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Cycling the Camino de Santiago - Day Three (Dragging my body to Estella)

Today was the first time I genuinely considered quitting. 

I'm quite ashamed to write that, considering it's only Day Three, but it's the truth. 

I woke up in Pamplona this morning with a sore throat and a blocked nose - I suspect this was due to the fact that the dorm room window had been open all night while those in the room slept. 

More worryingly, however, was the painful sensations in my left knee and both my ankles. 

The tendons in my right ankle were definitely strained, while there was an odd 'popping' feeling in the left one. 

(By way of context - about two years ago I damaged the tendons by my right ankle, and they have never been right since.)

I had a choice. Cycle the 45km to Estella, or not. 

While I genuinely contemplated the latter, largely because I didn't want to risk further injuring myself so much that I wouldn't have been able to finish the Camino, I decided to keep going. 

Sensibly, however, I spent maybe an hour warming up with a short walk and doing some stretches. 

I hit the road at around 10am, and thankfully my tendons remained intact. 

I felt so good, in fact, that I decided to go off road between Pamplona and Puenta de Reina and follow the dirt track up a mountain to see the famous pilgrim sculptures. 

It was a long slog, made even more tedious by the fact that I was dragging a big heavy mountaim bike with me, but it was worth it. 

The views from the top were amazing. It was hands down the highlight of my day. 

There was even a little mobile shop at the top selling food and drink. Surprisingly the also had a stamp for my pilgrims credential. The booklet is filling up fast now. 

After stopping at the top for a bit, I favoured the road on the way down - I had to seriously make up time if I wanted to make Estella before dark. 

It was largely downhill from Alto de Perdon (where the sculptures were) to Puenta de Reina. 

After this, however, the hills were undulating, with one very steep incline as you come out of the town. 

I'm not going to lie - I found it very tough. I hadn't eaten much today and that, coupled with fatigue from the last few days, meant my energy levels were low. 

I was also conscious of my knees and ankles and trying to mind them at every opportunity.

But I got to Estella in the end, and only a little worse for wear. 

Tomorrow I travel almost 50km onwards to Logrono. Fingers crossed that I don't wake up with any further aches or pains. 

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