I really didn't have much energy this morning, perhaps because I feel a year older. As people got ready around me I lay in bed, flicking through the BBC's news and trying to postpone the inevitable. I eventually left the albergue at 8.30, and walked for just under two hours until my first coffee stop at Ventosa. Alas they has a really good wifi signal there, an I caught up with some emails, read the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, and did my best to do anything except for walk some more distance. Once I set out I picked a couple of beautiful blue flowers that were growing by the path and out them in my hat.
I'd only aimed to do what I consider the bare minimum of walking today, and found myself at Nájera just after midday. I bumped into Ray on the way out of town, and we walked on to Azofra together. He has this wonderful trick that involves pulling out an ice-cold can of San Miguel from the top of his pack just as we're starting out on the post-lunch part of the day's walking. He did it again today, and my god it really hit the spot. As he pointed out, Sam Miguel isn't exactly the greatest lager in the world, but cometh the hour, cometh the beer. Or something like that.
We only had six kilometres to walk until the very smart municipal albergue, and managed to snaffle the last two beds. The pilgrims' menu supper wasn't outstanding - merely 'fuel to fight the enemy' as Corporal Tata used to say back when I was in the New Zealand Army. Not that NZ rations came with half a bottle of Rioja.
[Ray not entirely ecstatic about pudding on the pilgrims' menu]
Once I'd showered and washed my clothes (the first things one does at the end f the walking day) I worked out that I'd done just over 360km to date since setting out from Lourdes on May 30th. Over a third of the way.
Finally, the X-rated component. I've had a blister on my heel that has been bloody uncomfortable - it dates back to the day I walked 40km with Ron and Kibben from Roncesvalles to the outskirts of Pamplona. I've used a Boots blister plaster to protect it, but it has just grown larger and larger, and had grown to the size of a 50p coin. Not exactly fun. Received Camino de Santiago wisdom is that blisters should be threaded and Ray kindly lent me his sewing kit to do the job. Fingers crossed it feels a bit more walkable tomorrow morning.