Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 3 Camino de Santiago July 8th 2012

Camino de Santiago   Day 3
Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today started like most of the others will:  in a dorm bed with about 20 other Pilgrims at 6:00AM.  I haven't slept in 5 days because of the arm injury.  Don't know what is wrong, but it throbs at night.  Don't let anyone fool you:  47 Ibuprofen is not the same as a thimble of heroin!
    We hiked for about 8 hours as we will everyday.  I'm thinking of staying in a hotel in one of the bigger cities which I should reach in about two weeks.  Maybe go to the hospital and see if I can get an X-ray...or heroin.

     Hiked through some beautiful country today, rivers, wildflowers, etc.  Carried the pack the entire day.  It was... tiring and my shirt is soaking wet but I love it.  I love the feeling of exhausting myself and hopefully, the positive effect it will have on my body.  Ha!  Is a busted knee a positive thing??


We made it to the town of Arre, which is the home of bicyclist legend, Miguel Indurain, who won the Tour de France 5 times in a row!  We stayed in a church built in the 12th century tonight.  Way cool, and kind of spooky to wander around in at 4:00 in the morning with the minimum of light.
It was run by a bit of a crazy man.  He had a little Barney Fife in him, but he lightened up after awhile.  He wouldn't let us in when we arrived at 3:00 even though the sign on the big door said, Open - 12:00 - 5:00, so we waited, and waited, and waited, until 3:30 for him to open the door and even then, only five at a time.  Whatever! Liverpool Kevin, Toledo Luis, Belgium Tina, South Korea ^#&, Toledo Carmen and Rebecca.    Good group.  Teachers, school psychologist, social workers and student.

  In front of the church was a statue of KingSancho VII who was king from 1194- 1234.  He was known as the "wise" and the "strong", and for giving himself wonderful titles.

Kevin fell in the shower and got a three inch gash that bled like a stuck hog.  He had to go to the emergency room and get stitches.  We did our best to stop the blood but wow!  It was a sobering experience.  I have named him, " Kevin the Cut!"

                                                                                                                                                             Because it is Sunday and because we're only 5 kilometers from the huge San Fermin Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, the town of Arre was deserted.  I met up with about 10 "kids" from Denmark, South Korea, and the USA, and caught a bus to Pamplona to "feel" the festival spirit.  Impossible to find a room in Pamplona for less than $500 a night.   That's a bit out of my budget and not exactly the  Pilgrim spirit. Many people slept in the park, which smelled quite a bit like a urinal.  Can't imagine why.

To get to Pamplona, we took city bus #4 and apparently we weren't the only people with this idea.  The busses were jammed and it felt like I was taking the subway to a baseball game at Jacob's Field.  Tons of fun!
Very cute kid - lousy drummer!


                                                 Pamplona was so much fun!  The whole city is into it.  Everyone wears red and white and a sash or neckerchief.  Lot's of small marching bands, street musicians etc.

I'm not sure how they knew that I was a tourist. Perceptive, those Spaniards!

I asked a policeman how difficult it would be to be able to see the bulls run the next morning.  About nine bulls run a day, different ones everyday...because the previous nine are on the menu.   He said that we would need to get to Pamplona at 3AM for a good seat, and 5AM if we wanted to strain to see.  That was NOT going to happen.  We would be walking into town and it would take an hour and a half.

What a blast to the senses, especially sight, sound and smell.  Can't say that smell was one of my favorite, however, sound was awesome.  So many mini-marching bands, street musicians, and street performers.

 The three Spaniards - Luis, Rebecca, and Carmen and one Englishman , Kevin the Cut, decided to try to see the bulls running in the morning but we would leave at 6:30 and hopefully, with some luck, be there by 8:00AM and by a miracle,  actually get a glimpse of the bulls.

All great change in America begins at the dinner table.
Ronald Reagan