Madrid ...shopping for the Camino
Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
91Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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Where I stayed
I am taking the train north to Pamplona on Tuesday (3 hrs.) – you may know it: it is famous every July for the ‘running of the bulls’. The festival where lots of backpackers come from all over the world join thousands of Spaniards, running through the streets with terrified, freaked out bulls. Not all those backpackers make it home. Darwinism again. Because I bought my train ticket I have to go even though, as yet, now, Sunday night, I still don’t have a pack……I just tried, once again, to get all the crap into my little 22 liter day pack and it is just not going to work….ahhh……the freakin sleeping bag, and extra shoes…..because my feet are killing me - already after only a few hours walking around yesterday in my hot hot, not supposed to be hot but they are, new boots. This is not going to be pretty – the feet hurt -and I haven’t even tried walking with a pack…….a loaded pack…… And then the blogs say you have to leave room to carry 2 litres (2 lbs.) of water and your food…..where the hell are those little Jenny Craig portions when they might make sense????......no room for food ? will be skinny by July!
Now I am thinking this might have been a ‘biting off more than you can chew’ idea……maybe should have started with a 5 km hike instead of an 800 km one?……oh well, maybe I will do 10 km jaunt and then ride the bus around Spain, over to France and help my friend Clem and the boys move into their new house – Clem, it could happen yet.
Interesting to me is how many of you have written to say that this Camino is at the top of your bucket lists…..how come none of you have been here yet? Wait, let me go ahead and figure it out, learn the lessons – I am grateful for Amanda’s advice and inspiration. Not sure why it is a draw for so many, but there is a pull that seems to be universal…..for some it is religious, for me, not at all. Not sure what it is or what it will be….other than damn hard and Robin and Jane, those pretty feet will be no more by mid-July. At least I have the ‘before’ pictures.
And many thanks to those of you who wrote about my 'Five Year Milestone". Some of you shared what the last five years have taught you and I appreciate you sharing that part of your life with me. It is much more interesting when this blog becomes a conversation. Your thoughts and words mean so much to me: so often it just seems like I am blah blah blahing all the time and I really want to know how you are as well..
So now I am winding down, going thru early withdrawal from the laptop – it will be hard to not be ‘connected’ – hard but good. Probably all the ‘cool’ kids will have their iphones or blackberries….me, not even a map as I couldn’t find anywhere to print a pdf file. I had hoped to find an English book or maps of the Camino but, like South America, there is very, very little English here. I know because I am perpetually lost and asking people……damn, should have stayed in school…..
Here are some early pictures of Madrid – I spent yesterday above ground cause the stores were closed – somehow got into the middle of a Flamenco parade…and also into the middle of the protesters camp….the Flamenco parade was prettier.
So drop me a line, I will be checking in at Internet places to manage my life/finances and do all the regular stuff. If I can, I will try and get some pictures up – it is so easy with the laptop…don’t even remember how I used to do it before I joined the ‘cool’ kids in Cambodia and bought my first little Acer laptop.
Tomorrow is DDay, have to find a light, comfortable pack that I can bond with for many hours…..the quest continues and then adventure begins.