I’m back in Ireland. It’s been five days. And my ankles still hurt. Some days they hurt more than others. On Saturday I wanted to amputate them. But that would have been silly so I didn’t.
I’ve fallen in love with travelling by car. In a car, a kilometre doesn’t take any time at all. Even ten kilometres don’t really take time. I’ve also fallen in love with the Great Indoors. So clean. So comfy. So far away from direct sunlight. And don’t even get me started on having clean clothes and being able to wear something different and non-smelly every day.
I had a lot of work to do when I came back and I’d planned to drive back to my little house in my little village in Longford when I got to Dublin, but after the insanity of the last 48 hours of the Camino, I stayed in a friend’s house in Dublin. She made me some mashed potatoes for dinner because I’d been away from Irish food for a month and I would have kissed her except for the fact that I smelled like a box of dead rats.
I spent the next two days at home, horizontal and recovering.
Of course I weighed myself after my Camino. I lost 2 stone 4 pounds (32 pounds or 14 kg). Considering I spent the entire time living on sugary drinks and bread, this is impressive. I feel thinner as well, and I’m certainly better able to do things like wash myself and cut my toenails than I was before I left, so I hope I manage to keep it off. The shower in the place where I’m staying now wouldn’t have been wide enough to fit me two months ago, so the timing of this weight loss is ideal.
Before I started work again, I was determined to get my hair cut and chop the Camino off my head. Every time I posted a photo or video on Facebook or Instagram while I was walking, someone would compliment my beard. I didn’t like my beard for a number of reasons. Having a full beard makes me look really like my oldest brother, which is bizarre, and also, a beard is basically just a swarm of greasy face pubes and that’s not sexy. I went to a barber on Saturday in Longford. This barber was very pleasant, but she smelled strongly of bacon. Also, while she was shaving my head and my beard, she blew at my head to clear away the cut hair. There is something deeply gross about someone blowing their bacon-y breath at your upper-lip and sending your hairs flying. Why can’t she use her hand like anyone else would? Or if she needs something that blows, she could use a hairdryer. There’s one right next to her for goodness sake! Anyway, I got rid of the Camino hair and the Camino beard and I feel more like myself again.
I’m working in Galway for the next while. When I agreed to take this job, I thought I’d be staying in the hotel I’ve written about here before. The hotel with the hot tub. As it turns out, I am Connor, and because some things never change, I’m actually spending the next month in student accommodation. I still needed a spell in the hot tub though, so I went to the hotel I was at before and pretended to be a guest there. I’m a better person after a jacuzzi. It’s only right that I sneak into one. It’s my reward for giving up my ankles for St James.