Tag Archives: rain

Walking on Sunshine (Not)

image image

Rain. Go. Away.

June 28, 2014

And it didn’t stop raining for hours, in spite of my pleas to God to make it stop. So we walked on. My theory was proved correct. Walking up and down the trails is not fun when it is raining. The water comes at you as you are walking up. Mass amounts of poo water. Poo from the sheep. Poo from the cows. Poo from the dogs. Poo from the humans. Not kidding about that last sentence either. Humans poop right there in the middle of the trail. All that water was rushing down the hilly trail as we slogged through. Then, as we walked down the trails, the water streamed down the backside of our shoes. Our socks smell of poo. Our feet smell of poo. We reek of poo. We now fit in with the locals as we all smell of poo.

Let me define rain. Not the misty tinkle. Not the light drizzle. But the type of driving rain that can be found in a good thunder storm/hurricane/Hawaiian tropical outburst. And add in the wind blowing the rain, driving it into your legs, whipping your poncho hither and thither. Water streaming down your face as you continue to press forward. I was thinking about seeing pictures in Life magazine showing the troops walking in the rain in Vietnam. I only have to deal with this for a little bit. Those guys had to live in it for what must have seemed forever. My feet and socks will dry out by nightfall, unlike their feet that grew jungle rot.

See how this falls into a whole different perspective. My pilgrimage is nothing in comparison to the other trials and tribulations others have had to deal with from the weather elements.

When we were out on the Meseta, Abby asked me what I was thinking about. “oh…John Adams walking this very trail all the way to France,” I replied. She was taken back that I was pondering this. And I still think about this every time I am on the Camino walking along. Thousands of people over many years have walked this very path in all types of weather with little to no shelter along the way.
If they could do it, than so can I.

Now Abby and I have a great story to tell about the day it poured on us as we walked up and down lots of steep hills. How the clouds cleared a bit and the rain became mist as we observed the changes in the scenery and smelled the trees, flowers and fields which was intensifying with the rain.

Our journey is coming to an end. We walked about 14 Km today. There are only 22 miles left ( depends on which guidebook you are using). According to the weather forecast, we are going to be walking in the rain for awhile. So we will suck it up like real pilgrims and keep on going. And find places with warm showers and laundry machines.

“Well Howdy There Pilgrim”

It is NOT what you think it is...well...not the whole thing!

It is NOT what you think it is…well…not the whole thing!

June 4, 2014

“Howdy Pilgrims. Suck it up.”

Well, it kinda feels like we are bad pilgrims because we took a bus, are staying in a private room, with a shower/ bathroom next door and are being fed homemade paella, with fresh bread and salad and something yummy for dessert and in the morning we get fed this great tostada potato thing that is like quiche but only better and we paid a lot for this luxury-50€.

BUT there is a good reason why we justified doing this. Several in fact. First off, after we left the most wonderful, beautiful, luxurious albergue in Roncesvalles ( ran by the collegiate church, funded by the Navarre government- the place is amazing! They will wash, dry and fold your clothes for 2.70€. One volunteer made us this delicious pasta meal, just because) it started to rain. We had been advised by pilgrims in our forum group not to risk walking down a slippery part of the trail if it was raining. All of their advice we have heeded and it has paid off by doing so. We thought we could walk a few miles to a town and catch the bus there, but we were informed that the bus left at 9:20 am and there was just one bus that picked people up along the way.
So we walked a mile to a small town and waited for the bus there. We wanted to walk to get a feel of our full packs since we hadn’t sent along the heavy stuff this time. Along the way we stopped at the mini store and picked up fresh bread, cans of coke and some salami.

The bus picked us up ( after asking directions…in Spanish…thanks to Abby) and for 3.40€ took us to Larrasona 27 km. We bypassed the slippery part, and as we drove further to the location, the rain increased. Good decision on our part. However, we arrived there so quickly we decided to put on our ponchos and set out heading towards Pamplona since it was 10:30 and we figured that this was considered an easy part, why not walk as far as we could before we rested.

Well, off we set through fields and tree covered trails that contain mud and a slippery pathway that was covered with slabs of rock that are supposed to aid those in walking, but really just make you slip when they are wet. The German group, walked very quickly along the trail. No slipping for them, but not so for us. In fact, there was barbed wire hanging out from the side of the path that caught Abby in her backside. Ouch! On top of her peewee toe that has developed a painful blister, she was not a happy camper.

So we pressed on. We came to a cafe/inn that had wifi. It was drizzly. We were hungry. Something is wrong with my backpack- it isn’t fitting right like it has done in the past. We sit to relax, eat, use the restroom, catch up on the going-ons back home and decided to stay the night. It was almost 12:30. We have walked 4 miles today. But, we have a room to ourself to air out our wounds.

Yes…in the picture is a side shot of part of my boob. Now don’t go gasping about my porno shot, you can see this when I wear my bathing suit! Anyway, last week I got bit by a bug while sleeping in the airport. Since then, it was itchy, I scratched, it festered, has kept getting wet and was being rubbed raw by my purse strap. YIKES! I have been taking care of it, but it really needs to be dry. Not like I can walk around topless in an albergue ( though the men think it is ok to wear their tiny speedos while freely walking in the sleeping area). So, Abby and I are both air drying our wounds in the comfort of our private room.

We splurge now, but will be cutting back later. It all evens out in the end. However, I am going to have to send my heavy item ahead each day due to the weight of my pack and it not working right. Now THAT is an unexpected turn of events. So go to my gofundme.com/8hte10 and help out if you feel so inclined to do so. As you have been reading, we aren’t living high on the hog.
Thank you for your comments. We appreciate your support. Due to lack of time, I am unable to answer each person, but we do read them.


Sleep..kinda..Between a Rock and a Hard Spot

Abby the airport sleeper

Abby the airport sleeper

May 30, 2014

“Money Can’t Buy You Love…but it can buy you a warm bed”

To update, plane leaving LAX was delayed by 4 hrs. They ended up replacing the original plane we were supposed to go out on due to some mechanical part that they were unable to fix. Due to this delay, our connecting flight to Bilbao was bumped to a different time and thus we found ourselves in Bilbao airport at 11:00 pm or 23:00.

We had made arrangements to stay with a couple who were hosting us via Couchsurfing network, BUT, it was sooo late, and they hadn’t received our original message sent from LAX and the wifi at the Madrid airport only allows you 15 min free AND when those 15 min are up and you are traveling within the same day to another airport in Spain, the wifi system is connected all the way around the country and therefore you can’t access the wifi for 24 hrs.

Basically, we had no way of getting in touch with our hosts. Though the nice woman at the information center kept calling them, but there phone was busy ( turns out they were trying to find us a hostel to stay in).

So we have a choice, ride the bus to Bilbao where we no nothing and it is raining and it is the last bus as it quits at 12 am OR stay at the airport for the night. Ahhh, yes, there was an option of taking a chance to stay at a hotel, but we didn’t know if they had rooms and the cost was like 60€. That is a lot of money!

We opted to stay in the car rental hallway. One long concrete walkway, connecting the parking lot to the airport with a glass ceiling. And the benches are of the industrial style…metal…with hard plastic cushions. But, it was FREE and even though the rain pounded away on the ceiling, we were safe and warm. The car rental lady had to stay way late too due to airplanes being delayed and she had to remain until the last reservation showed up. So she was nice enough to plug in my IPad to charge. Yeah Hertz!

Apparently, we were not the only ones stranded, as around 2 am about 20 people straggled in to occupy the benches. We kinda slept. We had a bathroom. We had our sleep sacks and what else could we have wanted?

We left the comfy benches at 5:30 am and went up to the main airport to seek some information. Well…long story short, we took the bus into the city ( free wifi on the bus) and pulled up the Couchsurfing people and discovered their messages. We called them at 7:20 am, but making a call from a pay phone to a cell phone costs a whole lot and I ran out of coins to feed the phone. We thought we would take a bus out to their place, drop off the English teaching games I brought for her to use in her class and hope that they would let us crawl into bed. But no…the bus never showed up to take us. It is raining BIG TIME and we have yet to buy our ponchos. We are frustrated. Abby is puking. Yes…on top of all the adventure, her body has decided it has had enough.

And so…we sit. At the bus terminal. Watching people come and go. And no art museum tours. No meeting Couchsurfer people. We booked our tickets to Bayonne on the bus and from there we will catch a train or bus to SJPP where we hope to crash for two days before climbing the Pyrenees.

So we sit. From 7 am- 1 pm. Watching the world go by. Money can’t buy me love, but it has bought us a coke and some good Spanish kinda sandwiches, even though Abby puked hers up.

Stay tune…we are having a fun time. Really.