El Camino – Day 3 – Castrojeriz to Boadilla

Today I found that in admitting my defeat I found success

I started Day 3 with a clear goal to be more positive. I was feeling pretty cranky last night and wanted to make sure today was a better day. The universe laughed and decided to quickly test my willpower with a steep climb up a hill about an hour into our morning walk.

Everything I read about the Camino before I started talked about how flat this part of Spain was. So I was prepared for flat. So far though every day has had hills to climb. I’m pretty sure I understand what flat means so I don’t know what I am missing here. But clearly what I read and reality are misaligned.

I made it to the top of the hill at a pretty good pace and with zero complaints so I felt pretty good about the day. Unfortunately by the time we reached our breakfast spot, after a 4 hour walk (our longest so far) I was in agony again. I don’t think I said a word for the first 30 minutes or so of breakfast and once I finally got my shoes off I found four blisters.

I came to realize something at that breakfast. In the simplest terms, I cannot keep pace with Joanne and Kelly. Their packs are lighter, they are more fit, they are generally better humans or some combination of all three. But whatever it is I have been trying to keep up with them for the past three days and it just isn’t working. Now to be clear, no one was making me keep that pace. I didn’t even realize I was trying to walk faster than I could. I was just walking with my group. And it took reaching my breaking point to make me think about what I was doing.

So I wrapped my feet in bandages and set off at my own pace. It was a slow plod at best. Kelly and Joanne went on a ahead of me and we planned to meet up at our final destination for the night.

I must be the only pilgrim at the turtle pace because I was completely alone for most of the afternoon. It was relaxing actually. I got that feeling of being the only human in the world.
And I found great success! I rolled into the final town for the night still sore but feeling about half the pain I felt at the end of the day yesterday and far better than I was feeling at breakfast. I walked the final two hours of the day without having to stop for a single break.

Our reward for the night is one of the best Albergues we have found so far. It has a pool and laundry service and a very nice restaurant. Tonight we will smell very clean, have full bellies, and soothed feet.

It seems that in admitting the defeat of my physical limitations I may have found my ultimate path to success on the Camino. I’ll be the last pilgrim to stroll in at the end of every day and I’ll own that title with happy feet.

The Stats

12.55 Total Miles
20.2 Kilometers
7 Hours and 17 Minutes of Walking (with a one hour breakfast break)
32,751 Steps According to FitBit
28.10 Euros Spent Today


  1. That was not defeat, Rebecca, it was a lesson, and you passed with flying colors. I’m so envious, it’s been on my bucket list to do what you all are doing. Enjoy every step!

    • Thank you Laura! It really has been quite the learning experience so far! I hope you get to check it off your list soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *