- Letter One -
I awoke from my nap, soaked in sangria sweat. I lifted my groggy head and made my way to the WC in hopes of finding hot water. It had been nine days and eight sleepless nights, filled with frantic drinking, dancing and fleeing from the great horned beasts in the narrow streets. I was pardoned for my inaccuracies with the spanish language from the locals but no such luck from the bulls.
I packed my rucksack and stumbled through the dodgy streets of Pamplona in search of Esbun, Bjarke and Jacob, some lovely boys i had met a few days prior while dancing in the streets and drinking one of the finest fares that spain has to offer. The four of us finally hooked up at the Placa De Sanfrancisco, over coffee and bread we decided that the only remedy for our drunkenness and wild antics would be a relaxing trip to the mountains.
Leaving Pamplona in the dust we set off on our excursion to the Pyrenees. After a day of driving through the beautiful yet sultry countryside, halted with stops in mysterious little towns, we finally arrived , Exhausted, we fell to the grassy ground and began passing a box of peach juice and a bottle of vodka. Eventually we fell asleep under the stars.
The morning came too quickly,We woke to find a cute old man talking about the trails that cannel into the heart of the mountains. He told us about a lake which was three hours away along the creek. Nevertheless the language barrier kept us from understanding everything he said.
Map in hand we set out deeper into the mountains. More than three hours passed and judging from the fusha color of our skin and the sweat blurring our vision, we decided that a dip in the river and some water in our dehydrated bodies was necessary. REFRESH!
The sun beat upon our backs as we embarked once more up the trail, then suddenly we gazed upward and before us lay natural monuments of rock cliffs, the vegetation astounded my senses, the fragrances of banana smelling yellow flowers, and wild purple lilies combined with my allergic reactions from the prickly grasses certainly would be in my memory forever.
After realizing that the five layers of waterproof sunscreen, that we had applied earlier in the day, was not serving its purpose, we tied towels around our necks, to protect our arms and backs from further damage. To see us would be like coming across a group of 13th century, reject super heroes on some forelorned pilgrimage. Chaos had fallen upon us, induced by the passed nights of drinking and starvation. Every urking sense was coupled by tears of laughter and rage. It was six o clock. We had to make the summit by sundown to set up camp. Armed with walking sticks, butt sweat, and a quickly depleting water supply we climbed.
After ten hours of near-death experiences, bruises, cuts, cursing, sweating, dehydration, and hives, we finally summit the mountain. Jacob was the first over the top, and we judged from his jumping and shouting that we had reached our long awaited oasis. Mustering up our last bit of energy, we crawled to the pool of water.
To our dismay "NO" oasis. We had climbed for ten hours through a rocky hell to find ourselves sitting on jagged rocks, staring at a pool of stagnant water.
It was getting cold there was no protection from the elements and the sun had long passed the horizon.
Jacob and i set up the tent while Esbun and Bjarke cooked up Spains answer to top rawman, on a tiny propane stove, which was almost forgotten in the chaos. The four of us crawled into the two man tent. We used our towels, which had earlier been magic capes to protect us from the jagged rocks, and our two sleeping bags sarcastically laughed at us as we tried to use them against the bitter cold. After a few final giggles, we faded off into dreamland.
Morning. We awoke because of the thickness of heat in the tent and flies crawling over our mouths. The boys drudged out. I remaned, plagued by a familiar sensation in my abdomen. My body had been overtakenby the womanly curse. unprepared but innovative, i removed my socks and improvised a blood catching device (which i am sure was sanitary). Goddamn those climbs and falls of projesten and estrogen.
I drug my sore body from the tent. The boys discovered that the bog was home to some dodgy little fish. We made some traps out of our water bottles an managed to capture a few of the sorry excuses for a meal. Bjarke, our chef, gutted the tiny fish with the smallest blade of his Swiss army knife and cooked them on our trusty stove. We force fed ourselves, and held down the vomit knowing that we needed the strength to keep from collapsing on our trek ahead.
We broke camp. The four of us ventured onward, back to the base of the mountain. Our infections and physical discrepancies delivered us and possibly were forces that drove us. Then without warning Esbun noticed a possible blessing from above. Rain! looking up to the sky we yelled for agua. The so called blessing soon turned to a final evil capstone on our journey The rain pelted our flesh and welted our abused skin. The trails had turned to mud which teased and taunted our balance and traction. The bag i was carrying ripped and my sock was slipping. Finally the creek came into view.
As we approached the creek, the rain became hail. The 7th plague lurched over us. The trails washed away and enforced our campaign of ritual suicide. Then without warning a burst of light was noticed at a glance, by Jacob. The shine of our vehicle tilted our torn bodies into a full sprint toward the car.
We ended up in the town of Boltana. We found cheap beads and a shower above a bar. Later, we went downstairs and filled our bellies with food an just enough whiskey. We meet some older people who took us to a odd bagpipe folk festival down the street. forgive the term but i was a happy camper.
I spent three more lovely days with the boys. sadly, their holiday had come to an end. I had them drop me off at a train station near the ocean. Kisses and sad goodbyes were exchanged. I caught the first train heading north.
With all the pain, with all the madness and even among all the chaos i wouldn't have changed one thing about those days. Well, maybe I'd have brought a tampon.