Day 9 // Villamayor del Rìo – Agés // 35.5 km

Yesterday evening I noticed that the sun was a bit tricky. It was windy the whole day and I didn't even feel the sun burning my skin, but I sure am feeling it now! Say hello to a sunburn on my left ear and neck! My left leg and arm is also a bit burnt, but they're used to the sun already, so they just look tan. 

Reality check photo of the day!

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The arms are the same - I am a zebra! 

Yesterday I came to a realization that a week has already passed and I've done 200 kilometers. I've also dropped a couple of kilograms along the way. Not sorry about that! 

We are waking up really early today and left the auberge at 5.30 AM already. With no breakfast. I switched up the strategy today - while my feet have not swollen up yet, I wear my hiking sandals. I feel amazing. I can't even feel my little blisters. And comparing to others, I basically have no blisters at all! FEELING AWESOME! 

After 5 kilometers we reach the first village. Everything, of course, is closed this early. We go to the next village - again - nothing there! Except some melons or watermelons behind the fence, it was hard to tell.

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When we got done with the 13th kilometer and reached our third village, we found a very nice spot for breakfast. At least they know what a cup of tea is here! Finally the size is appropriate and croissants with ham and cheese cost only 1 EUR.

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I bought another one.. and then two more for the road. I was very happy about the food. 

After breakfast we get back on the road. I noticed a guy in front of me.. not, at first I noticed the tattoos on his legs. Kiki, my love, this photo is for you. I even ran to catch up with him to take this photo. 

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Since we started a conversation, we might as well walk together. Cameron is from Scotland and he is happy to hear that he was the second person from Scotland (Steph was also from Scotland) that I've met - because he is yet to meet another person from his home country. I thought I might not see another Latvian here too, even if someone is on this journey right now.. When we hiked up the mountain, Cameron asked me to take a photo with him so the city is in the background. Of course I agreed to help him out, but turns out, he wanted to take a photo of me! And then I see him pulling out a huge professional camera. He takes a photo of me and all I can think of is - really? You're carrying that with you?? I was carrying a kilogram of fruit yesterday, but at least I can enjoy them later on. But this huge monster? It must be so uncomfortable to carry that thing around with you all the time and also keep an eye on it, when you get to the auberge. He is enjoying the journey with no worries at all. 

We said our goodbyes at the next village. I wait for my Italian family and we get in the mood for our big part of the day - a 12 kilometer hike up the mountain with no villages on the way there. 

I am so happy when I realize that the path is taking us through the forest. Everything smells so nice here and the opportunity to hide from the sun for a bit is the best.

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When I can't hide from the sun anymore, I put on my neckband and I try to hide my burnt ear as well. The sun got me good yesterday.

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I've got a huge mountain going downhill and then going right back up in front of me. As I walk downhill the cyclists pass us very quickly. As I walk uphill - I pass them, ha! It's hard for them to go uphill.

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When we reached 25 kilometers, I decided to take a quick break. I ate the soft croissants and switched a pair of socks. I sat right next to the inspirational message.

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Buen Camino! Love

I heard someone coming and kicking rocks joyfully. A Spanish woman and a crazy German sits down next to me. Crazy, because he was. He has done 21 000 kilometers on feet already in his life. And I think Camino is just a Monday night walk for him. 

As I walk further through the forest, I hear music. WOW! A Camino oasis.

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A very nice place, it had hammocks, chairs, music playing. I felt like I was at a festival.

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As I walk further I felt how my calves are burning up. I stopped to put a cream on them. SPF50 cream can't deal with this sun. Tonight I'm even more red/tan. I had the thought to wear leggings today. And I did not show my arms to the sun today - I wore a long-sleeve shirt. 

There is a group of pilgrims in front of me and all of them are singing “cantare ooooo”, I sang quietly to myself with them. I don't know the lyrics, but it does not stop me. I see many pilgrims today. I don't know where all of them came from. I know a lot of them start from Pamplona. I am a little worried about what's gonna come next, because I know a lot of people start their journeys from Burgos or Leona. Or just start their journey 100 kilometers from Santiago cathedral. I might have to sleep on a street. 

We reach the next village. We go grab lunch. No bread! Mix salad with tune. Again, I was very happy about the food. 

We only have a little bit left until the auberge - only 3.6 kilometers.

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We reach it. And when we did, I caught myself thinking - I want the morning to come so I can continue! I must like the feeling of this. 

Yesterday I was worried about today, because I thought it would be though. At around 10 kilometers my legs started getting heavy that's why I had a pill of painkiller in the morning. I know it is nothing good, but it was sort of a deal in exchange for a great day and no pain in the legs! 

Tomorrow is going to be an easy day - we're only going to Burgos - 23 kilometers - and I have booked a hotel there. We're living fancy tomorrow. We're also dreaming about a steak for dinner tomorrow night. 

Thank you, Santiago, you were good to me today! 

And the first spread in my pilgrims passport is full.

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Take it easy!

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