Travel Date: Friday, April 25 2014

I wake up and my left toe is worse. More swollen, and still oozing.

Sebastian (from Germany) is such a kind soul. He comes over to my bunk bed and asks me if I would like him to walk with me. I tell him to go on, and I will catch him in the next town. I really like Sebastian, such a warm and funny person. Natalia (from Germany) gives me a toe guard to help to prevent rubbing or contact with the other toes or shoe.

I head out and I am hobbling. I have a few people tell me that perhaps I should take a day off, but deep inside I know I have it in me to continue even if I am the last person walking on the Camino. Always listen to your inner intuiton. Advice on the Camino is always free-flowing and never ends, but at the end of the day it is your Camino, and you need to do what you feel called to do in by your inner voice.

The weather is nice and co-operating. And hills and vineyard scenery continues to be beautiful.

I see a new set of Camino markers with distance included, and a few minutes later I run into my two Spanish friends (Mirian and Mikel) who I have literally seen almost daily. I met them a couple of days ago, and we don’t travel together but everyday we see each other in the same albergue and sometimes next to each other without any pre-planning. Their camino is going to end soon so I decide to take a picture with them to preserve our meeting and memories together. They are a wonderful couple. Michel doesn’t speak English and Marianne does but very little but somehow we manage to converse, and connect. Now everytime I see them I give them a hug. I have become fond on them.

Still hobbling over we come across the WET red mud path. Good for my feet since it is soft and I need as much soft ground for my blisters as possible. However, the mud sticks to your shoe and adds a lot of weight. The Camino always gives you challenges, and you really learn about your inner drive to move forward despite the challenges by working through them. This has been my toughest walking day due to not feeling physically 100% and hobbling at every step in pain, but I am still committed to reaching San Domingo and slowly moving forward.

After significant walking I run into my friend Natalia. She is also walking slowly and we decide to walk together and enjoy the views at our very very very slow pace.

Finally we reach our albergue in San Domingo, and it is amazing and modern. So many showers and sinks. Yeah that is a BIG DEAL, and it has a large common room, free wifi, a kitchen, and a large garden and patio with other amenities.

I run into the group after washing my clothes. And we just lounge in the sun and take advantage of each other being here in the PRESENT MOMENT and celebrate with some Spanish wine – lots of it.

Troy (from Canada) decides that a leg massage is due right after the celebration.

We head out to dinner, and notice that there is a festival going on where people are painting the faces of women and kids with a streak of blue. Apparently it is the First Holy Communion for Women in San Domingo. Not sure why the blue streak is painted on women and kids faces but I’m slightly glad I’m not getting one. It is entertaining to watch though.

The albergue is the yellow building on the right. After dinner we head back to the room for a night rest. I am crossing my fingers and toes and hoping my toe heals more tomorrow.

It was a tough day today, and very humbling. One day I am walking fast on the path and the next day I am being passed by everyone – wondering if there will be enough room at the albergue for me. It was a good mental, physical and emotional challenge and I am glad I overcame. The Camino is teaching me valuable valuable lesson for life. I am sooo grateful for this journey and the people I have shared the road with.

Expenses: 22.50 Euro