[First blister of the trip. From my trekking poles.]
Total Distance: 24.3 km
Total Time: 7h
Total Euro: 12.5/person
Route: Belorado to San Juan de Ortega
E and I had a rough night. We decided to eat at the albergue last night and E ordered paella. After my last two experiences with mussels (puking my guts out all night), I didn’t even attempt the dirty mollusks, but I did have some of his rice. Two hours later I woke up to the distinct feeling that I was going to vomit. Terrified that I would spend my evening on the bathroom floor, I went downstairs in search of a cooler climate and a more private bathroom. When I didn’t immediately get sick, I went back to let E know what was going on, and to his credit, he shuffled down the stairs to hang out with me. I never actually got sick, but I spent the next few hours sitting on the floor with my jaw clenched, holding myself rigidly against a wall, too nauseous to even lower my chin to my chest. The next morning I told E that if I had actually gone into the bathroom and hung my head over the toilet, I probably could have thrown up, to which he replied, “Which means, that any other mere mortal would have spent their night retching.” (I really do hate throwing up.) Eventually we moved me upstairs to a couch outside our room and E went back to bed. I think I ended up with the better sleep despite everything, though, because even from outside the room with the door closed, I could hear someone snoring loudly. The end of this story? Fuck mussels.
Despite the lack of sleep, we rose early and began our journey to San Juan de Ortega. We managed to be in pretty high spirits for the first half of our day, but it got really hot in the last hour and it was a bit of a push.
We hadn’t really planned our day very well, and if we had it to do over again, we would have walked three more kilometers to Ages. There is absolutely nothing in San Juan. Just the albergue, a restaurant and a church. And the albergue wasn’t the nicest – no kitchen, no place besides the bathroom to wash the laundry, not super clean and mattresses that were so old they folded in on you like hammock. Despite all this, we went to bed around 8:30 and slept soundly until the next day.