So, finally an update. Sorry for the long silence and thank you so much to those who have enquired as to my recovery from what was first diagnosed as tendonitis. By the time of my last post, when I was hobbling around Porto at the end of May, I was much improved and ready to throw away my crutches, but I felt that something was still not quite right. Long story short, I saw a consultant who sent me for an MRI and discovered that my right hip has a stress fracture in the ball joint (femoral head). A follow-up x-ray also showed osteoarthritis and loss of cartilage – things that come with qualifying for a bus pass it seems, so at least if I can’t walk I can hop onto a bus! I’ve also had a bone density scan and am awaiting the result.
I’ve no idea when the fracture occurred, the bones is not displaced so hopefully it will mend without any further issues. Oh, the joys of ageing (and of course there are many joys).
So my walking has been somewhat curtailed since my camino came to an abrupt end in San Esteban de Gormaz on the Camino de la Lana. I’m building it up gradually but the farthest I have walked in the last few months is 14 km. I have a way to go before I set foot on another camino.
In the meantime, there have been momentous changes in my circumstances. I have left my life of more than ten years living in a white village half way up an Andalusian mountain and returned to the UK. I’ve reclaimed my pretty little cottage that forms part of a rambling complex of farm buildings, which you might expect to be situated way out in the countryside (and it probably was once upon a time), but is actually tucked away between extensive housing estates, close to good amenities and only a short trip into the centre of Bristol.
It obviously wasn’t an easy decision or one taken lightly. But I have changed a great deal over the last few years, my interests have expanded and I have become (even) more independent. Nevertheless it was a very sad day when I parted from my kind and considerate partner of many years and my four legged friends (and many very good two legged friends).
Having left Spain at the end of July I returned a couple of weeks ago to dog and cat sit whilst David visited his family – we have remained good friends and communicate regularly. It was a great opportunity for me to catch up with my close friends and enjoy a couple of walks in the mountains. I loved my time living in Spain, in such a vibrant multinational community. Almost everyone you pass makes eye contact and says a genuine ‘buenos dias’ (or more likely just ’buenas’ as per the local habit) or has time to stop and chat. It isn’t just the climate that is sunny, or maybe because of the climate the people who live there for the most part are warm and friendly.
I still have lovely walking very close to where I now live. A myriad of tracks through what was probably once the land that belonged to the farm, and two stately homes (now in local authority ownership) with really extensive grounds including woodland and a gorge dropping to a river. As I build up my walking stamina these beautiful green parklands will allow me to walk for as many kilometres as I can manage.
So now the rest of my life is an unwritten story, hopefully with more camino adventures to come and lots of short trips around Europe, starting in a couple of weeks with a visit to Dubrovnik and Split. There is so much of Europe that I haven’t experienced and so many places I can easily get to from Bristol, although I anticipate I shall be feeling increasingly guilty about flying – maybe if I use the bus more often I can slightly assuage my guilt!