Monday, August 5, 2013

Irún

Sleeping at the airport

Of all airports to sleep in, Terminal 1 at Barcelona Prat is not bad. Except when you lay out your sleeping pad, cover yourself with a fleece, and curl up next to your backpack with hiking poles. Then it looks like you planned it out and you get woken up at 4am. Ask me how I know. 

My flight got into Barcelona from Schipol at around midnight (thanks, Spaniard time) and I went straight to the luggage storage after changing into my hiking clothes - I mean my new set of clothes for the next month. The hilarious part, in typical Spanish style, is that you need to keep the one copy of the luggage ticket that gets given to you when you store your bag. The one copy with a barcode that opens your locker that is printed on receipt-quality paper. What the heck am I going to do with a receipt that I need to keep intact for a month? The answer - put it inside your passport, since your passport is definitely in a sealed ziplock in a safe compartment of your backpack somewhere. The long-term baggage storage in Barcelona is not a bad deal. For my large blue hiking backpack (rounghly 30cm by 40cm by 90cm) it costs about €5.10 per day. You pay for one day when you deposit and the rest when you return your bag. The only catch is that (1) the baggage storage is only in Terminal 1, the most out-of-the-way terminal possible and (2) the payment is only taken in the form of €20, €10, €5 bills or any kinds of coins. Hello, change. Ah, well. I´m sure there will be a great story for how I carry €100 in coins at some later date. 

In any case, finding Kayla was easy - just look for the other MITOC shirt!

There aren´t actually any trains in Spain

Or, the exact ones that Kayla and I wanted happened to be sold out, and we weren´t going to pay €100 each for a first-class train ticket. So we happened to be right next to a bus line that went to San Sebastián not exactly Irún, but since it´s walkable there must be some kind of local train service there. The views out the window in the north were quite inspiring, and definitely something I am looking forward to for the next few weeks. 


(and artsy of course)

foooood

We are starting our regimen of cheese, jamón, and bread for lunch and dinner when we can. We tried an experiment and are supplementing our lunch and dinner with things like canned vegetables, canned pineapple, tomatoes, and the occasional yogurt.

The plan tonight is to camp on the trail itself and head to San Sebastián tomorrow morning, hopefully to get a menú del día for lunch and get our bearings. We ran into an albergue (the only one in Irún I think - I´ll cross-check later when I have more time for internet) and are sitting in an internet cafe while waiting for Leah to arrive. 

who needs maps

When I asked the hospitaliero (called so because he is the owner and volunteer at the albergue) about where to buy maps, he laughed at me and told me to follow the blazes. The entire Camino de Santiago del Norte is blazed with these markers: 
so it shouldn´t be too hard to find. Maybe when we´re in San Sebastián we´ll try to get maps, but hopefully we won´t need them. 

Tonight we´ll camp along the trailhead, eat our dinner and drink our beer, and have a buen camino tomorrow morning.