Day 17 Camino De Santiago
Day 17 Reliegos – Leon – 22.1km 9/10/2012
I woke today feeling 20 times better than the day before. It was like I’d woken from a really bad dream. I’d definitely shifted a lot throughout the night. Today I really wanted to get to Leon where I knew there was a hospital. It was just over 20km away. Aaron and Dave didn’t want to leave me by myself so they came with me. I was determined to make it there so I kept up the hydration and food.
I felt okay until I reached Villarente. My tummy and legs were cramping and I started to feel like death. I called a friend at home as my stomach was so swollen it freaked me out. I wasn’t sure if I should stop and get an ambulance or keep shuffling to Leon. My friend told me that it was most likely from being extremely dehydrated and that if it got too much I should call an ambulance. I pushed through slowly to Leon.
“In you go,” was Dave’s words as we walked past the hospital in Leon. I refused telling them that I just wanted to get to a hotel, shower and eat and then see how was feeling. So we agreed to all go in on a hotel. We chose Luna, a 4-star hotel that had a room with three single beds. It was great, so close to the CBD. The guys were really thoughtful and let me get settled in, giving me space so that I could have a relaxing bath. It was heaven. Although I hadn’t known them long, the guys felt like close brothers to me. I trusted them completely and felt safe and comfortable with them.
I spoke to mum and she was happy I had arrived in Leon, close to a hospital. She kept telling me to stop the walk and to just get a bus. There was no way that was going to happen. I was here for the walk. I reassured her though that if the I needed to I would stop and rest. I had no particular end date so I had no intention of stopping what it was that I came here for. Mum updated me on everything that was happening at home. She told me that dad was doing well and that he had stopped smoking, was eating healthier, drinking less and even exercising. I was so happy to hear this. Unfortunately, my Pop wasn’t doing as well though. I was saddened to hear that he hadn’t received any of my postcards as yet but glad when Mum told me he was loving hearing about my trip and that he was really proud of me.
After settling in, we all had a look around the city. I bought some more postcards for my family. We ran into lots of pilgrims. Aaron saw some people he had started off with and I met a lovely New Zealand woman called Jess who was about the same age as me. I didn’t have that much energy but enjoyed sharing stories.
I felt so relieved to be feeling better and to have my appetite back. We ate at a lovely restaurant where I enjoyed a delicious chicken salad. Aaron was keen to stay out a little longer after dinner but I was ready to crash for the night. Dave kindly walked back with me. Lucky he did. We ended up getting lost on our way back to the hotel. It was a little stressful not having any idea of where we were. We first got directions off a passerby that turned out to be wrong. Then we spoke to a lovely couple who were happy to help. To Dave’s amusement, I used my fantastic signing to explain the front and back of the hotel. He was in hysterics. He said it funny how I must have thought that the slower I spoke and the more I used my hands, the more they would understand. I realised later how silly I must have looked and sounded to the locals. Thankfully it paid off though and we made it back to the hotel, followed shortly after by Aaron. The three of us crashed for the night hoping for a sleep-in the next morning.
Awareness Gained Along The Way
It’s amazing how light you can feel once you let go of so much suppressed sadness.
It’s nice to have friendships with males that don’t have any hidden agendas.