Not a week into the Camino and I experienced my first meltdown.
It took place, as a lot of meltdowns do, in a public area - the train station in Logrono.
The night before, I had made a hard decision. My ankle was still sore and I was worried that it would give way before I got to the next big city... Meaning I would be stranded in the middle of nowhere, all alone, and unable to walk.
So I swallowed my pride and decided to skip an 80km section by getting a train, thus giving my ankle two extra days to heal.
I figured it was better to rest now and potentially be able to finish this thing rather than push myself so hard now that I might have to quit.
I told myself it was a lesson the Camino was trying to teach me - that I don't have to be so competitive all the time, that sometimes you have to adapt to the situation and do things you don't like for the greater good.
It turns out the Camino had a different lesson to teach me.
I arrived at the train station at around 11am, only to be told that there was no way I could get on the train with a bicycle. No way at all.
And suddenly, everything became too much.
Here I was, tired and alone in Spain, with a busted ankle and no train option. I also now had nowhere to stay for the next two nights because I had cancelled my accommodation thinking I was going straight to Burgos.
I lost it.
I left the apologetic ticket man, found a secluded corner of the already generally deserted station, and bawled my eyes out for a good ten minutes.
I'm sure those who did pass were curious as to what was going on, but I couldn't have cared less. I just needed to cry.
And cry I did.
But after a few minutes the sobbing subsided and my head felt... Clearer.
I picked myself up, limped out the door, hopped on my bike and just kept cycling in the general direction of the Camino.
I made it to a lake on the outskirts of Logrono and assessed the situation. I felt OK. I kept going.
Then I made it to the next town over - Navarrete. Again, I felt ok.
So then I went on Booking.com and found a room in a place two more towns over - Najera - which I thought I could realistically make. And I did.
It was a long enough slog, with a good few steep climbs, but I made it.
And I went around the town and visited a church and a beautiful monastery and ate a three course meal for €12.
Turns out, actually, that it was a pretty good day.
The lesson, it seems, was simply to believe in myself.
It was an emotional, and an expensive, lesson, but I'm glad I learned it. It's one I won't soon forget.
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