Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The Rain in Spain fell mainly on my Brain

Days 1 -4 30, 30, 20, and 19 kilometres

Arrived at midnight in Irun, all planes, taxis and busses went to plan, filled up the fuel for stove at the gassolinera, got a very yellow room for €15 and a butty so felt ready for the trek. Loads of turbulance on the plane though. Taxi arrived promtly and dropped me off at the lighthouse at the start, I got my rucsack and paid the driver who then drove off with my maps, compass and case.

Forward 3 hours I tracked down the driver from the hostal and I´m off again, albeit a bit late and its raining heavily. Navigation tricky since Spanish Maps are only an approximation of what is on the ground. A black line is a forest path, a wide track or a mettalled road. Many roads do not appear on the maps, and the route markings (red and white dashes) are rare indeed and very old and faded. Some are on trees that have been cut down!

My gear weighs a ton so I dump the 550g water filter as there are loads of fresh water points. Got a room at a hostal and met a guy called George from Spain just finishing from the other way. He warned me that the markings only get worse and he got lost having done the walk before. So day 2 took 12 hours not 8, and I walked into the town stinking and dripping. I got a room, and the next morning posted my heavy warm top home.

Day three and navigation a nightmare again and it got really hot. I met some French on the HRP section who where romoving ticks they had picked up, so I changed into tight fitting undies ASAP. The area must have been active during the civil war as there are bunkers everywhere. I pitched the tent on top of one in the woods, having explored inside first. Mist came down quickly, fealt a bit homesick then remembered I had a Soreen Lincolnshire (Soft and Moist) plum pudding in the bag. This was splendid indeed and cheered me up no end.

Day four and I am covered in soot from the remnants of bush fires which sweapt the region last year, again a real lack of markers and poor maps seems to be adding to the time. But the camp site has a laundry area and showers so I do not smell so much any more. Regards to all and thanks to everyone for sponsorship, I am on schedule, so everyone who waited to sponsor me to see if I really am daft enough to do this cough up!

Adios, Barrie


Anonymous said...

Hi Barrie,
The Rain in Spain can be a pain but makes the veins in Brain strong.

We are watching you! Your trek seems interesting. If you have a GPS, put in the last location in this blog, so may be we can picture where you are (google maps). Keep it going, and best of luck.
Sanjeewa (IFS)

Maire said...

Keep up the good work.