Tourist, you are not in Spain

Trip Start Jul 20, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Navarra,
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

At the first town we arrived at in the morning, George decided to stay for a few days to rest at a hotel. He was in pretty bad shape with his knee. I felt very badly for his pain, but was grateful for his honesty. The night before we had talked about the issue of friendships on the camino. He was sad and anxious about seeing the french group and some of the others go on without him. I felt a lot better to hear that he had similar worries, as I felt conflicted about the cliqueness that sometimes occurs here, and how I should consider the new relationships that were forming. I left him at a cafe, after a delicious cafŰ con leche, with his Woody Allen book and oversized walking stick. I sincerely hope I see him again along the route, and I hope at this moment he is still on the camino, heading towards Santiago.

I walked alone most of the day. In the beginning however, almost aimmediatly after hugging George goodbye, i ran into a group of very fiesy middle aged spanish women, doing a small portion of the camino. They told me that their husbands were driving their bags from place to place, crashing at the hotels, and usually would be accompanied by their children, although the young kids might walk part of the way as well. I appreciated all the effort GEorge and the other put in with me when I was struggling to converse with one of the women in spanish. It is quite incredible how many ways you can try and use a very limited vocabulary to express many things...

Arriving at Los arcos, i was very happy to see Damon and Tim along with some new people I hadn┤t met. This area of Navarra is fiercely independent, and the antispanish grafitti, signs and sentiments have become even more intense. I saw the title of this entry on the way into Los Arcos, along with banners demanding that the Spanish police and troups stay out of the town, or else.

A little emotional setback came in the form of learning about what >I had missed at Puenta la Reina the night before, as I had opted to stay only about 2 miles away with George. It was Puenta┤s running of the bulls and town festival, very boozy and very Spanish, complete with fireworks, red bandanas and packed streets. They even ended up meeting the mayor of the town, who brought them up to their apartment and gave them some drinks... he even called the refugio tot ell them to keep it open late for them!! Apparently it was a rather alte night (versus our typical 10 pm curfew), and I struggled with feeling jealous and disappointed, and wondering what this meant... should i have tried harder to stay with the group? was this just pure luck? Regardless, i hope to run into some town festivals along the way at some point, as they seem amazing.

Met a boy from south korea who told me he recognized what ĘPennĘ was from the tshirt i sleep in!! He said he was impressed I went to such a great school, and i hate that I loved to hear that.
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