Day Twenty

Another crap sleep, I think because I’m such a light sleeper, the slightest noise from someone else and I’m awake. It’s lucky I went to bed early yesterday!
I’m on the road by 7am, I want to get some good distance in before the heat of the day. My left foot is still bad, not blisters, I’m not really sure, but it hurts when I step. I think I could use some good insoles?
Auvillar was a pretty little town, and as I walked out of it I realised the whole modern part was hidden by the medieval market area which I’d stayed in. I had beautiful views from my dorm and in the distance I could see the two big chimneys from the nuclear power plant bellowing out vapour.
This morning I passed villages every hour which helped with the pace of the day, and most of the walking was on the road. Early on I disturbed a couple of green woodpeckers, but besides them and a few other birds it was eerily quiet.
By 9am I knew today was going to be another hot day. The heat has changed as I’ve moved south-west. Up until a few days ago the heat has been dry, but now it’s close, theres a humidity with this heat. My trousers cling to my legs, my hat is soaked to the point that I can wring it out.
As I predicted to myself, with such a hot day I found little shade as I walked. But my pace was good, my foot had eased. The pilgrims following me now couldn’t be seen. I passed others, in churches, petit casinos, cafe’s. I could see more in the distance… I’d passed the easy 21km mark where I’d considered staying. The next stop was 10km away. Roughly half way there and my pace like everyone’s begins to slow. A combination of fatigue, the heat and our feet. Mine usually start aching after about 25-28km.
I set my sights on a pilgrim up ahead, but I can’t gain ground, as I turn a corner I find four more in the shadow of some trees, I recognise three of them. Finally I see what must be Lectoure in the distance, but it’s not to far. As I get closer one of the ladies from the party of four comes past, there’s also a young couple from the States up ahead. I haven’t talked with them, but I’ve heard through others.
I see a group of maybe five pilgrims up ahead under a tree, it turns out they couldn’t decide on directions as others walk past some carrying on and some turning right. I stop to give my English opinion on which way (using viewranger app) is right, when someone calls my name from behind me. It’s Anette. Shocked that she’s not days in front of me, I ask if she’s seen Marcus or Thomas also. She did 3 or 4 nights ago! My spirits are lifted, we all walk the final distance to Lectoure. Once here, we have an ice cold beer and then find a hostel.
Anette wants to check my feet?! I guess that’s the nurse in her. She agrees they are ok but I do need some good insoles.
It’s now early evening and I’m crashing… But not before I wish my old friend (and boss) Pete Canning a very happy birthday!

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About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
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4 Responses to Day Twenty

  1. Mike Davey says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Missing you fella but keep going you are a bloody star.

  2. Dave Cheesman says:

    Hi Bro, Happy Birthday and we hope you have a fantastic day. Lots of love from the northern cheesy’s.

  3. Lee Kitto says:

    Well done dude. Take care me those feet and happy 37th you old old git x

  4. Sam Ford says:

    Hey Tom just had a quiet sit down and caught up with the last 20 days, you are doing brilliantly, it all sounds amazing (bar the blisters). I shall be keeping up to date more often now. Keep it up and Happy Birthday xxx

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