147/365 – Tales from the trail

Following a delicious sit down buffet breakfast together in our hotel, for the first time all 10 of us set out walking together from Roncesvalles. Marilyn, Anais’ mum, had driven for the mountainous section but decided to try walking today. She is 72, a former pathologist, and I found out during the day she believes she has very mild, infrequent ocular myasthenia gravis which was triggered by child birth. Her boots and knees had been hurting her, so we were all a little concerned, but she is a strong woman and seemed determined. 

My double vision was getting a little quicker to correct itself in the mornings now – a relief as this was my last day of anti-biotics. The aches in my muscles felt weirdly good, like each one was a mini achievement. I felt ready for our longest day – 22kms of undulating forests, farms and picturesque villages.

We decided to stay close together for the journey and that meant getting time to speak to everyone during the course of the day. After a day of head down walking in the cold, wet fog the previous day, the relaxed pace and atmosphere was refreshing. As a group, we tend to enjoy a chat and many topics big and small were covered during the day. 

Alongside Marilyn’s OMG, myasthenia came up again when one of the gang told me a work mate had recently been diagnosed with it. She had suffered from a misdiagnosis I had never heard before – she had been told that she had a strange psychological eating disorder as each time she tried to lift something to eat she didn’t have the strength. She had to be off work for a while as she was too weak for it, but eventually got the right diagnosis and is now in remission following a dose of steroids.  

 As I walked listening to this story, I thought if I could have any Camino miracle, it would be this same thing happening to me. Perhaps it is too much to ask for this year, but maybe if we walk again together next year I’ll be drug free. There’s even talk of trying a full Camino in 2016…     

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