Sep 242009

Today was one of those days where I simply got up on the wrong side of the bed. I sat up first thing this am and got my hair stuck in the springs of the bed above. Then I accidently rolled my nightgown in my sleeping bag. When I finished the laborious job of packing I realized I didn’t know where it was and completely unpacked trying to find it. Finally, I filled my water bottle up at the village fountain, crossed the old bridge and was on my way! About a kilometre later (it was probably only a 1/2 k here) I realized I’d left my walking sticks at the fountain, so back I went. They were still standing exactly where I had left them.

The sun is brilliant now, but it was foggy and cool (good walking weather) this a.m. Slippery mud but nothing like yesterday’s clogging muck. New countries today: Japan, Finland, New Zealand, South Korea. Seo-yeon is studying tourist management in the UK. I told her I’d look her up if I’m ever in South Korea, and that I’d be happy to be a test tourist. Thought of Patt now living in Seoul. The Koreans were behind me as we left Burguette yesterday, and I think they will be in several photos. The young Finnish woman, Veera has also studied in the UK. She got a scholarship to study at a college there, quit her job but then found out that the school accepted too many people for the accomodations so she was cut. She thought about returning to a job she hates, but decided to do this walk to come up with some vision for her future. She met Renske and was inspired by her enthusiasm, fearlessness and her ability to have a job she loves. She is so different from Renske. Beate commented that all of the young people are looking for vision. All of the older tying up loose ends. She also commented that she too was out of sorts today.

Had my first experience with a Spanish washer and dryer. I had too little for a whole load, so Michel and I threw our stuff into the machine together. Took forever to wash and even longer to dry. But while sitting there I met Veera, and Hélène, french, Breton, very quiet, who is walking with her husband.

I liked the people I met today, but apart from Veera who sat in the laundry with me the whole time I was there, I didn’t start many conversations because I’m overwhelmed a bit by the number of people I have met. Today I preferred being around familiar people, but I realize that  by tomorrow those met today will be familiar. Up to Trinidad de Arre we were still in rural Basque architecture; now the wood has gone and the colors have changed, and the rest of the way was through towns and the city of Pamplona.

We were one long parade of pilgrims until Pamplona, when we melted into the crowds. And to know where to go you could not just look up to see the backpack ahead of you, but had to look on the ground, buildings, poles for the combination of yellow arrows and blue and yellow stencilled shells that mark the camino.
Pamplona has town walls and a drawbridge and the camino wandered through the very interesting old city.
A shower, and clean clothes – I’m out to do a tour.

Later. What a wonderful little city! Vibrant evening life – everyone in the plaza. At a cafe drinking coffee or wine. Playing with their kids. In the bar for post work drinks and tapas. NO cars in the streets. Lots of pedestrians out just relaxing. Beate and I had a couple of small tapas dishes, vino tinto and – more fresh squeezed orange juice. I seem to be craving oj and water.

24 Sep 2009

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