August 13, 2013
I was very apprehensive leaving the albergue this morning. My left leg was really hurting the day before – something I’ve never experienced. Perhaps it was shin splints. I looked at the planned destination for the day. It was Azofra, 14.5 miles away. Luckily there was another large town about 3 miles before it, so I decided to take it slow and re-evaluate when I stopped there for lunch.
I got an early start and and ran into a Spanish guy named Alex who wanted to practice his English. We walked together to the first town which turned out to be 1-1/2 hours away. Alex was an interesting guy and I got to practice my Spanish too. Here’s Alex. After we said goodby he took off jogging back to where I met him.
After that I was on my own for the rest of the day. I took it slowly, especially on the downhills. The temperature was perfect – in the high 70’s – and the terrain was gently rolling. I tried to stop every hour to rest my leg. At lunchtime I rolled into Najera and got a coke and a bag of ice for my leg. I also took more ibuprofen and put some anti-inflam cream on my leg.
The final push into Azofra was 3.6 miles, and I spent the time thinking about my sister Mary who would have 53 today. After struggling with addiction to prescription pain pills for many years, Mary died of an accidental drug overdose five years ago. Like many families, my family has been affected by drug and alcohol addiction multiple times. Although Mary’s death was the most tragic episode, each of the situations reminds me of all the people struggling with this terrible disease. My walk today was dedicated to all those people.
Notes from today:
Left Navarette at 0730, arrived Azofra at 1500.
Total time 7.5 hours, total distance 23.2 km.
Average speed 3.1 km/hr
Bintang shirt on the Camino!