Sunday, 29 March 2009

What, no poncho?

I went to the university yesterday to try my first six hour walk. The day was overcast but dry, so I opted to take an umbrella instead of my poncho because of the weight. What with food, water, cell phone etc. I would have been over my seven kilo maximum with the poncho. Naturally this won´t apply on the Camino as I shall not be carrying a five kilo bag of rice!

I followed a variety of routes for about five hours, and was feeling the strain a bit, especially because the sun had come out and it was about 30C. I took three short breaks of about ten minutes each to drink some water and have a snack. I found that the short breaks really helped but within an hour I was ready for the next one. Hopefully I´ll be able to walk for longer without a break on the Camino or else it is going to take me forever to get anywhere.

Anyway, after my last break I knew I´d be able to carry on for another hour or so and complete my six hours, although it would be tough, but the decision was taken out of my hands. The sky suddenly went very dark and within minutes I was caught in a tropical downpour. There were no buildings to shelter in and the wind was driving the rain sideways. My little umbrella wasn´t much use, so I also stood under a tree trying to shelter behind the trunk. As the thunder rumbled overhead I tried to work out what was safest, under a tree or out in the open with a metal umbrella in my hand like a lightening rod. I opted for the tree as there were lots of others around, some much taller, and hoped for the best.

After a while the rain eased up a bit, but obviously wasn´t going to stop any time soon, so I decided to call it a day and trudged off to get my train. I arrived home soaking wet and squelched up my eight flights of stairs. Even the bag of rice was wet, but thankfully it is polythene so no harm done. I´ve decided to open it and take out one kilo of rice as from now on I shan´t leave home without my poncho!

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