I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Friday, 12 February 2010

Onward, Peregrino!

Onward, peregrino,
Marching from the bar,
On to the next pueblo,
Can't be all that far.
There's a yellow arrow,
There's a scallop shell,
Follow them to the next bar
Then all things shall be well!

Dreaming of Bird's custard,
Marmite, Brooke Bond tea,
Heinz tomato sauce,
Cream cakes from Sainsbury.
Meanwhile I'll put up with
Menu of the Day,
Fried patata, flan con nata,
(But no more lomo, pray!)

Onward with the journey,
The restaurant's in sight,
A big bowl of paella's
Bound to put me right,
Noodle soup with hard-boiled eggs,
A dish that's hard to knock,
But what's that notice in the window?
Closed till 9 o'clock!

Onward, peregrino,
Through the wind and rain,
The temperature is freezing,
But no dolor, no gain;
Legs are near collapsing,
Hands can't feel to grip,
But let's toast with vino this Camino,
What a long, strange trip!

Sing to the tune of Onward Christian Soldiers and repeat endlessly through the day to help cope with dolor and sufrimiento on the Camino.

The last line refers to a line in the song Truckin' from the Grateful Dead's album American Beauty.

By the way, I hope you think I've recovered my sense of humour!

(Posted from Zamora, on the Vía de la Plata, Spain.)

6 comments:

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Now this one should definitely be in the hymnal of every hiker!

To me, it rings near perfect in line and meter, keeps to its trail-induced food fixation theme throughout, and no doubt accurately reflects the mental and physical state of its hiker-author. It also shows admirable creativity, as it's doubtless the first-ever work to combine "Onward Christian Soldiers" with a line from the Grateful Dead…to my mind, a remarkable literary achievement.

If your sense of humor was ever in question of having fallen by the wayside, this effort shows that it has not only been found and restored, but has quite likely benefitted from its brief vacation.

The Solitary Walker said...

Jim, if my sense of humour ever does go astray, your comments are always certain to put that smile back on my face!

Thoughts of food do loom unnaturally large on these long-distance hikes, don't they? I'd like to be considering Big Ideas and Grand Philosophies, and elevating myself to a high spiritual plane through denial and ascetism. Instead, all I'm dreaming of is English fish 'n' chips.

The Solitary Walker said...

I think that should be 'asceticism'. Can´t even spell English any more. Brain's dissolving into a liquid mess of Campbell's tomato soup. (Yum!)

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Dear God, man…I can barely spell "asceticism" using a dictionary. If I ever blogged from a trail, it would be embarrassing.

And yes, thoughts of food do loom large after a few days on the trail—and in my experience, it's often some odd food or combination of foods, i.e., blueberry-pretzel ice cream, squid-avocado quiche, or Campbell's tomato soup.

Anonymous said...

Dear Grizzled and Solitary! Now I know why I love fellow hikers! Food! And may I say none of those food combos sound off at all! Although I'd add a nice dark chocolate to that icecream recipe. Chocolate marries the most unusual things beautifully. Hell, I put it in my chili all the time! with cinnamon to boot! Pax, Karin

The Solitary Walker said...

Interestingly, Karin, I've never much cared for a bread and chocolate combo before - but the other day I was really hungry one early afternoon in the middle of nowhere on a grey and drizzly day. The only food I had in my rucksack was bread and chocolate. Loved them both together! New taste sensation...