Peace, Love and Dysentery: life as a hippie in Spain

Spain

I am writing this blog entry at 4am. I am camping on the side of a mountain in southern Spain and I am sick. Very sick.

When I made plans to come to Spain, I imagined lazy days of swimming in the sea and climbing rocks, and sunny hikes on the Camino de Santiago. Maybe I would learn Spanish and maybe I would finally learn organic farming. The next few months were sure to be wonderful……

Reality has proved very different and for some reason, Spain and I don’t get on at all. Since crossing the French border, I have hiked in torrential downpours on the Camino and I have had to go to hospital with achilles tendonitis, where I was unable to walk for a week.

Because of this bad luck, I hobble over to Portugal and recover. I visit my friends Karina and Andre and together we decide upon a roadtrip to the Iberic Rainbow Gathering in southern Spain. We drive in Andre’s campervan in monsoon-type weather to Ojen, close to Marbella.

On the road with Karina and Andre

Hiking In Northern Spain, And Why The Camino de Santiago Is Actually A Bit Shit…

Spain

I am standing at the side of the road in Bilbao, holding up a sign saying SANTANDER. A few people stride past me in expensive outdoor hiking gear (they are German!) and I think to myself, “fuck it, I will walk the 100km to Santander!” And that’s how I found myself walking 120km of the Camino de Santiago del norte (northern route). The Camino is one of the most famous “hikes” in the world. (The word “hike” should be used loosely when describing the Camino. It’s mostly a long walk on tarmac). People gush with excitement when they talk about their memories of this route, so it seems almost sinful to say anything derogatory about it. But I will.