Thursday, April 24, 2008

Me 'n' My Towel, on Camino

Here, I am sitting in the evening outside an albergue in northern Spain, a hostel for people walking the 500-mile medieval pilgrimage trail from the French border almost to the Atlantic Ocean: el Camino de Santiago de Compostela (the Way of Saint James of the Milky Way).

Draped around my neck, the piece of Indian fabric was technically a scarf, which Barrett had given me for the trip, but it met most of the same needs as Douglas Adams's "massively useful" Towel, in the summer of 2001.

Bink is the shadow on the left, taking my photo with the one-use camera I bought on the last week of the five-week walk.
I am cutting into a kiwi. The rest of dinner was to be that carton of rice pudding in front of me and a bottle of beer. Bink had a glass of white wine, which another peregrina (pilgrim) had given us.

This is my favorite photo of myself.
I started out on Camino secretly hoping it would make me a better person--and more or less right away. Instead, it gave me blisters. Huge honking ones that hurt like I'd never imagined. By the time this picture was taken, toward the end of the walk, I had jettisoned every extraneous item I was carrying, including this deluded hope.
So what you see here is just me--and my towel.


bink said...

It's one of my favorite pictures of me too.

fresca said...

It's one of my favorites of you too Bink!
Anyone who knows you well would recognize in the shadow outline the way you stand.
I don't remember---did you have a "towel"? (I mean besides those camping squares for drying off--something that served as sunshade, protector from bugs, modesty drape, picnic blanket, etc?

bink said...

I didn't have a "towel", except my camping towel...which is surprising since I am so rarely without a scarf in my everyday life (Forza Palermo!). I had to double check this fact since it seemed so unlike me...but I had written down everything I ended up carrying in the back of my sketchbook as a reference for any long walks in the future... and no "towel". I probably threw one out because it weighed too much.

fresca said...

I guess you had a *Spiritual* towel that did all the important towel-like things you needed, then. Like an invisible shroud of Turin type of dealy. Because everything went well (except for the pain)!