Day 8: The Magnesium Effect
The Magnesium Effect
April 21, 2017
Day 8: Conques to Decazeville
Statistics: 24.3 kilometers(15 miles), 42,128 steps, elevation changed: 1,830 feet, 30-40 pilgrims, 50-65 degrees, sunny blue skies
I wake up early and start the daily preparations of quietly packing gear. I decide to take my medications early to avoid the Parkinson’s symptoms. After packing leave the room and head to the courtyard of the monastery to retrieve my hiking boots. “It’s probably 30 degrees, warmer than yesterday but still cold. Put on the boots. Check the front door to make sure it doesn’t lock behind me. Then head out to a spot I could get free wifi. Halfway there my left leg cramps. I do some stretches and turn around to head back to the room.
I search my things to find the magnesium supplement for cramps. It’s a powder that says to mix with 1 liter of water, but it tastes so foul I mix it with a half liter.
I alternate eating bread and chugging magnesium water. After finishing the magnesium, I feel a sudden need to go to the bathroom. When I reach the bathroom, I am surprised to purge my stomach contents in the toilet. I later find out I took 8 doses instead of one. Of course the cramps disappeared. The side effect of overdose is diarrhea. By the end of day, i go to the bathroom a dozen times.
We finish packing and head out to the bakery for breakfast and lunch. Leaving town is a steep descent to the valley floor. At the bottom, you arrive at the magnificent “Roman” bridge from the 17th century.
A very steep climb begins on the other side. It’s a super steep climb for about 30 minutes until you reach the Chapelle Sainte-Foy where a beautiful view of Conques awaits you. There’s only like 12 chairs and the altar has hundreds of pieces of paper from pilgrims. Here tradition has it that each pilgrim rings the bell and if they are lucky they will hear the reply from the monks in Conques. Well wasn’t on our side so we continue climbing another 45 minutes .
I take my second dose of medicine at 9:30 am. The views near the top are just stunning.At the top the trail is on the road. My foot starts to drag so I take my third dose at 10:18 am. I walk backwards for 30 minutes but legs are still not working. Take a break then take s fourth dose of medicine at 12 noon.Within 30 minutes, walking like a champ.
It’s A beautiful day. We pick up speed and walk 5 km an hour for the next two hours. We walk into a small town that has a wonderful outdoor café we eat lunch and talk to a couple from Colorado.
Then walk on it after about 45 minutes we reach a. wonderful church with The most amazing Stainglass windows.
After a long day we reach Decazeville but we have missed our . turn so we have to take a long roundabout route that adds 5! km to the route..It’s an industrial town.
The Gite owner is super nicer. We go to the supermarket and buy food for dinner and breakfast.