Today was a very, very bad day for me. I awoke from a fitful sleep feeling feverish and non-rested. After swallowing down some dry toast, I decided to set off from Estella just before 7am.
I got separated from the group I started out with very early on when a wave of nausea overtook me and I began vomiting a mere .5km outside the city. A group of septuagenarian Swedish ladies witnessed my episode, immediately handed me a breathmint and some dried mangoes and made sure I gathered my bearings before setting off.
Perhaps because I was feeling feverish and delirious, I blindly followed the ladies onwards. However my Swedish shepherdesses led me astray. .. and through a wooded path that was an extra 6km up a mountainside.
The path less taken was nearly completely covered with overhanging trees and in between my delirium, I imagined I was Little Red Riding Hood on my way to grandma’s… however the only Big Bad Wolf I was running from was my own sickness and exhaustion.
I passed through a lovely mountainside town with only one bar… and they weren’t serving food. I hungrily gobbled up the peanuts at the bar and ordered an orange juice, and cursed my own stupidy for not grabbing a few extra slices of bread at breakfast.
After leaving the town I happened upon a portly farmer who — no questions asked or words exchanged — handed me three pears, picked right from his tree. Perhaps he could tell just how weak I was feeling.
After about 27km walked (more like crawled!) I arrived in Los Arcos. The spritely Swedes had completely passed me the last 7km or so, and I never saw them again.
The best part of the day? Arriving at the city limits and seeing a note taped to the sign with my name on it. The pilgrims I had started the day out with had left me a note, hoping I was OK.