The Magical Meseta Mystery Tour
Trip Start Sep 05, 2012
27Trip End May 16, 2013
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While on the subject of weather, well, it had to happen sooner or later I suppose. Rain! Ugh. We were strutting jauntily out of Castrojeriz one fine morning, whistling and self-congratulary as we marvelled at the incredible sunrise made all the finer by misting rain off in the distance (a brief touch of foreshadowing), then completely blowing us away in the opposite direction as the suddenly dark skies and picturesque rainbows offset the sun dappled hill in just the most pleasing manner. Well, youīll never guess what happened when we reached the top of the hill. It started raining. Crazy, right? And then it kept raining. All day. And all night. And all day the next day. And all that night. Then, on a semi-related note, it turns out that our rain jackets arenīt necessarily rain proof. I mean, they clearly fought the good fight, and didnīt give in easily or early, but give in they did. And how. On the bright sides, our rain pants, backpack covers and my hiking shoes acquitted themselves magnificently. As for the rest, well, the struggle only sweetens the victory. Or something like that Iīve heard people say that didnīt have cold drops of rain slowly creeping down their balls every 5 minutes or so. Anyway, the rain drove us into a hotel where we could at least dry our clothes (the communal albergues are usually unheated and 50 pilgrims share one small clothes rack)
Now, details anyone? We have now dragged our sorry lumbering arses 460 kilometres over 21 days of hiking. Thatīs the good news. The bad news is we still have 320 kilometres to go over the next 2 weeks. Whose idea was this anyway?
As everyone eventually racks up more and more semi-sleepless nights thanks to snoring in the albergues we are noticing a distinct discrimination towards older men, with large swaths of empty beds surrounding them until those unfortunate late arrivals finally succumb, grimacing through a reluctant Buenos Tardes and climbing on to the bunk above with a defeated sigh and haunted eyes
There has also been a noticeable decrease in the generall level of excitement, perkiness and vivacity of the pilgrims these days. A lot of things have taken a toll - pain, physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion and the loss of novelty have all dulled the atmosphere slightly, although we are still definitely enjoying it overall. Although I have to say I donīt know which I am more sick of - wearing exactly the same clothes every single day, or having to look at all the other people wearing the exact same clothes every single day. Plus, I have grown quite weary of listening to other people poop.
So today the plan is to celebrate Father Frankīs birthday, probably by getting drunk in his honour and filling him to giddiness with candy and Coke (youīll note the capital C), then getting mentally prepared to attack the final third tomorrow.
Ok, Iīm off to super glue the sole of my shoe, and probably have a nap. Talk to you soon.
And if you have a little time on your hands please take the time to check out my book Random Acts of Travel : Featuring Trepidation, Hammocks and Spitting.
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