Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Day 1. Vezelay to Breves (c.30 kms)

30 May 2012

Many a true word spoken in jest

I must have walked a good 30 kms today, unhappily to advance only 14.2. I won't even go into details, beyond saying that my Flemish companion, Patrick, suggested jokingly that perhaps we were walking around in circles, and when we saw the cathedral in front of us after three hours of walking, we realised that we were.

We were the only pilgrims setting out today, and we attended the pilgrims' benediction in the cathedral this morning as the two religious communities sang Lauds. It was quite beautifully sung and at the end they called us up to stand between them for the blessing. Very impressive! Shame if it's all a load of old cods!

Patrick has the right attitude for the Camimo, finding everything amusing, even getting lost. He is something of an exception, for Belgians aren't known for their sense of humour.

Tonight we are staying at a typically European campsite in a field by a river. There are half a dozen tents or caravans scattered around us. People are sitting in their plastic chairs enjoying the sunshine while their kids ignore the half-hearted attempt at a playground and potter down by the river or climb trees. We are sleeping in what is euphemistically called a bungalow, but it's actually a kind of plastic tent on a square frame. It'll do the job. The weather is changing and It's about to rain.

Here's one to add to my collection of English translations by French people who think they know English well enough not to need a native speaker to check it out before they post it on their washroom wall:

By measurement og hygiene it is interdict to empty chamber-pots into the wash-hand basins.

Lots of flowers along the way. Some iris are still out, bluebells and buttercups abound along the verge, and poppies are thick in some of the fields.

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