I woke after a broken night sleep, the issue of my blisters and whether I could continue hung over me: If I keep going I’m not give my feet time to heal. If I rest we may not have time to complete our journey and also the reality that we are only a fraction of the way.
I examined our route for the day and decided to walk the first 10kms to Vale de Figueira and reassess.
The walk out of the walled city of Santarém was beautiful. It sits atop a bluff, so it was out through the walls down the steep, narrow streets and out across the neighbouring flood plains.
It was a lovely walk but again my total focus was on my feet and though I managed the 10km I knew that I had reached my limit.
Myself, hubby and our pal discussed the situation and I made the decision to take the train from a nearby station into the next big town Tomar, where we were due to be in two more walking days and where we would have an additional rest day when we got there.
And so it was with a heavy heart and a sense of disappointment and concern for the future of my journey that I left the Camino.
In Tomar I checked into a hotel for the next four nights with a view to putting up my feet and praying they would recover in time so that I may continue. Because of the severity of some of the blisters the next morning I made my way by taxi to the hospital and had them examined, treated and dressed. Fortunately the situation wasn’t anything more serious than time, care and rest would take care of.
It would be a waiting game, I now three full days in which my feet would need to be sufficiently healed for me to get back on the Way.