Descansar in Navarette! Heather’s Learned to Chill!!

Too flippin’ hot!

Hallo! And I hope it’s not as hot for you as here.  Even the Spanish and Italians can’t cope!

Well,  I think I left you when I was staggering around Lograno, trying to get my hip to work properly.

In the morning, it was all fine.  I followed the arrows out of Lograno (left at which is marginally better – Gill´s having a blue fit at the thoughts of these leaving-in-the-morning-times!), walked through the massive 5km park where the Spanish were out for their morning jog, run, cycle etc and on my own, when suddenly, I seized up.  To use Joe Simpson´s words, I was stuffed.  Terminado.  Finito.  What Ray would say would be. “You ok, Blue?”

No, I definitely wasn´t.

Well, there was a fine kettle of fish.  I experimented.  Sitting down was ok, but it wasn´t gonna get me too far….  I tried a variety of locomotion techniques, mostly resulting in ten minutes to go 10 cm.  Finally I got it – tiny Japanese-wife steps.  In this fashion, I could cover 10 metres in less than two hours.  Ok, I exaggerate a little.  I got to know each blade of grass very intimately, it taking five hours to pass each one.  Ok, I´m exaggerating a bit more.  The snails were having a field day, actually overtaking something.

At last I arrived in Navarette.  I found a bunch of recalcitrant pilgrims on the bench.  I rearranged my backpack, redistributing the weight.  I got a few metres more and found Jelle (pronounced “Ýeller”) sitting outside a good bar.  Usual overjoyed reunion!  I sat and asked him where he was staying.  He pointed to the Albergue next door.  (A good symbiotic relationship going on here between the bar and the Albergue, I think – i.e. I think I´ll have a sandwich and a beer  – oh look, there’s an albergue next door,  I could stay the night….or I’m stopping tonight at this Albergue, oh look, theres a bar next door…)  Sorry, I’m digressing.  Anyway, I had a juice and a bocadilla a tortilla (i.e. a potato omelette in a huge baguette – somewhat more refined and containing a tad more protein than a chip butty) and an Ibuprofen 400mg as pudding.  Said goodbye to Jelle and said I was carrying onto the next Albergue,  about 7 km.  I got 50 metres up the street.  Suddenly someone much more sensible than I am spoke in my head;

“Are you even more stupid than I thought?”

“Uh- oh,  I am being a bit, aren’t I.”

“There’s the rest of your life to think of, never mind the fact that you can take El Camino in shorter bites.  There’s albergues all along.”

“Yes, I know that, but I’m a strong fit young woman.”

“Yes, and you want to stay that way and no, youre not young.”

“But I’ll lose the group.”

“Which group?  The group’s an ever-changing form with new people coming along all the time to meet.”



“Uh-oh”.  Crawled back 50 metres and booked in at the Albergue.  Hey! then I learnt the true Spanish meaning of the word “descansar” – to relax, chill, do nothing, rest…..  I spent the rest of the afternoon doing nothing but chatting and drinking juice.

The Italians made a meal in the albergue – pasta of course.  The noise was INDESCRIBABLE!!

The hospitalero said we must be in bed by 9.30.

Everyone got up at 5.  I got up at 6 and left by 6.45 which I thought was quite good.

Gianluca’s birthday – we got to the bar 7 km away (hip brilliant this am), Marco fishes out this tiny guitar and we sing Happy Birthday in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Korean (thanks Miso) and Basque (thanks, two guys cycling The Way).

I’ve done ok, some bits very slowly, then ok.  I know now, I dont have to keep to the recognised stages.  And if I only do 20 km a day, well that’s fine.  And the pay-off is this magnificent Albergue in Alzorfa – with only 2 beds to a room and space an’  all and a tiny little espanol village.

So the message this time is Heather + Slow IS a possibility.  It sounds like an oxymoron, I know (I learnt about them from Flossie M, Myrna and Mike!!)  But it’s possible.

Take care folks, loving all your e-mails and I hope you´re not having to cope with this heat (oh, stop throwing things….)