Life in Spain 1: Waiters, what can you do?

The Spanish do things differently. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about the idiosyncrasies of Spanish life.

Street Names.

Almost all Spanish Street Names are named after people. Not things or places. There is no Spanish equivalent of Acacia Avenue or Thames Road. It’s all people. They start off with the great and the good. Kings are definitely top of the list. Continue reading “Life in Spain 1: Waiters, what can you do?”

Camino 7: Leon, The Lost Day and The Detroit Rule

 

Only one snorer in my room of six last night. Me. Or so a scowly German woman told me over breakfast.
Well. ‘Good morning to you too’ I said.
Even at home I routinely go to bed wired to my Ipod. That along with some wine and beer has made snoring and other erm… noises in the albergues a non issue for me. Listen if you want to stay in albergues that’s the way it is. Stop complaining and get some earplugs. Or an Ipod.
I came across the scowly woman later on that same day and she sped away from me. Needlessly, as I had stopped snoring by then. No-one snores when they are awake and walking along. She should have known that. Continue reading “Camino 7: Leon, The Lost Day and The Detroit Rule”

Camino 6: Unnecessary Weather and the Headmistress of Mansilla.

 

It was raining when I set off this morning. Unnecessary I thought. John the Dublin lawyer from last night caught up with me. He was really moving which spurred me on in the rain. We went quickly through the next 3 villages and soon arrived in Sagahun over 19 klicks from Ledigos. John was on a mission and we covered it in a little over 3 hours. Had it been a race we would have come a close second and third to olympian Haile Gebrselassie, had he been on the Camino instead of winning the Berlin Marathon. Continue reading “Camino 6: Unnecessary Weather and the Headmistress of Mansilla.”

Camino 5: The Long and Boring Road.

The next day I walked to Ledigos. This is a notoriously long straight flat and boring stretch. There is 17km before the first village, Calzadilla. Just outside of Carrion there was a guy with a horse and cart. The cart had seats and the guy was touting for pilgrims to ride. I declined, not wanting my Camino de Santiago to become a Paseo de Santiago, That’s not the same thing at all. Oh no, not for me it isn’t.Blog camino Horse Cart Later the cart passed me with more than a dozen passengers. At 15 Euros a pop. That’s €180 a trip. Two trips a day nets €2520 a week. Just a little bit more than a High Court Judge. So, law school students, have a little think about that. Continue reading “Camino 5: The Long and Boring Road.”

Camino 4: The Kid Reed and the Walking Competition

After the previous nights’ shenanigans I was pleased no one was around when I woke up. After a quick shower I snuck out, stealthily, like a ninja, and got back on the road. More walking. I always thought that the thing I would hate most, if I ever turned into a Zombie, would be all the walking. But it’s not too bad.
To be honest this is not the best I’ve ever felt. I couldn’t find coffee and the next village was 8km away. It took me two hours to get there, Boadilla del Camino. The coffee hit the spot. I filled up my water bottles and marched on. Continue reading “Camino 4: The Kid Reed and the Walking Competition”

Camino 3: Party Town

The original plan called for Castrojeriz as my next overnight destination. Yesterdays destination had been changed to Hotanas from Hornillos so I was out of sync already. No bad thing on the Camino. Looking back, no plan is the best plan. I stopped for breakfast at San Anton and was joined by a fellow peregrino, Nathan. He was a young guy and widely travelled and, although a scientist by profession, he told me that when he ran out of money Continue reading “Camino 3: Party Town”

Camino 2: Burgos, The Start

The Camino de Santiago has a few different routes. El Camino Frances (the French Way) is considered the classic route. It starts in St Jean Pied De Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. It takes 30 to 32 walking days and covers 780km to Santiago de Compostella. I had decided, due to time constraints to start at Burgos, a few days in, leaving me with 500km to cover over about 22 days.4799954401_6cf50e7e3c_b
I had obtained a Credencial on an earlier trip to Santiago. Continue reading “Camino 2: Burgos, The Start”

Down In The Treme

‘Down in the treme’ is a line from the opening music from a TV show about New Orleans, Specifically about the Treme district. It is set in that district just after hurricane Katrina and follows the struggle of the people who live there. Amongst the cast, and playing himself, is Kermit Ruffins a local virtuoso trumpeter often referred to as the new Louis Armstrong. Although very successful and made more famous by the show Kermit is very much a local and has never lost touch with his roots. He still plays gigs and Bullets Bar is one of his regulars.
So we had planned to go. Continue reading “Down In The Treme”

Hanoi 2: Mai and the Blue Dress

Raining again. The locals tell me that it’s usually sunny this time of year. Oh well. At least it’s warm. The hotel gave me a umbrella I told the receptionist I would try not to lose it. But you know how it is with brollys.

I have sent all my tee shirts to the laundry. I had one clean one left last night, but chopsticks … Well… y’know. At least the laundry here uses machines. Unlike India where they knock hell out of your stuff on a rock. Continue reading “Hanoi 2: Mai and the Blue Dress”

Hanoi 1: Sorry Officer

Once again no transport problems. Oh, the plane had a radio problem, cost me an hour. No biggie. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is a beaut. I liked the fact that it is finished. I’m not kidding. Think about the last half dozen airports you were in. There is always work in progress on the airside. ‘coming soon’, ‘for your future convenience’. Not at BKK. It’s all done. And there’s enough seats.

Straight through immigration at Noi Bai airport Hanoi. No visa required as I was in Vietnam for less than 15 days. Just produced my onward flight reservation. Changed some money and became an instant millionaire. £200 became 5.4 million VN Dong! Hanoi millionaire.JPGRolling in it. At the cash desk I met a nice couple from Manchester and we decided to share a cab. A tenner each. Continue reading “Hanoi 1: Sorry Officer”