del Norte Day 19
Peón → San Martín de Laspra

"Can I book a massage?" I facetiously asked Maria (albergue owner, center, glasses, smiling) as she walked by the bedroom doorway, arms full of bulky bedding.

"Yes," she said without batting. Total conviction, total smiling (always smiling). "What time? A woman staying here is a masseuse, and I have two more locally."

In a mental pretzel I looked to Noémi, a perky French Canadian girl in an adjacent bed. "Is that a riddle?" I asked her, stumped, euphoric. A hot shower on the Camino can be a fickle amenity. A massage on-demand is like ordering a coffee in a café and being served a Maine lobster on the side.

My body seemed to store wear and tear from the former 18 days with a vengeance. It had not responded much to the walk. Days 1 – 17, it hemmed and hawed, hip bruise here, plantar ache there. End of day 18? A dump truck of exhaustion, of burning back aches, of locked shoulders. Life wrung out of a body and left in the sun, like a decrepit sponge. And so, I needed patient hands to go to work on it.

Massage booked, 9 pm. Then coma.

Part of the problem: on a walk like this a pack should clock in below 10% of body weight to avoid injury. We're well over that, with laptop, camera gear, and two liters of water. Pushing "dangerous" proportions, but my cross to bear.

So too, I thought, some yoga might heal in the meantime. Eddy in the kitchen agreed. I grabbed an apple while he sketched in his notebook. Twenty minutes later, on my way outside to do some in the garden, I run into Maria. "Michael, we're taking the van into town for yoga at my friend's studio if you want to join." I looked to Eddy. He was already looking at me. Maria smiled.

"There's space for two."

17.66km, 3:49:03
22,718 steps

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PR-CDN01 :: 19 — Green Lights