Taking the First Steps

Note: These first two posts were originally emails I sent home to my family and friends reporting my status as I make my way across Northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago and then to the sea. However, I repeatedly forgot to add people to my email list, and also quickly discovered that I can´t stand handwriting in my journal. The solution is to blog, I suppose. I promise to try not to be too selfindulgent. Also note that I am typing this all from my phone, so please forgive the occasional spelling and or grammar mistakes. I also am usually writing at the end of the day while extremely tired. As Irish Jim said, ¨tiredness breaks down barriers¨, so excuse me if I occasionally lose my filter.

Its only day 2 of walking, and I am already dreading getting out of my chair because I am so sore. But,  its well worth it. After my travels plans hit a road bump and it took me 30 hours to get from Charlottesville, VA to Roncesvalles with only 2 hours of sleep, the pretty scenery and awesome people made it well worth it. The mountain villages we have passed so far are simply unreal; populations range at about 50-200 people, and they contain houses, a church, an albergue for pilgrims, and a bar. They are so quaint and peaceful! Side note: I am also really proud of myself for using the Spanish flashcards I made on the plane successfully in the airports and in the villages.

Melissa, Mandie, and I have shared meals with people from South Africa, Ireland, and Switzerland, and bunked with a nice German couple and a girl from Romania who only decided to go 4 days ago. Her blisters are very, very bad. Jim, our  new Irish friend, imparted his wisdom to us over a menu peregrino (3 course cheap pilgrim meal) including “tiredness breaks down barriers” and “the camino can continue at home”. I am holding up okay besides soreness –  I was worried about tendinitis, as my ankle was sore and inflamed, but overnight elevation and a somewhat sketchy anti-inflammatoty from a kind south african gentleman named Mark seemed to cure it. Also, Pamplona is a really cool city. It would be great to come back to when im not so sore. I am also typing this from my phone at a wifi cafe, otherwise I would be sharing much more detail. But I know that i am safe, sore, and smiling! Ill try to keep you posted every so often when I can.

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