Among the many books I have read about the Camino Santiago, "The Camino" by Shirley Maclaine, yes her, the actress/actor who has been my inspiration as a caregiver after watching her as Aurora advocating for her hospitalized daughter, Emma in the movie Terms of Endearment . In one of the chapters in her novel about her experience walking the Camino, she describes piercing, with a needle, a fellow pilgrim's blisters feet for pain relief. Many other books, guides describe this "procedure" and, I have done whatever I can to avoid having to call Shirley up for a telemedicine meeting.
In the months leading up to my Plan A walk, I became a tiny bit obsessed with finding the most wonderful hiking boots.
I have an old pair that has served me well, and I went against one of our family's sayings, Never let better be the enemy of good, and headed down to REI to find the mystical, perfect fit for my trek. My daughter Margot, ever patient, accompanied me, and we spent a wee bit of time consulting with the experienced, low key hiking boot specialists. I tried on high boots, low boots, hybrid shoe-boots ( shboot?), American boots, European boots, I walked up the darling fake mountain that every REI seems to have in the shoe department , around the store, jumped, bent and snapped, and brought home the new boots. After a break in period of profound ankle pain, I went back to my 20 year old hikers, bought an exact replica of a pair of shboots that I have been walking our hills in for years. REI has a great return policy, which would have saved my money, if I hadn't "needed" a few more items to lug in my large backpack. This backpack is ready, packed, and sitting all by its sad and lonely self, while August and I use a daypack for our snacks, water, and other sundries.
So now, onto foot care! There are, of course, controversies in foot care on the trail, many opinions, many theories, some about shoes, some about socks, some about ointments for prevention of blisters, and of course, the needle for the inevitable blister is on every packing list.
Since I am working from home, at least in a hiking way, I am exploring, in a mandated 5 mile radius for personal recreation way, ways to take care of my feet. From my days of running long distances, I have socks that work, and from my days of roaming the aisles at REI, I have sock liners, to wear under them to decrease friction. As the photo at the top of this piece shows, I have found a very fine lotion to put on the tootsies prior to socks, thank YOU Burt's Bees, I am using it daily and so far, ( almost 100 miles walked since 4/1) I will not need to call Dr. Maclaine for emergency needle to the blister surgery!