SINNING ACROSS SPAIN is responsible for its first blister!
Today I received this story from Paul, who bought a copy of the book at the airport before leaving Australia on business. He read it on the plane to America, and it lurked around in his thoughts until he got to Mexico, where it decided to have its way with him! Below, with his permission, is his walking story…
As luck would have it, I find myself in Mexico City for work. So yesterday being Sunday I took the opportunity to explore. Wanting to walk out the past week of flying and sitting in conference rooms, and it being a truly gorgeous sunny-cool day, I decide to head out on foot.
Mexico City is not rural Spain. Nevertheless, finding myself treading Spanish-speaking streets put me in mind of your book.
Hmm, maybe I should have paid more attention to the bit about good shoes. I was in a pair of Campers, virtually no soles and no support.
I am staying just south of Colonia Condesa and headed down to the Zocalo in the historic centre. That was about a 10 km stroll. I must have covered another 4-5 in the downtown area, then walked back to Condesa, which was the art deco rich home of movie stars and celebrities until the 1985 earthquake, when it was largely abandoned. In the nineties, the boho art crowd ‘rediscovered’ it and for a decade it was über cool. As with all these kind of neighbourhoods (think Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin, Le Marais in Paris or the Village in NYC), the middle class have discovered the newly-minted amenity and gradually gentrified the place. Anyway, I found a suitably groovy cafe for a late lunch and it was then I discovered that my Campers were not made for walking. By the time I finished my espresso, I could feel a growing blister on my big toe. It felt awkwardly squishy underfoot, so I relented and took a cab the 2 km back to my hotel.
Lest you think the lessons of your adventure were all wasted, I had the wit to hobble to a nearby supermercado and purchase band aids and antiseptic. Lacking a knife, I found a fountain pen with a sharp (ish) nib and managed to penetrate the thick skin to release the pressure. This morning, all good and ready for a day in the office with Hugo, Humberto, Arturo, Eliseo and friends.
So thank you for your (life saving) advice!
One day I will get there, I hope. A city of contrasts and extremes, too wild for me to imagine. And although Campers are made in Spain, I will remember to take the mighty Merrell’s! Pilgrimage needs sole.
Thanks so much Paul, for permission to put the story into the blogosphere. And to Kati, for her images of Mexican silver hearts.
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I hope to see you often.