It is twelve o clock midnight, and I am wide awake due to the loud cacophony of snoring,coughing and splutter ing of the hundreds of different pilgrims in the huge dormitory at Jesus y Maria in Pamploma. I arrived here yesterday, by train from Barcelona. I travelled by first class, not tourist class, not because I paid for it, but because I didn’t know I was in the wrong cabin! I am surrounded by people who have walked all ready for days! I have not walked anything at all, hence the listening to others activity in the middle of the night on the left of me, a young very overweight Canadian woman, who snores louder than my ex boyfriend ever could! On the right of me a very drunken Spanish man, who slobbered all over the fat woman’s pillow last night, and now in his drunken stupor just makes a lot of disgusting noises. Hm! Is this what it is to sleep in dormitories every night I might give it a miss all together!
I met a lovely young German girl, Lisa, just outside the rail way station. She asked me if I spoke Spanish and. Lo and behold, she was my very first pilgrim I ever met, and we have been friends since. Pamplona is an old and mediaeval village,surrounded by old thick stone walls. I had to ask the way a few times. I had not yet received the passport and was surprised that it was handed out by the hostel. I was so impressed by the friendliness and the helpfulness of the local people. One woman went out of her way to walk to the street where she could point out where the hostel was, As we walked on I noticed that she turned around and walked away in the opposite direction., incredibly kind, I thought. after settling in to the Hostel, paying our ten euro, I had to eat something, as I only had a cup of coffee that morning on the train. We found a lovely cafe, Ole, in the main square where Lisa and I shared a lovely tapas lunch, with a complimentary glass of wine! It was delicious and at six dollars each quite reasonable as well I thought, I am not yet on he Camino, well, not walking anyway, and I all ready feel so excited meeting and talking to other pilgrims. I had not expected so many people this early in the year! I believe that each and every one I meet I have to learn something from! serendipity! I am fascinated with other people s stories like Englishman who started to walk in England, and hopes to arrive in St James for his 75th birthday in June!
My second night in the hostel is over. I fell asleep immediately, although not yet on the Camino, I DID walk a lot during the day. The noises and snoring was much less. Also no drunken people entered the dormitory during the night, hence no hassle what so ever. Was sleeping between a Spanish painter called “Pedro” and a Canadian, who’s name was “Peter”! Okay, so much for NOT mention my ex boyfriend’s name! Hilarious really! Who says the Universe hasn’t a sense of humour?
I am sitting in a small cafe opposite the bus station. It is freezing cold outside and I have just lashed out and bought a gorgeously warm top! The shop had a big discounted sale going on, but even without that I would have bought something warm! Can’t believe I didn’t think of COLD! Mind you I have just arrived from Africa where the coldest moment was ten months ago in Ethiopia! I have been hot for over ten months! Not to worry it is all characters building, for sure! Today will archive bus to St Jean Pied de Port in France, from where I will start the Camino tomorrow!
Most people start walking around seven o’clock in the morning. I have decided to get up every morning at five fifteen and start my walking at five thirty in tHe morning. I sometimes do agree with Jean Paul Sartre, “Hell is other people!” The noise, carrying on and human animal noises in the morning I can do without. I am also much slower than most people and I am determined to enjoy my walk! I can just imagine seeing the sunrise in the morning and listening to the birds rather than humans to start each and every day. It will be hard enough without all the negativity surrounding me. It seems to me that there is a one up manship going on! Who has the most blisters? Who has had the hardest hardship? I enjoyed talking to Pedro this morning, he has been walking via Africa as well, he has plenty of time and is not in a rush either. We enjoyed each other s company and as he is a painter also we looked at each other’s art works.
This afternoon I should be arriving in St Jean around four o clock. I hope to still have enough energy to go and explore the town, plus working out where to start the walk tomorrow morning!