A Crisis of Confidence

I’m feeling blue and for the first time since I decided to make this crazy walk I’m doubting myself.  My feet hurt, the walks were hard and I suddenly feel woefully unprepared.

Fear started creeping in after the vineyard walk.  I’ve done a quite a few 15km walks around home and always felt fine but the 19km left me exhausted.  My legs were fine, I didn’t ache… I was just weary.

Now I have three blisters and my feet hurt and we’ve decided to stop the walking early.  If I carry on now my blisters will cause me problems when it really matters.

So what have I learnt?

1)  Get my pack as light as I can.  Anything that is not essential is going!

2)  I dont like walking with poles.  I did but this last week I carried them in my pack 80% of the time… I found them a nuisance and I think I may leave them behind

3)  My boots are too narrow.  I have blisters between my toes where my toes are being squashed together… because my boots aren’t wide enough.  This is a blow.  I really thought I had my boots situation under control… I’ve walked about 200km in these and they have felt fine.  I have a huge task now of finding a new pair before I start in 2 weeks!  In a country where I can’t even buy a 42 ladies shoe this is not going to be easy… especially given my clown-sized feet!

I’ve also decided to change my plan and start from Roncevalles.  I wanted to walk to Orrison and over the Napoleon route into Spain.  Gerry has always worried about this and after the last few days so have I.  I’m not too bothered about the climb up… I can stop and admre the view!  But I hate the decents and people have spoken of the very steep 5km decent down into Roncevalles… one chap this week wrote that the pompiers have to rescue maybe 4 people a week with broken bones… I dont even like steep decents in a car so walking down through a beech forest is certainly not going to make me happy.

I feel sad that I’ve changed course at this late stage… but I feel quite peaceful now about making the switch.  One less thing for me to panic over!  So, we’re driving to Roncevalles and we’ll spend a night at the Colegiata de Roncesvalles (the traditional start of the Camino Francis)… before moving on towards Pamplona.  We’ve booked a B&B for our next night… Gerry will then head back for the car and I’ll head off somewhere westward.

The hugeness of this adventure is slowly dawning on me… what have I done!


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