Camino Primitivo, Grado to Salas 23 km

Well, I’m suffering my first injury on this camino (other than the almost inevitable blisters which are now ok). About 2/3rds of the way through yesterday’s stage I suddenly felt a sharp pain on the inside of my right knee. I tend to be a bit gung-ho about aches and pains assuming that they’ll disappear overnight. Unfortunately this one didn’t and I felt a sliding scale from discomfort to distinct pain for each of my 37,000+ steps today. Not helped by the fact that the start of today’s stage has the most challenging elevation and descent. Going up is worse, down slightly less so and flat not so bad. I have a prescription of naproxen in case I get my normal tendinitis in my left foot and so I have taken a couple, together with some paracetamol but they didn’t help a great deal.

I’m walking painfully slowly, averaging at the beginning of the day 3.6 kmph.

It’s a sunny day with some cloud but temperatures are pleasant. It’s necessary for me to strike the ground with my right knee fixed straight and I am trying not to transfer the tension to my shoulders and my back. I’m using muscles in both legs that don’t normally get so much exercise.

But even in discomfort there are things which can be uplifting. Like the sight of a large herd of cows and calves galloping across the field, and just now the delicious scent that made me turn my head and notice some wild honeysuckle growing in the hedgerow.

Paul eventually catches up at 10 km and is walking with a German doctor. I am very quick to ask if he (the doctor, not Paul) thinks I could take some more of my anti-inflammatory painkillers which he thinks will be okay. Soon after we reach the town of Cornellana where there is a pharmacy. I explain my problem and am given a tube of foam Algesal. The pain soon seems to diminish a bit but I’m not sure which remedy is doing the trick.

I am now sitting in the shade of the Monasteriu de San Salvador eating a fruit salad. I am incredulous that none of the people who stayed at my hostal last night have yet passed me. My pace is now averaging 3.9 kmph – surely no one walks slower than that?

The wonderful peace and serenity of this beautiful stage is interrupted at about 15 km by a huge stone quarry that runs for kms – with lots of noisy machinery kicking up clouds of dust.

There have been lots of shady woodland soft tracks today. But after walking a stretch with no shelter from the sun I come upon a delightful shady area with a fuente and lavadora. A guy is dunking his feet in the icy water and I take the opportunity to soak my scarf, put my legs up on a bench to cool my knee.

I am unaccustomed to being the tortoise rather than the (not too speedy) hare. Dragging along at such a slow pace doesn’t suit me at all but there’s not much I can do about it! 17.5 km down and around 4 to go. At least it’s possible to do a short stage today.

There are lots of spring water fuentes on this section and for much of the way I have been accompanied by the wonderful sound of fast flowing water.

I’ve been rather distracted by my discomfort so didn’t take many notes of this stage, but it was rather beautiful with many steep ups and downs.

The town of Salas where we have stopped for the day is very quaint, with an impressive church, a castle tower, a river running through it and a nice park. We are staying in Albergue La Campa, €10 and I’ve enjoyed a very good vegetarian dinner here.

Fingers crossed please for a miraculous recovery overnight.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Camino Primitivo, Grado to Salas 23 km

  1. Dave says:

    I hope you are warming up and stretching for 10 minutes before setting off, and doing 10 minutes of stretches when you stop at the end of the day!! There is science behind why, and it really does reduce the chance of injury.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey, it is very encouraging and inspirational. I will in the meantime just have to enjoy our New Zealand walks. I do hope to return to Europe to complete a Camino, one day.


  3. Angela Troy says:

    So sorry to hear about your knee pain, I know how that feels, praying for a speedy recovery for you.. God bless, and Buen Camino ,


  4. sixwheeler says:

    Maggie, listen to what yourbidy tells you and be careful not to make matters worse. I know it would probably be anathema to you but sometimes a break for rest is more beneficial than trying g to walk through it. Take care.


  5. Susan Day says:

    I love following you on these trips! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am 60 year old Canadian walker and hope to walk the Camino Norte next spring. Each year I say that and work commitments(I am a ceramic artist making very large scale architectural installations) or injuries get in my way. My body feels strong and healthy and pain free. I do hope you wake up with your knee miraculously healed.


    • magwood says:

      Hi Susan. What wonderful work you have. I used to throw and carve clay in a very amateur way. Such a satisfying thing to do. I hope you make it to northern Spain next year


  6. Cecilia says:

    I share your optimism Maggie re injuries but at, ahem, our age I’m only just beginning to think I might not be so invincible, I do so hope you are! I stayed at a wonderful hostel in Tineo which is attached to and behind the posh hotel on the main plaza Palacio de meras. It was quite deluxe in 2017, they have a wonderful steam room which pilgrims can access, it may help your joints?? I loved it, also enjoyed a pilgrim’s menu in the dining room. Love your photos.


  7. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Buen camino. x


  8. randlk says:

    beautiful photos! Hope your knee improves overnight. It is no fun walking through pain, I know from bitter experience.


  9. Jackie Jacobs says:

    Thank you, travelling vicariously through your blog! Hoping you are released of the pain soon. Buen Camino!


  10. hannas123 says:

    Hope pain improves But not so slow ( compared with how Ill be next week on Teresiana ! Or was last walk anyway when I developed an embolla ) But it did give a real topic of discussion then and now :as it bulged bigger and bigger until a lovely French couple lanced and put a thread through . Anyway enjoying yr blogging and best wishes.


  11. Henk says:

    Sometimes pain in the knee comes fast, like seconds, and goes away slowly, like a little less everyday for a few weeks. It might help to remember that pain is in the brain, so try to keep your brain busy with other things while walking. A great help to me has been thinking in an other language than my mother’s. In your case, why not try to think in Spanish about everything you see around you or whatever you want to consider? It will keep part of your brain unaccessible to thoughts about pain.
    Good luck and thank you so much for all the pictures you share!


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