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My original plan had been to spend a rest day in Burgos and then take a bus to the monastery at Santo Domingo de Silos to hear the monks sing and see the beautiful monastery. Two things put an end to that. First, my Achilles tendon pain became so severe that I had to treat it and try to recuperate and secondly I found out that the monastery would be closed on the day I needed to go. That meant that if I wanted to visit it would add extra days to my not walking and I wasn’t willing to take so much time off.
A Farewell to Robert
My first morning in Burgos was a rainy one and a sad one because Robert was leaving for Barcelona and then home to Australia. We had walked together for 8 days and enjoyed many adventures together. I appreciated his companionship and the many, many, laughs and wonderful dinners that we enjoyed together. I have to admit that while we were saying goodbye to each other after having visited the Cathedral I was a bit teary eyed. Thank you Robert for a great time!
Taking Care of Myself
I was getting very worried about my Achilles tendon pain as it just got worse every hour. After Robert had left I had two things that badly needed to get done. First was a haircut and the second was to get a massage and see if it could ease my pain. The haircut was a success and the massage slightly made me feel better. The masseuse did give me some valuable advice and that was to ice not only the tendon (as I had been doing) but also the muscle above the tendon. It was to prove good advice.
I immediately settled into a routine of icing my injury every hour and taking ibuprofen around the clock. The pain was too much to walk with and I needed to get the inflammation down and since it was raining the Saturday that Robert left and the next day, I had nothing better to do than to take care of myself. I’m grateful that the staff at the hotel was so kind and helpful. I must of used kilos upon kilos of ice!!!
Even in the rain I could see that Burgos was a beautiful city. This is especially true for the part of the city adjacent to the Cathedral. It has a medieval feel to it and many beautiful buildings and plazas. The Cathedral is the amongst the most beautiful that I have ever seen. The interior of the Cathedral is spectacular and the exterior is none too shabby! I was also very lucky that my hotel, Hotel AC Burgos, was a stone’s throw from the magnificent Puerta Santa Maria which led to the Cathedral.
Two Unexpected Meetings
On Sunday I decided to go to a clinic or a hospital in Burgos to get my blister checked for a possible infection. I wasn’t sure whether it was or not but I had to be postive it wasn’t before I could continue walking the next day. I found out the address of the nearest hospital and walked there (about 3 or 4 KM) as a test for my Achilles tendon. It was a little sore when I got there but the pain was manageable and I thought with the rest of the day to recover it would be all-right for the following day’s hike. The doctor at the hospital checked my blister and said that it was not infected and healing very nicely.
While waiting to see the doctor I met an Irish Peregrino named Craig. He was there because his knee was giving him a lot of trouble. Since his Spanish was limited I translated for him and we shared a taxi back. We decided to have a cup of coffee later that afternoon and when we met we decided to walk together the next day.
While relaxing at the hotel bar and using the internet connection available there I heard a familiar voice at the table behind me. It was Dave and his wife Bobbi, the Americans whom I had last seen outside of Puente La Reina. Bobbi had been struggling with some bad blisters and I wasn’t sure they could continue. As we spoke their story came out. It started back home with the shoe salesman who said that the boots needed to fit tightly. WRONG!! They soon realized that they needed to do something drastic and right after arriving in Estella (the next destination after Puente La Reina) they purchased new boots that were a size larger. That did the trick and they were going to take a rest day in Burgos and move on. I was happy to see them get this far and wished them luck.
I guess that there are three morals to this story:
- Take care of your injuries ASAP
- You never know when or where a walking companion will show up
- SHOE SIZE, IT’S IMPORTANT!! GET THE RIGHT FITTING DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL AT A SPORTS SPECIALITY STORE.