Logroño or “The Agony of Your Feet”

The increasingly not-so-rare ✖️ instead of an ⬆️ on the Camino

The increasingly not-so-rare ✖️ instead of an ⬆️ on the Camino

Today has shaped up to be quite different than expected. I was going to write a bit about some thoughts I had about the state of The Church, since I’ve had nearly a day to think about it climbing (and climbing), descending, and then climbing into Logroño this afternoon. As it turns out, the blisters on Fr. Ryan’s feet aren’t healing well. He’ll definitely need to see a foot specialist (of which there are many along the Camino!) I’ve got a few blisters and “hot-spots” on the top of my foot, but the obviously deep magic Compeed seems to be working well for me. My only problem other than muscle aches making me walk like a little old man seem to be increasing plantar fasciitis pain. It’s an interesting Catch-22: I’ve got to wear insoles to correct my step, which in the posture biz is called overpronation, but the insert that solves that problem also lifts the arch in my foot, which I suspect is the cause of hyperextending that tendon.  I never thought I’d care so much about feet!

At any rate, as today is the Solemnity of the Assumption and most doctors and businesses are closed for the feast, we weren’t able to see a specialist after hobbling into the albergue in Logroño. We did get to sample some of the great wine of the Rioja region since some of the tapas bars are right underneath our window. (For you wine lovers, go buy a bottle of Spanish red –Vino Tinto, Rioja Region, Riserva or Gran Riserva – and enjoy!) Just because your feet don’t work is no reason to be a grump on a feast of Our Lady!

So, all this to say the next few days of the Camino could change for us. What would have brought us straight through on foot to a new village every day might turn into a few unplanned treatment and recuperation days. While I don’t think my issue is pressing, Fr. Ryan has some wounds in which infection is a real possibility. It may shorten our Camino a bit (yet another lesson in humility; a bitter pill!) so that we can continue onto Santiago de Compostela. We’ll see.

While I know that I could probably continue on my own, at this point I’m not inclined to leave Fr. Ryan behind. Besides being a friend, he’s a brother-in-arms and I know that he’d be the first to extend the corporal works of mercy to me were I the one in pain. Who knows? St. Roch may effect a miracle tonight, or perhaps the miracle is simply admitting temporary defeat of the feet. Either way, my sense is that we’re in it together. Where else will we get the next decade or so of inside jokes to add to our repertoire?

Fear not, intrepid reader, I’ll even give you the Spanish General Hospital details as they unfold. Spanish soap opera, here I come!