Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Day 2 (Day 39). May 2, 2015. San Sebastián to Orio. 14 kms.

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft aglay

In France, I was travelling first class. I was usually on my own in a gite, with room to spread my belongings far and wide, and leisure to sleep in if I wanted to. Here, I am confined to steerage in stuffy quarters with snoring companions and not enough room to swing a cat.

My English teacher used to complain, "You boys let off at either end whenever you feel like it." And we did. We were very competitive. It is a bit like that in the alberges. You have to get near a window if you want to survive the night. And you have to keep it open. 

In the morning the serious walkers are stirring before six. It is still dark, particularly as the small windows let in little of the light of dawn. I usually get up then as well, because it's not possible to sleep. Everyone is fiddling around trying to find things.

But this morning I took my time. When I looked out through the bars of my window, I saw blue skies and clouds tinged with red. A good sign. No need for my poncho.

I left soon after eight and climbed steadily up to about 1000 feet. I can see that this is going to be the pattern: sleeping at close to sea level, and then climbing up the hills the next day. 

As always, I talked to the animals that I passed. Some young foals were gambling about in a field. What fun they were having! And I was touched by the way this kid was snuggling up to her mother. 

 And then I passed the Marilyn Monroe of moocows. One milking from this one would whiten my coffee for the rest of my life.

I was planning to go further than this, but have ended up at the wrong alberge. The Ladies from Lyon had booked places at a gite a bit further on and had included me in their booking, and when I arrived here and the hospitalier said she spoke a little English, I asked her if she was expecting me. Yes, she said. And the French ladies? Yes. Several hours later when they hadn't arrived, I asked someone to translate my questions. No, she had received no booking. So I am about six kilometres behind schedule and will have to make it up tomorrow. But it is delightful here, and more pleasant than where I am supposed to be.

It was empty when I arrived, but is now almost full. I have met a Dutchman who is two weeks older than I. In the bed above me is a young girl from Quebec. When I said I was from Canada, she said she was too. I liked that.

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