It was a long long walk leaving the city (Logrono) Through the centre, then the’burbs. It was just getting light when, at the edge of town, the route took me through a park. There was a fountain there with the strangest sign. “Don’t clean fish” Wha…? I didn’t have any dirty fish to wash so I just refilled my two water bottles. Continue reading “Camino Two: 6, Dirty Fish”
My entire room, all five of ’em, were up at 5.30 and so I was too. Normally I don’t linger much but today I wanted breakfast at the albergue because the map indicated steep hills right at the start. Hills. There’s a surprise. The cafe in the albergue offered eggs at 6.30. I was first in the queue and first out of the door. Continue reading “Camino Two 5: Fiestas And Wine Fountains”
Leaving Pamplona early and my feet ache. My calves ache, and my thighs ache. Oh my shoulders ache too. I’m just a walking ache. Three of my fingers don’t ache but that’s all. Unsurprising I suppose, I’ve walked about 70 km in 3 days. Ten metres on the flat. The rest on hills. Who knew the Pyranees would be hilly. I should have paid more attention in Geography class. Continue reading “Camino Two: 4. Another Day Another 25km.”
As my noisy fellow peregrinos started the usual palaver of packing for the road, I quickly threw some clothes on and went for coffee. The last bar I was in last night was open and busy. It’s 6.15. After two cups I sauntered back to the, by now, empty albergue, shaved and grabbed my stuff. Continue reading “Camino Two: 3 Pamplona Vagabonds”
OK. This post accidentally lost I will have to rewrite it
The snorers kept me awake some of the night. No biggie. In the albergues it’s normally lights out at 10.00 and people start to move around about 6.00am. See that’s eight hours and I never sleep that long, and you can be a kind of prisoner when you wake up at four. So the snorers,farters, tossers and turners help spread out your sleep.
People seem to want to be away really early so the overcrowded bunk rooms are busy. I lie still, like a stalking lioness, until most of them have left. Then I pounce on the weakest and take him back to the cubs to eat. No, not the last bit. Kidding. No, after the speedy departures have pushed off I have a bathroom to myself and can pack my bag in peace.
The earliest ones try to make no noise. They fail miserably. The more they try, the more irritating they become to the others. Zippers are zipped, rezipped, and zipped again. Sleeping bags are rustled into pouches. The bunk is searched time and time again. None of them could ever be successful at burglary. Even if you were out nextdoors would hear ’em.
I set off on day two. The profile looked largely downhill. It wasn’t. There were plenty of uphill bits. And, if you’ve done any of this hiking malarkey you will know that descents can be painful.
The problem with ups and downs is Gravity. It wants you on the level. If you want to go up it holds you back. Want to go down? Great, says Gravity, but you will do it at my pace. That’s about 120 miles an hour. Isaac Newton should have sorted this out way back when. He’s got three laws of motion. Wouldn’t have hurt him to have another where hills are concerned. No. Half a job Isaac if you ask me.
Anyway I hardly talked to anyone today. Too busy swearing and trying not to fall over. I did meet a Spanish guy with a dog. Apart from his huge backpack he had a wheely case. On this terrain. I chatted while he was resting. Five minutes after I left him the downhill section deteriorated. How the hell he got down there I have no clue. Maybe he didn’t and he died up there and the poor starving dog wouldn’t leave his body. Like that Scottish dog they built a statue of. Greyfriars Bobby. Probably not though. That’s just me. You have a lot of time to think on the Camino…
Later I passed the Korean Snorer from last night. He was sat under a tree out of the sun, eyes half shut. He can’t be tired I thought. He was the only one who got a good nights sleep. I nodded a greeting and as I walked past I gave him three quick snores. Yes. Now he knows I know.
I rolled into Zubiri not knowing where to stay. Maria, the owner of the first albergue, collared me and convinced me to stay there. I could have done a lot worse. There were two nice bars in town. The better one had wifi problems so I hit the other one to write up part one of the blog. I had it almost finished when I hit a wrong button and lost the lot. I’m using a tablet and it’s much more awkward than a lappy. By the time I’d rewritten it the bar was closing. At 8.00! In Spain! Zubiri is not like Madrid. Not at all. Me and two other drinkers took our drinks outside and the owner locked the place up. I was still connected to the wifi so I got finished.
Now that I didn’t need wifi I hit the other bar. They were busy but still closed at 9.00. Couldn’t believe it. Oh well, home then. There were a few peregrinos hanging around outside our albergue. A German woman was asking everyone where they were from and writing it in a book. She asked me.
‘HG One,’ I said.
‘That’s not a country,’ she said.
‘No, but it should be,’ I said.
I’m a massive snob about Harrogate and HG1 in particular.
She looked puzzled. I left it. Couldn’t be bothered playing stupid games when the pubs are shut.
- This story starts Camino Two : 1 Onward And Upward, Definitely Upward.
- Camino One starts Camino de Santiago: Preparation
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Last year The Little Nurse and I were enjoying tapas in a real nice bar in Seville. It was some of the best tapas I have ever had. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find it since. Anyway we got talking to Raul, another customer. Dressed expensively with a €50 euro haircut and a watch that cost more than my car, he turned out to be a hotelier from Extramadura. Continue reading “Extramadura Spain 1. Who Knew?”
Last day in Benicassim and more importantly the last night of camping. Yay! At 7.00 a.m. I was already planning tomorrow. It’s gonna be sleep, peace, wine, a decent dinner and more sleep. The day went like the previous three. A cold, public shower, a walk into town, breakfast, beach, air conditioned bar, cold beer, mediocre food. Then back to the music. Continue reading “Benicassim 4: We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.”
Needless to say, for the second night running, I had no sleep. Rip Van Winkle couldn’t have slept at the camp site. It would be a good place to bring patients out of comas. There is no gap between my tent, the two either side, and the three behind. The row opposite is barely a metre away. When I sneezed a disembodied voice said “Bless you!” Continue reading “Benicassim 3: It’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll But I Like It.”
Down through the rubbish piles I walked to the shower block. Luckily it was almost empty. I couldn’t decide whether this was down to the hour (7.00) or just a suspension of hygiene regimes by my fellow festivaliers. Fear of the shower block itself may also have been a factor. Continue reading “Benicassim 2: I’ve Got Soul But I’m Not A Soldier”
The train from Valencia arrived in Benicassim 40 minutes late. No biggie. Most of the alighting passengers had decided to walk to the festival site so I tagged along. It was a hot slog. No shade and by the side of a road, but we got there. I traded in my first bit of paperwork for a wristband allowing me festival access for the next four days, and made my way to Campfest, the campground attached to the festival grounds. Here I traded in my next paperwork at the Glamping Company portacabin for another wristband, giving admission to that area and my pre-ordered tent. Continue reading “Benicassim 1: Glamping, It’s All About The Bass.”