This blog is a record of my observations, experiences and crazy thoughts about my 800 kilometer pilgrimage across northern Spain: the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (April-May 2009).
Sunday, February 08, 2009
The Rain in Spain...
The rain in Spain falls mainly - in Spring.
Long ago, I lived on the dry plains in central Spain and have dealt with the infamous rain alluded to in the "My Fair Lady" tune everyone seems to know. But frankly the thought of slogging through the cold, driving rains of northern Spain puts a bit of a damper (yikes, baaaaad pun) on my pleasure in walking the pilgrimage to Santiago. In northern Spain, Galicia in particular, it rains frequently. I get cold just thinking of walking in a downpour actually.
Of course the old adage (April showers bring May flowers) will lighten my step. I anticipate seeing beautiful and bounteous blossoms blanketing the hills, dales and mountainsides. I will be happily slogging through the mud snapping photos of the glorious green and the riot of colors. How well I remember the hillsides covered with stunning red poppies. The countryside in Spring is like a Monet painting or a colorful Picasso canvas. I will hardly mind the cold, rain and mud.
In fact I may almost blend in with those brilliant scarlet poppies. Why? because one more decision has been made and one more step taken: my sweet and generous spouse went online and kindly ordered me a wonderful piece of rain gear to keep me warm and dry as I make my trek. This clever rain coat (see the photo above - but mine is an outrageous poppy RED!) goes over the backpack to keep everything dry. It is an Altus poncho and comes highly recommended among pilgrim experts who have been guiding me through through ropes.
The poncho weighs about a pound, but it is both a pack cover and a jacket. It converts for use with or without the backpack too. It has a full zipper and that appeals to me - many others I looked at must go over the head. The zipper improves ventilation too. I can think of ways to use it for other purposes too.
So in a week to ten days my red rain gear should arrive. And of course I will put it on over my backpack and walk the dog. I imagine our rural neighbors will be puzzled or amused when they look out their windows and see the odd, red, hunchbacked figure loping happily along behind the 3-legged dog!
One more decision down (thanks to my spouse!). Bring on those April showers! 8-)
In April 2009, I began my 500-mile trek across the rocky paths and mountains of northen Spain. I finished my walk on the the ancient Way of St James (the Camino de Santiago de Compostela) in early June 2009.
I consider this a pilgrimage of gratitude. Each step was an opportunity to express gratitude for the abundance life offers; each footstep, one of finding joy. It was a humbling experience. It was a character-building experience. It was a spiritual adventure and a physical one too - who knew I was such a mountain goat? I hope you will enjoy my rambling, stream of consciousness obeservations of my experiences as a pilgrim on this historic pilgrimage route that really is only the begining.
Of course veteran pilgrims know: the Camino never ends - once a pilgrim, always a pilgrim. So, wherever YOUR path takes you, I wish you "Buen Camino".