Tuesday, 5 October 2010

La Man of Salamanca

so 3 weeks in and over half way there,it may be the silver route but finding an internet cafe is like looking for gold dust,but I sit here reflecting on the past 3 weeks,getting cooler now but those first 2 weeks were a killer.
 an informal gang of 4 was formed Phil from England,the Irish girl Noula, Millitte from Denmark and me.
 Phil is a beer monster and chief rabbit following is Noula with Millitte and me bringing up the rear the highlight of our week together was a mad full moon walk.
 it started with an easy 27km walk into Merida booked into a dirty auberge down by the river left our bags and hit the town for lunch in the tapas bars a tour round the roman remains by Walt Disney toy steam train and then a siesta in the park a long evening meal  and back to the Auberge I can,t remember who came up with the idea (Noula was later blamed) but we decided to leave the Auberge and moonlight walk the 17km to Aljucen,bags were collected,the cold machine was raided for water or in Phils case beer and we set off through the woods our head torches on full beam as we searched for the way spread out like an Indian war party looking for signs of arrows, footprints or bike tracks I don,t think we could have done it sober but did it we did with just a half hour power nap in the woods watched over by Noula who stayed awake (afraid of the dark) We hit the town just as the bar opened at 6am so coffee con letchie and tostadas for all and bocadillas for the road. we were soon joined by the towns Auberge crowd (5) who said later they were faced by 4 mad laughing red eyed pilgrims with bits of forest floor sticking velcro like to there trousers.
 The problem we had not given thought to was what to do in a small town at 6am=nothing left to do but hit the road again for another 21km to find our bed for the night in Alcuescar a residencia for mentally handicapped rather fitting realy.
 The next day being Sunday and while the mood was still on us we did the 40km to the big city of Caceres as the day could be split up into 4 stages (bars) where rest and food could be got. that evening sitting in the Plaza Mayor frosted beer glasses in hand we toasted our adventure,nearly 100km with just 2 nights sleep.
it was madness but joyfull0but there was a price to pay Phil let down by his ankle stayed back a day (only to pass us 2 days later=he is now 2 days ahead with Noula)
 one of the hard bits about this Camino is the distance between beds,31km to the albergue by a resevoir was to be our last as a group= Millitte just did 14k the next day and hung back to rest and write postcards-I managed another 10 while Noula was seen dissapearing over the hill looking like the duracell bunny her little legs pumping away. Millitte catched up with me in Galisteo ( she,s taken to hitch hiking as she gets lost a lot) our last night was spent with vino tinto as she told me of the death of her 21 year old son 4 years ago hit by a speeding taxi and after a deep depresion was slowly coming to terms with it but each day she says he walks with her on the Camino.
 The distances I thought impossible before I bang out now-there is no choice the 40km between Carcabose through the triumphal roman arch at Caparra and on to Aldeanueva was the only choice.sent on my way from the owner of the hostel in Carcabose with a kiss and 2 hard boiled eggs, she was still waving as I reached the corner,I felt as if I was being sent off to war.
 the days are long still and silent now and my knees are holding up but I think I take the Silver route all the way to Astorga and there join up with the French way. this is a beutifull walk and great for contemplation.
"but this aint no party this is aint no disco this is aint no fooooling around"


  1. walk hard and play hard! proud to call you my dad.


  2. Sounds like your having the adventure of a lifetime!! Personally, I love to run at night. Your in your own little world, a sort of zen bubble, no past, no future road, just now what's in your head lamp. Hope it continues well.

  3. Ian, we have made a link on our front page to your blog. Great pictures. Buen Camino! Your pals at Camino Buddies.