Saturday, February 14, 2009
'Most of the world looks lke Wyoming'
'Most of the world looks lke Wyoming', a well-travelled friend told me after a trip from Istanbul to Beijing, and it certainly applies to the high plains of Spain. I'm wide open to criticism for this - it should rather be phrased that Wyoming looks like most of the world, but it's a simple matter of perspective.
Walking through the Province of Burgos has a wilderness aspect to it moreso than neighboring Rioja. The broad layered plateaus of pale red, grey, and ochre rock with scruffy vegetation... impossibly distant snow-capped peaks of a bounding mountain range... missing are the cowboys, coyotes, bison, pronghorns and jackalopes, but the sense of distance and isolation are surrounding.
A South African walked the 32 kilometers between Burgos and Hontanas at much more leisurely pace than my companion and myself on his first day on the trail. Arriving at the hamlet's pilgrim house late in the day, sunburnt and thirsty even for mid February, all he could utter was 'fuuuuuuuuuuuu...ck' before collapsing on his bunk. And then find out there was no restaurant, grocery store, or possibility for any dinner... he was a bit out of sorts for a while. Using the home-country advantage, my campanion was able to procure some pasta and eggs and fed the South African through his moments of rookie dispair. All is well in pilgrimland.