I did choose to walk what most publications state to be the most difficult of the Camino routes. So far, from my perspective, the CP has lived up to its reputation. Yesterday was a tough 20 miles with more than half in the rain. Marta said that today would be easy in comparison. Hum.
After saying goodbye to Matteo, Marta dropped me off at the starting point to resume the CP at the end of Grado. “There’s the Camino,” she said, “Follow the sign to the right.” That started a climb of more than 350 meters over 5 km distance with several descents. I was glad to have practiced on the hill behind St. Luke’s. At the top of the climb, my heart rate was 130 bpm. Thank you Delia for sharing the practice climbs. They certainly helped here.
After toping the first climb, the descent was steep. During these two days, the steep descents jammed my toes against the front and sides of the toe box. I did not expect this. I had to use a few pads on my toes to reduce the chances of forming blisters. Otherwise, my usual foot treatment of applying Foot Glide has worked fine. I included an image of a downhill path. That same hill is behind the highway to the far right hand side of the second photo with Grado 5 km beyond it.
While resting about halfway through this stage (see Doriga sign), I met Gabriel from Santiago, Chile. He had recently quit his job working for a Japanese company. He said that he was always working and the stress had affected his health. He chose the CP in order to be alone — well, almost alone before he started his new job. He is 64 years old.
By mile 15, we were dragging. Where was Salas? I kept thinking about a cold cerveza at the end of the walk. Our wish was granted after a “long” hour and a half later just as we passed a funky sign pointing the way. We were both surprised that we were in the same hotel that is built into ramparts of the town. The hotel has been a home of the Valdes Salas family whose most famous ancestor was the founder of the University of Oviedo and Inquisitor General of Spain. What a twist of fate to have me as a guest. I was wondering what kind of university experience was had in the 17th Century given the founder’s position. Tenure?
I ended my day with the pilgrim’s menu at El Campo Bar near the hotel. The hotel dining room was closed; it was Sunday. My first course was chicken soup. I ate all of it. Just what the doctor ordered for my ailing toes.
One thought on “Day 2 (May 7) An Easy Day? — 18 Miles”
Day 3 will be better! Amazing descent into the valley today- for sure it is good that you practiced at home. But what beautiful vistas you have to keep you going! Enjoy them and the solitude and your thoughts as you continue!