Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 4 Camino de Santiago July 9th, 2012

July 9, 2012 Camino de Santiago

We (I say we, because invariably, you meet many people headed or interested in the same thing, so you do things together like...) like agreeing to go to Pamplona and seeing the bulls run.  Three Spaniards, Luis and his sister Rebecca, and their friend Carmen and Kevin the Cut and I decided to walk into Pamplona (3 miles) and see if we could see the bulls run, knowing full well that we would get there 5 hours too late for any kind of a view.  I knew the route of the bulls because I had walked it 2 or 3 times a week ago, so I had an idea of where we might steal a glance.  As we walked the streets, which were pretty deserted as everyone had made their way to the route to see the bulls, we walked through streets full of litter and street cleaners.

     There is a famous curve
 where the bulls are running and have to make a 90 degree turn on slick cobble stone streets.  Some don't make the turn and fall side ways and skid into the side walls.  At 7:55AM, five minutes before the gun shot to start the bulls, we make our way to the curve.  Luis, offers to watch my backpack as he doesn't want to see the bulls.  I try to hop on the boards, but people are drunk and standing on top of it or sitting.
     The gun sounds and a minute later the bulls are running.  There is incredible screaming in the street, which I can barely see.  Then I hear people running, yelling and hooves behind. I am looking over shoulders, between legs, as others doing, to see if I can see the bulls when, WHAM!  a bull slams into the side walls, sending people scurrying away and WHAM! another bull slams into the wall, and I see his feet sticking through the horizontal railroad ties that are used as sidewalls.
    Quickly, I remove the bottle of San Miguel that is pouring into my shoe, thank you drunk lady, and hop with one foot on he railroad ties, and see three brown and white bulls running at me.  I turn on the camera and get 3 seconds of film of the bulls and people running!
    I will remember Pamplona.

I was dancing on air as we walked out of Pamplona and on to our next night, not realizing that one of us would not be continuing the journey much longer.  Now that I've created a bit of suspense, I wanted a picture of a cool looking building.

 The trail gets a bit confusing when leaving Pamplona, well why shouldn't it, so do the roads!  We met an old man and he was hilarious.  We needed just to know left or right, and he went on and on and on and...about where the path goes that is not the Camino.

Luis, the nicest guy on earth, couldn't tell him to stop blathering so while he politely nodded his head, we began the trail laughing.  The terrain is getting a bit flatter, a bit warmer, and the vegetation will be changing with it.  First we went through gorgeous fields of sunflowers, like a Van Gogh.
    On what was suppose to be an easy flat day of walking, we somehow encountered a hugh hill, or small mountain.  On top were windmills and a very cool piece of iron work depicting the Camino.
   The surrounding views of the valley were astounding as well.  My pack seemed like I was carrying cast iron, but I think it was because I was expecting an easy day.  So much for expectations!!
   As we walked through endless fields of wheat and hay, Sting's song, "Fields of Gold" played in my head.  Funny, how when you sing a song to yourself, it sound's just like the original artist!  Yes, I know, to all those who have heard me sing, it's only my imagination.   The other thing I did was remember how good a piece of straw feels to suck on, and so I did.  It was as good as I remembered!

As you travel, you meet so many people from different countries and everyone develops a bond of sorts.  I've bumped into these two who I believe are from either Spain or Italy.  We've never introduced ourselves, but it really isn't necessary.  You just nod, maybe a "Hola" and then "Bien Camino".  It produces a smile and a feeling of, "You're gonna make it!"  Sometimes, that's enough to get you to the next hostel.

Yes, it was hot.

Many years have passed since those summer days among the fields of barley.
See the children run as the sun goes down among the fields of gold.
You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley.
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky when we walked in fields of gold,
When we walked in fields of gold, when we walked in fields of gold.

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