Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Travel

On the Camino de Santiago, Day 8: A matter of perspective (or 'All I had to do was sell the goat!')

Day 8: Torres del Rio to Logroño – 20 km – 6.75 hours (Total for Days 1-8 = 162 km [101 miles])

My body failed me today.

I have a history of knee problems and have felt them a little bit this past week, but it wasn't until yesterday that I had any real concern. In preparation for today's expected 30+ km walk, I made sure to stretch and relax last night.

It was the perfect day for walking. The high was 25 (77 Fahrenheit) with clouds and a constant, cool breeze - a much needed break from the unbearable heat we've been experiencing. I turned my alarm off at 5:45 and got moving. My goal was to pass Logroño, the next "stage" end where most people stop for the night, and head straight for Navarrete, another 12.7 km beyond.

Within the first couple kilometers, I knew I was in for a long day. By the time I reached Viana, 11.6 km from my start, I was starting to lose it. I started mentally pumping myself up for the next leg as I waited for my mid-morning café con leche and croissant. I took one sip and spilled the cup all over the counter. The bartender immediately helped me clean it up and made me another. I enjoyed a few sips of the warm, sweet coffee and spilled the cup, again. Embarrassed and unsure of why the sudden loss in motor control, I cleaned up, gathered my things and got the hell out of Viana.

Just before entering Logroño, I stopped for lunch. I told myself that I just needed food and, once I met that need, I would be ready to carry on. I sat there for an hour, much longer than my normal break, weighing my motives for wanting to push forward versus the messages I was getting from my body.

The weather was perfect. Why waste such a perfect day? Who knows when I'll get another?

Tomorrow's "stage" is so long, why not break it up a bit?

I only have 33 days. What if I don't have enough time to walk it all?

It's early in the day. I have plenty of time. I'm stronger than this.

My thoughts were filled with self-judgement and mistrust - in myself, in the Camino and in a longheld belief of mine that things will always work out the way they are meant to.

Eventually, I gave in to what my body needed, what it had been begging me for, and resigned myself to stopping in Logroño for the day. I walked through the park just before crossing the río Ebro feeling disappointed in myself and upset that I wasn't able to shake that disappointment.

As I crossed the Puente de Piedra, I saw three bright, sunny familiar faces - just what I needed in that moment. Anne, a fellow peregrino from Ireland, and two of her four beautiful daughters had bused in from Los Arcos honoring their own ailments. After a hug and brief chat - an immediate spirit booster - I continued into town, found a bed, dropped my bag on the floor and slept. Hard. For three hours.

I woke up in a much better place. Everything I needed was right there in front of me.

Anne and her family were ending their Camino in Logroño and passed on a knee brace they no longer needed.

Pat, Pamela and Leurys, friends I had met in Orisson on day one, were staying at the same albergue. Pat and I sat and had a long talk about the past week and the days to come, while Pamela and Leurys rested. Afterward, the four of us went for a short walk and shared a delicious dinner and a bottle of La Riojo wine. This would be our last night together. Pat and Leurys had come to the decision to end their Camino in Logroño too.

I crawled back in the bunk and closed my eyes feeling much better about the day. All I had to do was sell the goat!

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Sunrise in Armañanzas

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Sunrise in Armañanzas

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

In Viana. This is the first time I've seen an industrial smokestack on the Camino.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Before the spills

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

The first person I've seen working in the dozens of vineyards I've passed.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

The longest lunch

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

The longest nap

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Pat and I at dinner.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Pamela (Canada), Pat (USA) and me. [Photo taken by Nerea (Spain)]

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Anne (Ireland)

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

Anne's family

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

My Camino passport after 8 days

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi – Special to the Times

The stamp for Hostel Entresuenos in Logrono, where I spent the night.

Kelly Osborne-Rozgonyi, 29, of St. Petersburg, FL., is a teacher at Country Day School in Largo, FL. She is currently in Europe walking the 500-mile Camino De Santiago. She is sending the Times a daily blog post about her solo journey, which is expected to last 33 days. You can e-mail Kelly at [email protected], though you might not hear back until after she returns.

Read the post for Day 9 of Kelly's Camino.

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