We woke up and left the fancy hostel pretty late, so late my Brother got fed up waiting for us and started walking. After several weeks of dreading my birthday, it had finally appeared. After the magic of the night before with my friends and the Magician, I felt the ghosts of that day disappear. It was like a milestone had been crossed and I wasn’t looking at the day and thinking, huh, I haven’t achieved anything with my life. Instead I was saying at this point in time, I can do anything. I just need to figure out what I want ‘that’ to be.
The walk out of Burgos was starting us out on the Mesata. As I’ve mentioned before, the Mesata is pretty legendary for being a long flat walk. Where the main part of the journey is ‘mental’. I’d been looking forward to the challenge of what would come up in my mind during these days, and what I could grow towards. If ~20k walks in flat land scapes next to tarmac roads wasn’t hard enough. We’d started seriously talking about doing a night walk under the full moon in a couple of days. This was going to be very hard, as it meant getting only a little sleep (and I no longer had a head torch to walk with). You could make this harder by choosing to keep walking all day (making it a >40K walking day).
The Magician and I eventually caught up with our Brother. And I walked behind them, happily bouncing along, day dreaming of the future. For the beginning of the Mesata, I’d found it surprisingly easy, and beautiful. As we walked slowly all day, we eventually got into the Municipal in Hornillos del Camino. In the middle ages this was an important stopping off point for the Pilgrims. There were several pilgrim hospitals and a leper ward founded here in the 12th Century. All that’s left now is a small dusty town, which was looking surprisingly shut. Although as the year was drawing to a close, more and more of the places were closing till the new year.
I’d been having increasing issues with my feet, and I was fairly sure I’d sprained my tendons on the bottom of my feet. My Little Sister had been given a massage by the volunteer managing the Municipal here a couple of days before, that she said helped (but was sore). So when we got to the Municipal I was slightly hoping I might be able to get him to look at my feet too. Well… to say this was a bad idea, is a massive under statement. He was massaging my feet so hard, I actually yelped in pain a few times. The pain in my feet actually got a lot worse after this. I didn’t think I’d ever say this to a free massage, but… if anyone offers to massage you, think twice…
During the evening we headed out to this amazing restaurant for dinner (Green Kitchen). Here we got to listen to an opera singer playing music, and my Brother got up to sing as well. The owner said she’d been amazed as the night before she’d had an Italian singing rap. It was at that point we all looked at each other and cried out, we’d missed our Italian friend rapping! Damn it!
Tonight we booked flights from Porto home, we were now on a timeline…. This meant we couldn’t walk at a pace we wanted anymore. We had to keep to set distances. I’d built in a little buffer time wise, but we needed to move at a pace consistently now. I wanted to get home for my mum’s birthday as a surprise (especially as she was now in hospital with a broken leg). But this now meant our walk had changed. We were walking the Camino now, not walkers. We had to walk to targets. There was a part of this that made me very sad. As part of the Camino culture for me was now disappearing.