Since the long day of pavement walking out of Bilbao our feet have all been suffering a bit, except for Daisy whose ankle injury has been better every day.
Walking as a family is great. We give each other a pretty hard time for our quirks and habits and eccentricities and this usually leads towards mirth, only occasionally going too far and ending up sour. This is more time spent together in close company than we have spent in many years (and very soon we will break all previous records.) It is pretty wonderful to see Linden offering to dress Kelley’s blistered feet and applying the success he is having with his blisters to doctoring his mom. Daisy is the lead walker most times, setting a pace for the rest of the family. We have learned to keep Linden well fed and to have food on hand. His mood goes sour the quickest when hungry. We all get a lot of entertainment mileage out of all the super cute, well groomed and well behaved dogs we encounter, not to mention all the livestock.
We are now 12 days into our trip, ten days walking and two resting and sightseeing in Guernica and Bilbao. We have just covered a little over 1/4 the distance to Santiago, so it is reasonable that we may make it there in our allotted time. Our stamina has really improved – yesterday we walked 25 kilometers (15+ miles) pretty easily except for our foot problems. I’m hoping those clear up, because it feels really good to walk distance, except for the pain. We are beginning to fall into some good routines with all the basics of pilgrim life: food, daily hand laundry, crowded sleeping, showers, foot care, walking. Most days there is not much energy for much more than that.
I’m finding that this is cleaning out my mind in an interesting way. My dream life has gotten vivid, mundane and humorous conversation fills some time, nature observation much more, the physical rhythm of walking . . . . I think I expected to have more self reflective insights or something but what I am experiencing is more clean and blank. This is a bit unsettling, but also very refreshing, when I just let it be so.
Short day into a modern beach town called Noja today and WiFi at the hostel, which is nice.