Here’s to the nuns!

Day 16: Onton ➡️ Castro Urdiales. DM: 9 mi

Day 17: Castro Urdiales ➡️ Laredo. DM: 21 miles

The best part of my #treatyoself day in Castro Urdiales was not staying at an albergue. A bathroom to myself? What a luxury.

Albergues are not optimal for light sleepers — between the symphony of snores — surround sound style — and 5am alarms. I’ve downloaded a white noise app to use with headphones, but even that has its limits. I tell myself I’m just getting some practice reps in for when I’m a sleep-deprived mom. Based on this, I’m not sure I’ll adjust well to that.

In my sleep deprived state, today gave me a newfound appreciation for nuns. They run tonight’s albergue, and, because I’m the only woman in the group, they gave me a room separate from todos los hombres. 84 cents for every dollar earned? Boys, I raise you a private bathroom! Conservative gender norms for the win.

Ma friend, Sol, is flying from Berlin to join me tomorrow. If you know Sol, you may know that one time she almost walked from Kakamega to Kisumu. She’s also a retired college athlete. I promise I’m also friends with non college athletes.

FAQ – some answers to questions I’ve been getting:

What does a day look like? What do you eat?

My main goals of the day are 1) to walk and 2) to consume calories so that I can walk.

Typical day on VDP:

Leave by 5 – 6:30

Have a bar and some fruit 

Arrive by 11-noon 

11-3: Shower, laundry, lunch out 

3-6: rest 

6-8: supermarket and pharmacy run; cook dinner at albergue 

9: bed 

On CdN:

Leave by 630

Stop @cafe for a Spanish tortilla + coffee ~9

Fruit/bars until destination 

Arrive by 3

3-7: shower, laundry, rest 

7-9: dinner 

9: bed 

What do you think about? 

In the mornings I listen to the birds and enjoy the quiet. 

Post breakfast, if I don’t meet up with people, I’ll listen to some podcasts, and then music. If you have music recs, PLEASE, PLEASE share. I like everything except hard rock and country.

How do I know where I’m going? 

I follow the yellow arrows! And my handy dandy app. 

What have I learned from the Spanish? 

That it’s acceptable to have a beer at any hour of the day. 

Am I glad I’m doing this? 

Yes! Even the VDP segment. I’ve never traveled solo. This is teaching me that I have an incredible capacity to make silly decisions when I don’t have the benefit of leaning on someone else’s common sense. It’s about time I became independent! 

Am I excited to have company on this next segment? 

Yes! If anyone brings the heat, it’s Sol.

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