I started out from Molinaseca in good form at first light and easily covered the eight kilometres to Ponferrada. After a brief stop in that city, in which I encountered a whole lot of young children facinated with meeting a real live pilgrim. Actually, I am not so sure that I am alive as this day the pain in my shins developed later to a really terrible plantar fascitis. This slowed me down to such a slow pace that for the last 5 kilometres to Cacabelos, I was forced to take a taxi. The plantar fascitis feels as if I have a large rock inside the sole of my shoe. Therefore, each step forward gives immense pain. Couple that with thirty two degree temperatures and I was in no condition to continue. Still I have managed 25 kilometres. My fear has been that my thirty seven kilometres the day before had done lasting damage that might have resulted in the end to my camino.
What I have learnt from this is that I need to realise that there is a limit to my endurance. Avoiding excess will stand me in good stead.
Last night I met Hubert, a Swiss who practices Reiki in his spare time. Somehow he has given me renewed energy because today I managed the walk to Vega de Valcarce relatively pain free by 1.30 p.m. This was a more reasonable distance of only 24 kilometres. From now on, if possible I will avoid the marathons. What I have found is that getting up before light is a very good way of avoiding the extreme heat. My travel companion today is from Germany. I would like to apologise to all the Germans who I have encountered along the way who I had dismissed as fanatics for disturbing my beauty sleep. Walking at first light is really peaceful and meditative.
Tomorrow is another mountain range. I am not yet sure what my destination will be. I am going to take it one moment at a time and see what is possible.
Last night I had dinner with David and Vivienne, an English Anglican Minister and his wife. They have helped support me in my journey and have supplied me with topical pain killer. We have had very interesting discussion on the history of pilgrimages. Plus, along the way, we have again discovered commonality in people we know - six degrees of separation.
I have just another 10 days left on this particular camino. I am facinated why I am pushing myself to these extremes. What I do realise is that this is addictive.