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.