Sunday, 1 December 2013

Camino Guitar

     I wanted to write a new song or two, so I decided I was going to bring a guitar on the Camino Frances in 2012. I didn't really have a travel guitar but I managed to find an inexpensive Yamaha which was small sized, sounded decent  and yet, was lightweight enough to haul around for 800k. It wouldn't fit on my backpack, at least comfortably, so I planned just to carry it in the regular manner. I contemplated giving it away once I arrived in Santiago.

     Things went smoothly at first, at least until I hit heavy rain just before Pamplona. After finding refuge in a small cafe, I opened  up the wet soft shell case to discover the guitar too was also getting wet. Not good! Miraculously, the woman who ran the cafe came to my rescue with a clear, heavy duty plastic bag from her back room. It was perfect--it could hold the entire guitar with case. All I had to do was tie up the end. Problem solved.
      Besides its intended purpose, and a few good singsongs, the guitar came in handy for the odd photo--like this "Abbey Road" shot  atop the Alto del Perdon :

     I had a bit of a misadventure at the red wine fountain about an hour out of Estella. Like any good pilgrim, I had a taste of this free wine. I chatted for a few minutes then left, feeling much invigorated and much lighter. It wasn't until I had walked 2-3k that I realized I was feeling so light because I had forgot my guitar! I panicked, raced back, and found it right where I had placed it--on top of a garbage can--good thing it wasn't garbage day.
     Carrying the guitar the entire distance never really bothered me at all, though it was often awkward, especially on high winds days. In a vicious storm during my descent to Triacastela, it was all I could do to hang on to it--there were some very desperate moments, but "we" survived.
     I would not necessarily recommend carrying a guitar, but overall for me, it was a success. In fact, I brought it again on El Norte in the spring, 2013. The names of all the villages and towns I slept in on both caminos now adorn the front of this guitar: El Norte in blue, Frances in black.

     And I will no doubt bring it again on my next camino--more  memories, more names.  So it should come as no surprise that I'm quite attached to it now. Soooo, about that idea of giving it away in Santiago?-- sorry, not happening.
     And besides carrying it, I do play the thing once in a while. This, a vino inspired  performance near Sarria:

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