Days Seven to Nineteen


   Just a few days into the walk I developed tendonitis in my left ankle.  I also had severe pains in my right hip.  The tendonitis would hurt every time I would stop and start again.  I often began each morning limping, but after an hour it would go numb and I could walk better.  I had bad days and better days, but it hurt until about two weeks after I got back to Taiwan.  I wrapped it up and that helped a little, I also took a lot of asprin.  
   Many of the roads are rough rocky roads.  The shoes I wore are good for walking, but on this terrain it is like pounding my feet with a hammer at every step.  Some days my feet were swolen when I arrived.  I found that the soles of my inner soles of my shoes were worn down and weren't giving me any shock protection.  I went to a drug store and got some extra insoles and walked much better after that.
   It was also at this time that it began to rain.  My first pilgrimage it rained only one day, but this time it rained many days straight.  I had a couple of cheap plastic rain ponchos from Taiwan that covered my rucksack, but I was so hot wearing them I sweated so much I got myself as wet as I would have in the rain.  Once I took shelter in the entrance of a little village church while I had a snack, other times I just kept walking through it.
   It was also at about this time that my GPS reciever blew out.  I had lost my adapter and rigged up a new one.  It worked fine for my PDA but the GPS was getting overcharged and stopped working.  It must have regennerated itself because after a few days it started working again, though never as well as before.  I had to turn it on again and again before it would work.
  

   Burgos Cathedral.  This time I didn't stop in Burgos, even though it is a nice city.  I stopped for a rest in the park and walked on to Tosantos.  31 km the whole day.
  Not certain but I think this was taken on the hill overlooking Hontanas.
  Church in Castillio de Matajudios.
  A strange skull and crossbones on the side of a building, I think it was a church or connected building in Castillio de Matajudios.  The words above say O MORS, which means death.  Its curious but in the Orthodox Church this symbol often represents Adam buried beneath Golgotha.
  In the village of Boadilla del Camino the was a cool albergue that I stayed at last time.  This time, however, they had stuffed more beds in the rooms.  There was still a little pool and a grassy yard.
  Near Fromista, a little closer.
  The Cathedral of Leon.  Leon was a nice, old city with narrow winding streets. 
  In Leon I had a bed next to this guy.  I was working on my feet and he said he was a 'podiatria' which I guessed was a podiatrist.  He was helping people as he walked along the camino.  He worked on both my feet, cutting off the dead skin and filing down the corns.  After this I had no more trouble with my feet.  They had mostly been okay, though I was getting the occasional infection, but after this they didn't give me any more trouble.  That was a relief because I the tendonitis in my left ankle was soon to get worse, and my right hip joint was seizing up sometimes.
  Called the Episcopal Palace, it looks like a big doll house.  It is a very pretty building and a symbol of Astorga.
  After Astorga we began going uphill.  I began the practice of stopping half way up a hill and finishing it the next day.  I stayed in the little mountain village of Foncebadon, which was little more than two albergues, two bars and a few houses.  The one bar I went to for dinner was done up like a medieval tavern.  I got up early and crested the mountain while it was still dark.  This picture is of the Cross of Ferro.
  This was a nice little town, also having a festival.  There was a band that marched up and down the streets.  I didn't stay here, though I got here early and the albergue was empty.  Last time I had to sleep on the ground.
  The government building of Ponferrada.
  Clock tower, also in Ponferrada.  This was another medieval town with narrow, stone streets.
  A very old castle of the Knights Templar.  I wasn't able to go inside because it was a festival day.


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