October 8

I am seriously off my game today. I had a great night’s rest and was up early so there was no rush however I somehow left the room without my Brierley guide book and a book of reflections I was reading along with my mom, mother-in-law and Steve. In the book was a prayer card with a prayer for pilgrims doing the Camno which Fr. Frank had printed for the parishioners at St. Teresa’s. I realized I had left them at the first town we stopped at when I went to get them out of of my bag. I was so irritated with myself for leaving them as I use each of them every day AND because I really hate it when I screw up.  One of the Irish couples we had meet on a previous day were at the same rest area and said that someone else will be very happy to find them as the Camino always gives us what we need.  They explained that they reluctantly left their trekking poles at home because their airline did not allow them to be carried on and on the second day of the Camino, they found a set of poles laying by the side of the path and have been using them ever since. It made me look at my loss from another perspective…it was someone else’s gain and they may have needed it more then me since I am traveling with two other people, each of which have the same books.  Thinking about it from that perspective made me feel better about my loss and the frustration that I had made a mistake.  Losing a few items also lightened my load which I was complaining about a bit yesterday. Also lightening the load was the disposal of two socks I ruined while trying to dry them with a hair dryer this morning. And, by tonight I realized that I also apparently left my comb — the only hair utensil I had with me. Seriously, off my game as it is really unlike me to leave things in a hotel room.   I usually drive Steve crazy checking, double checking and then triple checking the room anytime we go somewhere. Did it today too but I failed miserably.

It was a pretty short day which allowed me to recover a bit however a blister is starting to form on the inside of my heel. I have really been focusing on taking care of my feet as all the guides stress but I guess it is sometimes inevitable. Stopped right away and added the compeed and duct tape and will stick with the compeed/duct tape regimen for the next few days and I am sure it will be fine.

Found another cat friend who sat on my lap as I was reading my daily reflection from Margaret’s book at the first rest stop.  That also made nee feel a little better.

Had a nice picnic type lunch at a camper parked along a long stretch of barren pathway. The man was selling fruit, sandwiches and fresh squeezed orange juice. It was an unexpected treat as we knew there would be no towns to stop at along most of today’s stage. Also, met a few new people today and so it was nice to sit with them and share some food by the camper player really funky pop music. Kind of hilarious.

We came upon the town of Los Arcos around 2:45. Pretty early compared to the last few days. It is a ram-shackled little town with very few choices in accommodations. Upon entering the town we came across a little pen with ducks, chicks, roosters, two goats, a dog and a parakeet in a cage… All in the same pen. We had reserved a hotel room ahead of time but we were not super confident as it looked just OK on the internet. Upon arrival we all quickly realized it is a “sleep in your clothes and inside your sleeping bag on top of the bed” type of place. All that makes for a quick exit in the morning…trying to look on the bright side!  We will be leaving early as it will be a long day tomorrow – nearly 18 miles with a decent amount of elevation changes. Additionally, we all agreed that we want to spend as little time in these rooms as possible!

The town had a pilgrim’s mass at 8 tonight which was nice. At the end the priest called the pilgrims forward and gave us a blessing. Part of it involved giving us a prayer card with the Camino pilgrim’s prayer on it, the same prayer card I lost earlier in the day. So I guess the Camino really does give us what we need!

P.S. I forgot to mention the free wine fountain just outside Estella…it was only 9 am but I just had to try some! The quality is what you would expect from a free wine fountain :D.  It was fun to have some though (see picture of me drawing some to the left).