OK. There was no denying it any longer. My left knee was getting worse and I had to admit to myself that I was in a lot of pain. Along with that, I had developed blisters on both heels. I had naively thought that I would make it all the way to Santiago blister-free. These two things, combined with the fact that I had gotten very little sleep last night, resulted in my first “what the hell am I doing here” day on the trail.
Most of the people I’d been travelling with (Jo Anne, Moya, David and Seta, Stefan from Germany) were planning to stop for the night in Logrono, about nine kilometres further along the trail. I knew I couldn’t make it that far. So reluctantly I told them I’d be staying in Viana.
I was feeling a bit lonely and rather sorry for myself; it was hard to get left behind by all my new friends. I wondered if I would ever see any of them again. But after eating my picnic lunch (ham sandwich, chocolate and peanuts) in the albergue’s beautiful courtyard and grabbing a nap, I felt much better. In fact I even found the energy to have a wander around Los Arcos, stopping in a bar to have my usual afternoon glass of vino tinto (red wine) and tapas.
The albergue itself was an interesting one. It had three-tiered beds in the rooms! I couldn’t imagine trying to manage the top bunk during a middle of the night bathroom run, but luckily I had been assigned one of the lower bunks so that wouldn’t be an issue. This was one of the few albergues I stayed in where we are assigned actual beds. Usually it’s just a matter of picking whichever one we wanted.
The woman running the place was pretty meticulous about this too. When I was about to have my nap someone came in and put their sleeping bag on the middle bunk. Later, the hospitalario stormed into the room, tossed the sleeping bag onto a near-by chair, and gave someone else the bed, all the while speaking in loud, rapid Spanish. Boy, I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side!