TREKKING — DAY 24

MURIAS de RECHIVALDO to RABANAL — 10.4 Mile

The first thing I need to explain is about the Meseta.  The Meseta stretches from Burgos (where I started this time), up until where I was today.  All the books say the Meseta is flat, brown and boring and recommend that trekkers may want to skip it.  Well, I think you can see from my write-ups and photos that all the books lied.  I thoroughly enjoyed walking the Meseta and would do it again in a heartbeat.  But now I was out of it and would be starting into the mountains.

It rained all night long and was still raining when I awakened at 6am.  I had been sleeping for the last 14 hours and still didn’t want to get up.  This bed and this place just felt so right.  After yesterday’s muddy walk, the foot pains, the blisters and the runs, I really was hesitant about walking.  But I thought I’d get up and see how I felt.  I joined Dick and Leslie in the breakfast room and sat with them and other Trekkers while they ate.  I couldn’t even stomach a cup of coffee.  

Leslie seemed ready to hit the trail and I thought I’d give it a try — I had Camino Concierge Dick who I could text at any moment if I needed him to come pick me up.  Leslie said she was going to walk farther than Rabanal because she was on a tight schedule to get to Santiago. I told her I couldn’t go any farther than that.  We put on all of our rain gear, I popped some Camino Candy and we were off.  

Usually Leslie and I walked at the same pace but I just couldn’t do it today.  I felt tired and weak because I hadn’t eaten and when we first started out I was limping on my foot.  But after a block or so the pain started to disminish in my foot and it actually felt better and sometimes had no pain at all.

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The walk wasn’t too strenuous today, not many hills, just mud — but we were used to that by now.  After about 2 miles of trying to keep up with Leslie I had to tell her to go ahead and I would (or wouldn’t) meet up with her later for coffee.  The rain continued and I slowed my pace until I could no longer see her ahead of me.

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I had walked about 5 miles and could tell there was a town ahead because of the prominent church steeple.  It was time for a break so I walked into what looked like a cowboy Bar from the 50’s.  And there was Leslie.

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I ordered a Potato Tortilla which was now my new favorite thing for breakfast, but was only able to eat a few bites.  My stomach was revolting against food.  When we started out again I didn’t want to say goodbye to Leslie because that seemed so permanent but I knew I’d probably never see her again.  

The rain continued as I walked along the highway and there were some uphill climbs that ordinarily wouldn’t have been so bad but today they were killing me.  

I was so happy to see Dick and finally be in Rabanal.   It was still raining and very cold when we walked into Albergue del Pilar.  Dick had reserved a private room with private bath but it seemed they didn’t have any such thing.  So a nice lady had us walk about a block away to someone’s house where we were taken to a room upstairs, with a bathroom across the hall.  She said it was our own private bathroom because there was no one else in the other 3 rooms.  The house was absolutely beautiful but when she showed us our room it couldn’t have been smaller.  The two twin beds and one night stand barely fit in the room.  And there was no floor space to put our things without tripping over them.

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Dick wanted to eat so we walked back over to the Albergue and he ordered a plate of pasta while I had a cup of tea.  The hospitalero who served us kept laughing and looking at Dick saying, “Solo Engles!”  Only English! Those were Dick’s famous first and last words in Spanish.  

While we were there Dick said he had driven ahead to see what tomorrow’s walk would look like and he said it was a horribly high mountain.  When we finished eating we drove up there and I saw that it was 3 miles of straight uphill.  And when we got to the top it said this was the highest point on the Camino.  I knew I couldn’t do it tomorrow.  I told Dick all I wanted to do now was go to bed.  It was about 2:30pm when I got in bed and except for frequent trips to the bathroom, I slept until the next morning.