The first of many 6am starts..
Firstly, I feel a sincere need to apologise for not updating this earlier. Post-Tetris technology seems ridiculously rare in northern Spain which, combined with a torturous lack of energy and a spiralling addiction to red wine has conspired to make typing near impossible. My present situation highlights this pretty well, sitting in some dark, cold computer room in the middle of nowhere, having slugged through rain and mud for six hours to reach here, grasping a beer and struggling to stay awake. Thinking about it, it's a ludicrous thing to voluntarily put yourself through, but todays shitty weather has been the only downside of a so far outrageously awesome, yet truly bizarre trip.
Well, I guess I'll start at the beginning, as trying to chop up time into some form of ludicrously complex written entertainment is completely beyond my warped, exhausted mind. I started this ill-informed, idealistic stroll in St Jean Pied-de-Port, a small French town at the base of the Pyrenees which has transformed pilgrims (which I apparently am now) from wandering vagerbonds to a reliable economic income. Two-hundred people start the trek each day, and each must be provided with shelter, fed and sold as much touristic tat
as possible before the first days nine hour hike over the Pyranees. Not that you dwell on that too long. We were lucky enough to enjoy a cloudless sky throughout the first days hike, gazing across the valleys below and veering between optimism, fear and utter incomprehension at what lay, and still lies ahead.
I say we, as 500 mile walks are apparently a popular hobby amongst todays adventurous jet set. I've met a ridiculous amount of people, each with their own motive for undertaking such a challenge, and each at least worthy of a few lines each if the internet on this modified Spectrum wasn't so expensive. If any of you read this, you're all ace. If you don't, then I consider our friendship truly over.
Attempting to describe the scenery is completely pointless, suffice to say it's mind-blowingly fantastic, so I'll try to upload a few photographs onto this machine and give it a pixelated overdose. Running through the daily routine is a far more attainable goal, so I'll amble through that for anyone with an interest in mundane trivia over exquisitely framed, photographic brilliance.
The average day seems to begin at around 6am, whth
the rustling of middle-aged, overly prepared Germans waking up anyone in the sometimes 100 bed dormitories who has the cheeky to try and sleep a moment longer. After cramming what you can see of your belongings at such dark hours into your rucksack, you suddenly find yourself wandering startled through an alien town attempting feebly to find anything
edible. Thankfully, many an opportunistic cafe manager has noticed these dollar bills rolling around the street, and there is usually somewhere open serving cake, doughnuts and other ridiculous foreign breakfasts that it is quite easy to develop a base dependancy on. After that, you walk, pretty much, for 6-7 hours on average, talking, observing, listening or if you're like me plugging in your iPod and ignoring everyone. The aim is to arrive at the next stop on the trail in time to find a bed somewhere, and then continue the never ending hunt for food (and ale, after the walking is done with), before crashing at about 10pm and starting it all again the next day. It sounds like a ruthless routine, and it is, but no more ruthless in my mind than falling into university or work in the
Some geezer's drawing of
same incomprehendable state, and so it suits me down to the ground.
I've hit some kind of writers block, or fatigue as finally beaten sanity in the battle for my brain, and I shall have to be pushed to the next hostal in a wheelchair. Not that I would particularly mind such a convieniance, but it's the type of behaviour here that would quickly lose you friends. The amount of alcohol consumed has also risen steadily with the wordcount, so what started as a happy, optimistic blog could quickly descend into bitter depravity and general incoherance. Before reaching such murky depths, I shall wrap this up and finish by assuring all who care that I'm enjoying myself and anyone who doesn't that I am suffering relentlessly.
Untill I can next find the energy to update this, take care and walk somewhere!
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