Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Man With the Tan

Now in Los Arcos,it has been a strange old week raining for most of it ,with strong winds and hailstones as we walked over Alto de Perdon.
I stand out for a change as one of the only North Europeans with a tan, any others have invairable also started their Camino in France, I am vain enough to take pride in telling people this when asked how come I have a tan or where did I start from,I also take great pride in the fact my passport has so many stamps but so far no one seems so impressed with the size of my passport.
 there are so many people now on the Camino some starting in SJPP others in Roncesvalles or Pamplona, my walking companion was in tears as she reached Estella,the large crowds had got to her,she had thought of this journey for 10 years and didn,t think she could continue,we walked a short 2k passed Estella to the sports hall and nearly had it all to ourselves,plus we heard that the 3 refuge were all filled by the end of the day.
 a good walk nearly all to ourselves to Los Arcos the last 7 km being realy beutifull and both she and me are ready for the rest still to come.
 I plan trying to get out of sinc with the crowds by staying at the small places.
 the main change for me is the "Ground Hog Day" effect its amazing how many memories flood back as I walk,I sit in bars expecting old friends to join me, they weather is so different too I now walk through mud where once my neck turned red with the heat.
 but I must walk this Camino and not last years.
  So many people walked down through the woods into Roncesvalles and for some their Camino is now over,
one young man 27 years of age Christian for germany joined me for a meal in Zubiri,his knee was bad and he planned to rest up for a few days,he had worked for 7 years as a chef in Magalulf a party town and now hoped to walk the Camino before returning to his home town to look after his ageing parents of 62, when he mentioned this to the table of 3 danish women and one from Italy including myself all older than his parents we all howled with laughter and regaled him with stories of our lives as we relived the 60,s
 one of the Danish women had been an au pair and then worked in bond street in London in the 1960,s She had had a great time, the italian had drove a truck in England when she was a student and was now carrying the ashes of her 25 years younger husband to Santiago,as we relived the times of the 60,s Christian vowed to view his parents in a diffent light.He left us reliving the 1960,s and as we started to sing the old songs we were asked to leave the table for being too loud,us baby boomers never forget how to party!!
 the other high note was when we diverted to Eunate a Knights Templar church where if you walk barefoot round the outside 3 times you will be filled with new vigor,Which we did much to the delight of the 2 tourist buses that took pictures,I don,t think I was filled with new strengh but who knows.
 a little of what my walking comanion feels came home to me today, In a place were I slept alone in a room ment for 4 last year the whole town is full, people had to keep walking for another 6 km, tomorrow we walk 29km to Logrono and have already booked our rooms,4 to a room at 20 euros each.
 we have to up our game.


  1. You got over the Pyrenees just in time to beat the snow.... I feel sorry for your walking companion who found the crowds too much. I know I felt like giving up the day I walked Sarria to Portomarin as I found it hard to handle the crowds... In any year, around May 1st it is always crowded. Maybe it will ease off a little soon?

  2. Go Ian go! Now that you´re an Old Hand, you can show the rest how to Do Pilgrim-ing.

    Hope we see you soon in Moratinos!

  3. Well as a boomer myself, let me borrow a phrase from the "Gen X" ers ...LMAO!!! Very good story!! Ahh the aging folks...if they only knew...but then their turn will come!! Keep posting, Buen Camino, Karin

  4. Sounds like you're having an amazing time. Is the inapropriate loudness in restaurants a baby boomber thing or a Kitchen thing? Or both? Double trouble :D

    Jen xXx

    PS - in reply to your postcard - the cat has turned up!!

  5. Wonderful post. Your writing inspires me. I leave on this coming Wednesday fro SJPDP. Buen Camino!