Day 15: Camino del Norte

Mileage: 35.5 
Total distance: 307.7

Being injured while hiking is one of the most frustrating, debilitating and petty things to have to deal with. My heart and mind are ready to run and explore and experience, but my body has its limits and this isn’t the first time I have seen it. Thankfully, I have a longboard. 

I stayed in an amazing hostel last night with four other pilgrims. We were given dinner and breakfast all on a donation basis, which for some reason inspires me to give more than I would want to if it were a set price. After an amazing breakfast and cup of coffee I grabbed my longboard and with zeal for some hills. Today was the perfect day for that. 

Immediately the trail began with a slow and grueling uphill and I had moments of pain in my right shin, but knew that sooner or later I’d have to come town. After three miles the road smoothed out and I could see up ahead that the downhill began. Clouds hovered in all directions and small spurts of drizzle pelted my face as I began to ride. 

The road was not very busy with an occasional car passing me on the left so I felt rather safe riding it out. The ocean came into view and a ray of light shone through the clouds and my heart almost exploded in joy. The highlight of this ride was noticing that hawks were flying all around and my feet were rollin down a thousand feet of paved road with ocean views on my right, gorgeous, rugged mountains on my left and Ice Cube blasting in my headphones. If there is ever a trail to get shins splints on, this is the one. 

  • Arriving in Aviles. 

At the end of this first of many rides, I came into a more trafficked area and had to look behind me more than in front to make sure cars weren’t coming and when they did I would brake and grab my board while they passed. I tried to not piss off any locals and be an annoying tourist causing issues on the road and for the most part I think I did a good job. A lot of people smiled as I road by or outright laughed wishing me “Buen Camino” as I rolled by. 

  • Lots of statues today. 

My spirits stayed high today and my leg got some good rest. I still was able to get in a good amount of miles and hopefully will be able to continue this trend without having to skip any part of this trail. However, I have realized how much this trail calls for reflection and communication in an intimate and communal way. Unfortunately I have spent a lot of this time alone and reflecting by myself. There is a wonderful philosopher named Jacques Derrida who has some insightful thoughts on communication and the power of outwardly expressing thoughts for them to became true and stable in there existence in our minds and personally I have come to feel deeply in line with that thought. I think best when talking with people, I grow stronger when I have people to speak things out with. One day I would love to have another go at this trail, but would want to do it with someone and have those conversations I’ve been having in my head out loud. For now, I have my journal and FaceTime to connect with friends and family back home and in just a few weeks will have a partner on my most exciting journey this summer, in my opinion. Hopefully tomorrow has more hills and concrete paths to keep this things rollin. And shit maybe the weather will be nice!

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