Day 11: 19 kms (+2 km stuff up)
Today’s reflection: Keep your eyes open!
“But, are you walking alone?” count: 4
❤️ Well, life wouldnt be life if there wasnt a good old stuff up every now and again, right? It seems that the last stuff up, the one that cost me more than 10kms of unplanned wandering through the wilderness on the other side of Santa Fe de Mondujar on day 2, and the resulting reflection to just keep my bloody eyes open for godssakes, was momentarily forgotten today. Momentarily forgotten in the most inopportune place. It didn’t cost me as dearly as it did on day 2, because since then I have covered ground and my body and mind have gotten stronger, but, ouch! I still felt the sting of D’OH!!! resonating across the day, particularly because it led me to eat a couple of kilometres of uphill that I didnt need to eat. Or did I?
Lets just say that my mind was distracted by an unnecessary preoccupation with someone elses drama, always a mistake, and as a result, I wandered past some signs that were clearly indicating where I had to go, merrily powering up completely the wrong mountain. There is a silver lining. I burned off half of todays double breakfast of Churros, tostada con sobreasada, and dos cafes con leche, before I even really got started. Because of this stuff up, I felt completely justified in raiding a Persimmon tree that was just begging to be raided. It did not disappoint. Sweet, juicy. Importantly, I also got to do the mental practice run and muscular warmup for the actual 2km uphill slog that took me from Dudar (the next town over from Quentar), and up a mountain from which I was able to catch my first glimpse of Granada. This slog was a slog, not for the distance, but because of the incline, which was brutal at points. The legit camino slog certainly got the blood pumping, and once again brought me up up up, then down down down, past olive groves and eventually onto a pathway that moved me along a river.
Despite the “error”, I enjoyed todays walk and this final part of the walk was the best part for me. Walking along a camino thickly carpeted with fallen leaves, constantly accompanied by the sounds of the river rushing alongside me, water all around………..Knees are starting to bug me, I am pretty sure there is another blister coming up on my left foot, tummy is starting to rumble. Just on the topic of blisters, this one is number three. Here is the story of my blisters so far. In the beginning, there was “Dolores”, and although Guadix was her final resting place, Dolores begat another blister by the name of “Angustias”. As her name suggests, “Angustias” has been a bit of a pain, because she is partially situated over the tender skin where Dolores once thrived. One evil blister feeding off the remains of another, gruesome! That is some old testament discourse right there……OUCH! This third one, begat by Angustias, I am dubbing “Purificacion”. I feel justified in using this naming system. It helps me have a bit of a giggle with my pain. Plus, in the same way that the Catholics want to name their saints, as a never-was-practising Catholic who likes to walk, I want to name my blisters, for it is my blisters that inspire me and teach me the things I need to know about how to walk and thus, by extension, how to live. Yes, I think I might be starting to lose the plot. Or am I? I dont know anymore. Purificacion certainly has her work cut out for her.
I am anxious to get into Granada. After the riverwalk, I get pushed out onto the outskirts of the city and walk into town, along roads lined with prickly pear cactii bursting with ripe fruit, past Sacromonte (Monastery) and through the Albaicin, where every second place is a bar or a Flamenco joint. Walking into town is a bit of a shock to the system because Granada is a proper CITY, and I havent been in one of those for about three weeks. It has an El Corte Ingles and a Zara Home, homeless people hanging around ATM’s, cars, and people rushing everywhere, well, perhaps rushing isnt the right word, it is Andalucia after all. Point is, the chaos penetrates in such a way that I am relieved to get into my lodgings for the next three days- which you will (possibly) be surprised to learn is a convent. Ha! My plan is to rest, wander the city, visit a hammam and a tablao de flamenco, maybe go to church and dedicate some prayers to my left foot, but most importantly, my plan is to KEEP THOSE EYES OPEN❤️