What an incredible journey. I am moving through layers of exhaustion, and layers of cultural realities. Maui- London- Spain- Camino el Norte’
Our walk began only yesterday and I already have three blisters, Daisy sprained her ankle and both Linden and I have pain that feels like if we are not careful we could get shin splints. I am limping my way down the trail and we have only just begun!
What did this to us? Only 17.6 kilometers. this short distance was absolutely beautiful and had a kind of ruggedness that required concentration as to where to put our feet. We hiked up the side of a mountain- about a steep 3 kilometer climb to ocean views along an amazing Spanish coastline, old towers that date back to the Carlist war, followed by megalithic sites, grazing sheep and a breed of small horse that is built for work. We then walked along a kind of ridge line shelf where on our right side was wild coastline down to the sea and on our left side were towns and industrial activity. From our high mountain perspective everything as far as the eye can see was beautiful. Cloud cover and sun. A gorgeous day for walking.
Daisy, not the same Daisy as last year. Daisy has become a gazelle, leader of the pack setting a very strong pace, happy. I love it when Daisy is happy, she tosses back her long main of hair and laughs loud and hard till her stomach aches. Unfortunately Daisy maneuvered through a series of rocks while negotiating the trail when her foot landed on a pointy rock and Daisy landed with a good size thud and her ankle took a bad twist. Not much we could do. Daisy had her ankle wrap, I had homeopathic Arnica, and Daisy used her hiking poles and walked another 7 kilometers to the next town. We arrived to one of the most amazing villages I had ever encountered called Pasia.
The village of Pasia was carved out of the mountain side, an old Basque and Spanish village positioned inside an inlet from the ocean. A very active fishing culture, yet the place dates back hundreds of years. A tiny inlet that opens to a rather large inlet and at one time was a port for part of the Spanish Armada. I can’t imagine how this small inlet housed so many old ships- but it did. I can only imagine that back in the 1600’s this place was rather seedy bedecked with working men on boats and working women on shore…..
We parked ourselves at the alburgee which is an old church at the top of about five layers of town built into the cliff side which is accessed through steps and paths. A beautiful place. Daisy could finally lay low…. after a really good local fish meal. We ate like kings and queens, but the locals eat this way often…..this was our day one.
Alan developed A big fat blister on his front toe. I popped drained and threaded the blister. For those of you who do not know what threading a blister is it is just that. Threading a blister. Blisters tend to refill and with an epic back pack journey like ours we have to be careful with blisters because several things can happen. Blisters if they refill can grow bigger under the skin. I have seen a blister go from the size of an eraser head on a pencil to about the size of three quarters. Big nasty thing. Blisters can also if under pressure go deeper. I have seen and popped blisters up to three layers deep. Meaning one blister on top of another blister on top of another blister which means that it is very difficult to drain the lower blisters and so they are growing due to being under pressure and they are in much deeper softer tissues and that means pain. Lots of pain, and longer to heal. What does threading a blister do? It is 24 hour drain service. I will literally pass a double threaded needle through a blister knot on both ends and then fluids move down the threads. I will thread the blister many times to support drainage where needed. Then I will decide to tape the blister – or not depending on the situation.
The good news is Alan’s blister healed up wonderfully. The bad news is I have three blisters. One is right between my big toe and toe next to it. It is surprisingly big and is in a very strange place which means I have to be watchful to support healing. it is threaded in two different ways to support drainage and I use tea tree oil to clean and sterilize the skin and needle because I forgot the goldenseal which I prefer as the golden seal powder will help suck fluid from blisters while preventing infection.
So here I am three blisters and sore shin muscle. I am essentially limping and I am on day two. My mind runs between two spheres of thoughts. One is how did this happen so quickly? And the other part is well I’m getting it all over with at once!