Monday, August 30, 2010

Camino de Santiago, Stages 3 and 4

I need to first finish up talking about the events of Saturday night after I posted. At dinner I met George and his two female companions, all from Germany, and Murray from New Zealand. We shared a delightful peregrinos meal and I casually mentioned my toe blister. Murray said no problem, he would take care of me. . . and he did.

When we all got back to the albergue, it was dark as the upper dorm room where we stayed only had natural lighting. Murray, who is 69 and lost his wife to cancer three years ago, got out his medical kit and aided by German George, used my top bunk as an operating table. They fixed me up with no problems. I have now raised their status as follows: St. Murray, Patron Saint of New Zealand and Blessed George of Frankfort.

Cruelty on the Camino today. At the end of my trek Saturday I found a sign saying only 2 km to my final destination, Larrasoaña. I walked about 8 minutes and there was another sign stating "Larrasoaña 2 km." Ten minutes later a third sign boldly stated that I was now only "2 km from Larrasoaña." Damn Franco's memory!

I'm starting to lisp

Sunday, August 29th
Larrasoaña to Cizur Menor via Pamplona
21.2 km / 13.2 miles
6:45 hours walked

Another 7:00 a.m. start, good weather again today.

New mates today: Trine from Denmark, Hans from Holland and Ruth, Jillian and Jaime from Ramona, California from now on called the San Diego girls.

I walked part way with St. Murray today. He is on his last leg of a 38 day journey to Pamplona that started in northern France. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry specializing in medicine, no wonder that the blisterectomy was such a success.

Later I joined up with Trine through the town of Burlado where we got lost for only about two blocks before somehow a little old Spanish lady figured out that we were pilgrims and pointed us on the right path.

I've often relied on the kindness of strangers.

We parted company in Pamplona where I got lost again for about half a mile. As it would turn out later that night, many of my mates got lost today at the same point, apparently a sign is missing.

On the way to Pamplona, I thought a lot about my Dad and Grandfather and their shared love of bullfighting.

Let he who has not eaten a Big Mac cast the first stone.

As a youth we would drive down to Tijuana to watch the likes of Luis Procuna, Jose Ramon Tirado and Carlos Arruza (on horseback) battle the bulls. Remembering their names after 45 years is what the Camino does to you. I thought I'd stop in Pamplona for the night, 5.5 kilometers short of my goal city if a bullfight was going on but no such luck, on the Cizur Menor!

It was after getting back on track in Pamplona that I met the San Diego girls who were on their first day of the Camino. We walked together to the albergue run by the Order of Malta.

Our host was a great guy, German by birth, his name is Berthold. He asked us to call him Ambrosio, his nom-de-guerre.

We did.

Here we met Hans from Holland and we all went out to dinner together, five hungry pilgrims.

There are only two restaurants in Cizur Menor, population 700, and one of them was closed Sunday night. No one knew exactly how to get to the open restaurant even after asking for directions from the town's people. We eventually found it. The problem was that instead of the usual 7:00 p.m. dinner, nothing would be served until after the televised soccer game was over. We could not wait so we bought some cold cuts, cheeses, bread and drinks and shared our bounty.

Upon our return to the albergue, Sir Ambrosio worked on my blister thus his new title. Afterwards we met in the church next door and Ambrosio led us in a 20 minute sing-along. It was great fun and no, we did not hold hands or sing Kumbaya.

I broke through the slats of my bed.


At least I was not on the top bunk, someone would have been hurt I'm afraid.

Monday, August 30th
Cizur Menor to Puente la Reina
19.6 km / 12.2 miles
5:17 hours walked

Another 7:00 a.m. liftoff, I've found my rhythm and feel strong. I walked this stage mostly by myself.

Tremendous panoramas of Pamplona far behind me now. Is anything ever open in any of these small Spanish hilltowns?

Who is the idiot that put the letter S in lisp?

Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage
Total Distance Walked: 93.3 km/58.0 miles
Total Time Walked: 29:25
Distance to Santiago de Compostela
705.3 km/438.3 miles



Ryan Bolland said...

Why is it that I didn't burst out laughing until I read "NOT FUNNY"?

Gayleannie said...

Does the bed slat event have any similarities to the plastic red chair experience in Syracusa?

Laurie said...

I did the same thing, Ryan!

Good one, Gayle!

Hang in and enjoy!

Michael Contreras said...

Keep on Truckin'.
...and yes, a laugh at the broken slats came from me too.

George said...


steveswindle said...

The number ONE thing I learned after spending four years in an Infantry Division.....take care of your feet!!!!!
George....get some Mole Skin and keep it with you.

Great blog....I feel as though I am right there with you. Makes me jealous. See you soon.

itzbfitz said...

Sitting in my office alone, reading your blog, and laughing out loud like a lunatic. You are the Paul Bunyan of peregrinos.

Dick Bellman said...

Falling through the slats?!* That sounds like a Paul Petrich caper. Take care of your feet; you don't want some stupid blisters slowing down a fine tuned machine. Thanks for sharing this incredible adventure.