What is the proper response when you’re told to be quiet while walking the Camino?
When I signed up for this, Martin Sheen was plowing through Pamplona and not even breaking a sweat. Trust me, his movie and my inspiration for this, “The Way,” was a total Hollywood hoax.
It’s Day 3 of my Spanish Schlep and here are my stats:
Miles Marched Today: 9.5
Total Miles So Far: 36.47
Miles To Go: 461.1
Sheen’s movie never once showed the hills and the mountains, it only showed panoramic plains sprinkled with red wines and lamb cutlets.
Where the fuck is that “way” cuz I’m on the wrong way.
Each incline is a heart attack inducer, followed by descents that make your knees scream out in agony and your toes beg for mercy.
All of this while terrified that nature will call while I’m out in nature with no WC to be found anywhere in this country.
So there I was facing yet another monster aka “fuck me” mountain, trying to figure out if I should call a cab when the Irish came rushing by. Three women all decked out in matching hot pink spanx compression shorts flew by my tired ass as if the devil himself was chasing them – AND…. AND – they had the nerve to be singing.
I’m breathless in Navarra and they’re belting it out.
“Hey Irish, where’s the fire?!,” I yelled out. The shorter blonde turned around and with a huge smile yelled right back, “I’m too stubborn to let this mountain beat me!”
To which I laughed and said, “Fuck me, that’s the spirit.”
Just then a very proper Dutch woman said, “You’re American aren’t you?”
“Why yes, I am. How’s your day?”
“You Americans are always so loud on the Camino. This is nature, you need to respect it and be quiet.”
And then as if on cue the entire pack of pilgrims heard, “Well, what the fuck do you want me to do about it? I’m walking the fucking Camino!!!!”
It was the Irish again – a lone straggler wearing her hot pink shorts screaming into her cell phone.
She looked at me and said, “It’s me fekking husband, he’s out of dog food.”
I love her diction distinction – it’s ok to call this holy trail the “fucking Camino,” but it’s going too far to use that to describe her needy/incompetent husband.
As she hoofed it past me and ran up the mountain to join her group, she looked back at me and yelled, “I need a fucking drink!”
So I took the cue and turned to the Dutch master, smiled and said, “Oh, and I’m half Irish, too!”
Buen Camino indeed.
Tonight, I’m in Pamplona, where as luck would have it, they’re celebrating their 900th birthday.
The town is full of people and market stalls line the ancient, winding streets. A band of minstrels is dancing through the alleyways and I’m watching fellow pilgrims filter into this medieval carnival. It’s quite the show-and it’s loud, just the way I like it!
Tomorrow – more mountains and rain is in the forecast. I took this picture to show you the climb. There on the horizon NOT the grass and scrub covered hills, but where the windmills are and to the left where it looks like it goes straight fucking up – yep, I’m heading there tomorrow.
Someone better warn my fellow travelers I’m gonna be really, really loud.