to their next destination. Bastards, I said. Bastards. (Silently, cause it´s the same word in English, you know.) One of the dudes is hiking in jeans. I swear, four of them are rocking berets. It´s quite funny.

And, I listened to about half of the Bloggess´ audiobook. She rocks. She will get me through tomorrow´s 22km, along with a very healthy dose of advil. And maybe a few tears.

Speaking of advil, I must be off to find it and my blister poppin´ needle. Good times, kids. Good times.