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Today it Rained
Stump’s Travel Log — Edición de agua
About all that needs to be said about today’s hike was that it rained. If you want to read more, you can. But you really don’t need to. It rained.
There’s some kind of big tropical storm off the coast of Spain to the west, and I think it’s sending its effects back here (that’s my considered meteorological opinion). The forecast for the next few days looks pretty grim for us hikers. Thankfully, I had built in a day of rest tomorrow, and so I can ride out at least one day of the muchias lluvia indoors.
When I reached my place tonight — called a “pension” which is kind of half-way between a hostel and a hotel — I was soaked to the bone. My backpack stayed dry, as Osprey knows how to build these. But the rest of me was very wet. I was pruned in most places. It’s kind of ironic that the first thing I wanted to do was take a shower. But the warm water felt so good.
My path today was only 8 miles — the shortest day I have had so far. But it was not a good day for rain, as a lot of the trails were some kind of clay which turns pretty slippery when wet. In the guidebook for today, it said a lot of the trail followed along streams; it didn’t say that your path itself turns into a stream when it rains!
Speaking of water, none of the guidebooks and websites I’ve read about hiking the Camino tell you that in preparation for your trip, you need to not just build up your legs and backpack-carrying muscles, but you also need to build up your grip strength. I’m not sure why they don’t say this, because it is one of the essential capacities you need for a trip like this. That’s because you have to wring out your clothes about every night. Not just when it rains like today, but to keep your backpack at a manageable weight, you bring as little as you can. So you hike, then you wash out that day’s clothes in the sink. And if you can’t wring out the water from them to a really significant degree (I’m not sure how that’s measured), they will still be wet in the morning. So you’ve really got to wring!
I’m writing this at about 7:30pm, waiting around for someone to serve dinner. Last night I thought I’d beat the evening rush and went to a place that was open at 7:15pm. I was still the only one in the restaurant when I left at 8:00pm. No one else had even come yet. Tonight I checked a couple of places that feature the “menu del dia” for pilgrims like me. They don’t even begin serving until 8:30pm. I kind of like a late dinner, but this seems a little excessive!
The town I’m in is called Deba. It’s a cute little beach village, and there is some kind of festival going on. Everyone is dressed up in olde timey costumes — even the junior high aged boys, who would normally be too cool for that sort of thing. I asked someone about it, and he told me that it is a Basque festival that is like the last big celebration before winter sets in.
Yikes! I’m hoping that doesn’t mean the rain will turn to snow for the rest of my trip!