Needless to say, I was itching to leave the festival after a few days, and, once the festival was over, it was again time to travel back to resume the Camino. I was a bit apprehensive about what this might entail, since I had no plan on how to get out of Nowhere, much less return to Orense.
Remember, getting Nowhere involved 2 hours of waiting in a train station, 10 hours on an overnight train with a snoring deaf man, 3 hours of waiting in a train station trying to sleep while squished in a chair during the wee hours of morning, 6 hours of sight-seeing, and 2 hours of driving through the desert squished in between backpacks, tents, and coolers.
So I was joyously happy when a lovely and interesting couple — Hugo (English) and Mizayuki (Japanese) — offered me a ride to Barcelona and a couch to crash on. It turned out, though, that after our 3 days of hanging out in the Nowhere desert doing nothing, traveling to Barcelona involved a lot of… hanging out doing nothing. AKA “waiting.”
First, Hugo and Mizayuki waited for me while I ran around and said my goodbyes to everyone. Then, the three of us waited for Doug, a very large man with a very large personality to match, who wanted to caravan with us. Then, a decision was made that we’d all head to a local community pool, so we had to wait for the rest of the “all” to bid their farewells and join us.
The community pool stopover was hilarious, as the Pasty (except for me) Northern European Tourists took over the place. The food was classic Town Pool quality, except Spanish: Gambas (shrimp), frozen calamari, frozen snails and a fiasco with frozen pizza that was served…. frozen.
”Viva, España!” sang Hugo, in the same tune as “Viva Las Vegas.” His main advice about surviving Spain? Just laugh at the inefficiency and conundrums encountered all across Spain, because there is no avoiding them.
“What is up with these napkins?” I asked, “It’s like they come pre-greased!”
“Viva, España!” he sang.
After lunch, we headed to the pool. I swam in my t-shirt and shorts, since I had no swimsuit.
After leaving the pool, I climbed into Hugo’s small, beat-up Ford pick-up with a ridiculously wimpy horn that sounded like a Jalopy. All three of us crammed onto the bench seat in the front; luckily, Mizuki and I are both Mighty Mites and it wasn’t as uncomfortable as it might have been had either of us been less than pint-sized. The rickety old truck was shaking so much as we whizzed along at 100 kph that ALL of Hugo, jowels and all, was jiggling along in tempo with the rattles of the road.
I really enjoyed talking with the two of them, Hugo regaling me with stories of taking Aiowasca, a potent medicinal plant, in the Peruvian jungle, Mizuki sharing bits and pieces of her own story in her delightfully accented English.
“Amazing,” they both said, “intense.”
As we approached the city, the highway turning more and more urban and the wind coming through the open windows of the pickup truck, I asked what them Barcelona was like.
“Smelly,” Hugo frowned. “Watch out for shit. People shit in the street.”
Really? I asked, incredulous.
“Oh yes,” nodded Mizuki, demurely. “Fresh. Slippery.”