Daily Archives: August 4, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

Well, I guess that was always going to be the most predictable title of a post for this particular blog, so best to get it out of the way sooner rather than later.

As I mentioned yesterday, Santillana del Mar may have a reputation for being somewhat economical with the truth, but she certainly knows how to send you on your way with something decidedly more satisfying than a Ready Brek glow (yep, that’ll be me telling you what I had for breakfast again, then):

And I’m afraid there are no tales of derring-do, train-related or otherwise, to regale you with today. Or, you’ll be pleased to hear, complaints about the cartilage. Or whining about the weather.

Just walking.

I’m on my tod again after yesterday’s unusually sociable day.

For me, one of the undoubted joys of this journey is its fundamental promiscuity; in much the same way that it’s an on-going pleasure never staying in the same town or sleeping in the same bed twice, it seems to be taken as a given that any time you spend in the company of other walkers is a fleeting experience.

It’s refreshing not to have to engage in the mandatory fakery that so often seems to be a constituent part of other types of holiday, where any more than a couple of days spent with people you’ve met in a bar somewhere leads to the apparently unshakeable resolution to meet up again at home.

Perhaps it’s because there’s such a huge array of different people, from such an eclectic range of international homesteads, that the likelihood of ever meeting again, even on this particular journey, is implicitly understood as unlikely at best.

And fun though it was playing chicken with the local rail network with some fellow peregrinos, it’s also great to be going solo on the road again, especially now that I’m finally back in the countryside proper.

I’ve missed it:

The character of the environs of the Basque Country through Cantabria continues to evolve. From the sheer natural beauty of the first few days in particular, the aesthetic attraction of this section (although who knows what tomorrow will bring), appears to lie largely with a sense of cultural heritage that’s inspired by walking through remote villages set well back from any major thoroughfares:

But I think it’s probably worth adding that any romantic notions that I might have been starting to harbour about the unfettered joys of a rural idyll not yet despoiled by the commercial imperatives of the 21st Century were put bang to rights by these enterprising young chaps I met, who had set up shop in their grandparents’ front yard.

I don’t know how you would’ve reacted, but as far as I was concerned there was never any question over whether I would buy their wares or not.

Capiche? (Wrong country. Right sentiment).

And so on to Comillas, around 22km later.

I’m not entirely sure why, but that felt like it should’ve been quite a short leg compared to what had gone before, although in the event it up ended up taking around 6 hours to walk. And I don’t think I went the wrong way (for once).

Nevertheless, I still arrived around half an hour before the local Albergue was due to open, only to find around 30 other walkers sitting on the grass outside the hostel with a capacity to sleep 20.

The answer to which was clearly to find somewhere else to stay, rather than joining in the moaning about the lack of facilities on the trip costing 5 euros per evening from middle-aged peregrinos who, frankly, should know better. Rant over.

As for me, I seem to be getting stalked by Esmeralda. She’s substantially smaller, a little darker, but clearly recognisable.She’s got my card marked, anyway…

Which also left me enough time to enjoy Comillas.

There’s no question that it’s a pretty town. And it’s got a shed load of history.

If you’re interested, do a Google Image search on it.

For me, the main attraction was being back by the seaside:

Filed under: On The Road Tagged: Albergue, Basque Country, Cantabria, Comillas, El Camino del Norte, Esmeralda, Rethink Mental Illness, Santillana del Mar

Sports and Hobbits

We are watching some Olympic matches today; it feels like we’ve not watched enough considering the fantastic coverage the BBC is providing. It’s nice to enjoy some sport, and to watch as the UK moves to what looks like a firm third in the medals table. Mainly, I’ve been perversely pleased that the abysmal NBC coverage is making many people I know back in the States question why they’re getting such a raw deal; I feel this might aid in more Americans thinking to question and quest past their borders, and realize how the concept of American Exceptionalism is used to get Americans to at sub-par as ‘best in the world’.

Beyond that, I’m wandering about Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings Online. My main character is a Hobbit (though the subject line refers to a picture on Engrish.com), as I find it an agreeable species to wander about with. I like the freemium model because pay-to-play doesn’t get along with my addictive personality; it didn’t matter so much when I was rotting alone in San Antonio, but now that I have a life, I don’t want to squander it on trying to get my money’s worth out of something. And as I’m frugal, there’s a lot of squeezing there indeed.

So yeah, a whole lot of nothing much, but if it keeps me sane? I’m not gonna complain.


Friday Mid-Afternoon or Much Later Mental Moment

We made it through another 5 day stretch of weekdays! Yup that;s right it is finally Friday   When I was younger Fridays used to hold not only the relief of knowing that the nest day was a day to sleep in, but the whole day was filled with anticipation for going out with friends … Continue reading

Have a drink on me!

I seem to have calmed down a bit… No longer hypo or anything. Still having a bugger of a time getting to sleep though, which pisses me off…. but, it is what it is. I have been dealing with this for so many years, I should be used to it by now. But, I’m not…. Fuck it.

I don’t think I told you all that last week my big dog (boxer/lab mix) had to go to the vet…. she had a nasty nasty ear infection that apparently happened while we were on vacation. She is on the mend! Her ear is looking a lot better, although she still is on her meds until tuesday. She goes back for a check up in a couple of weeks.

I’m dealing with a personal matter at the moment. So, I hope I get through that.


So…. how’s them Olympics!? :)