Before you take time to read this please let me offer a preemptive apology for any errors or lack of actual quality.. it’s tricky writing on my phone and this only a 1st draft.. anyway, I hope you enjoy it..
Just before sunrise St James and Little Ron were packing their bags for the journey.. St James had a nifty little 35 litre pack while Little Ron was stuffing four normal smocks, a rainproof smock and an ultralight quick dry smock into an already full 60litre pack..
“For Sooth Little Ron, thou are heavily encumbered for our quest! Dost thou not know that day one is a right bugger of a hill over to the monks clubhouse at Roncesvalles?”
“Ahhh!” Spake Ron, “I have spoken with a wonderful chap who owns a shelter up yonder hill name of Horrizon… normally he charges 36 coins for one night but he will let us stay for nought if we promise to bring back a donkey load of cheap Spanish wine which he will sell for an astronomical profit.. he will even throw in a token that provides us with two whole minutes in the shower!”
St James looked slightly concerned, for surely the famous Jonathan Briarley (who hath walked this path many times) recommends a straight up and over day regardless of how old and unsprightly one is. However he had heard rumour of the fabled two minute shower and was soon tempted from such ideas.. he donned his pack and strode toward the door.
“Then come Little Ron, grab thy staff and let’s bugger off sharpish before the sun gets too warm”.
And with that, they headed out on to the road and started to climb toward Horrizon.
Fifteen minutes later we find St James bounding merrily up the hill while Ron leans heavily against a telegraph pole. (The poles carried no wires as telephones would not be invented for centuries yet. They put the poles up on the off-chance that they would be needed sometime in the future.. now that’s forward thinking for you).
“Quicken thy step chubby friend! We need to arrive by dinnertime. I hear they offer a menu that involves a dessert of flan.. I haven’t had flan for years and maybe no other hostel will offer such a prize of a pudding along our way”
“Flan you say?” Gasped Little Ron. “With God in my heart and flan on my mind I shall fly up this dreadful hill.. and look yonder. I spy another fellow on the trail ahead.. he too needs the goodness of flan, see how he stands gasping with his hands on his knees?.. perchance he is from Canadia?”
And with that the two friends continued upward toward the tired looking fellow.
“Hallo my knee-holding friend!” hailed St James. “I am St James and this is my trusty friend Ron, by what name shall I call thee?”
“My name is Randuscious but my friends call me Randy.. I am from Canadia and I travel to Santiago” spoke the Tilley hat wearing man.
“Well met, my gasping friend.. you are welcome to travel with us as Santiago is our quest also! Come let us walk together while I tell you of the flan that waits for us not 5km from this very spot!”
“Flan you say??” Said Randy, “I have heard of such delight but never have I seen one, coming from Canadia, where all we have is the syrup of Maple”.
The three men readjusted their smocks and set off with renewed vigour toward Horizzon.
The journey to Horizzon took 6 hours.. but apart from much gasping (and knee-holding) there was nothing of importance to tell you so I will skip ahead to where we find our three friends sat at a table for the communal meal.
“Well that was a right task” offered a glum-looking Little Ron. “What made it worse was the gangs of healthy young Germanians that bounded past us”
“I hardly saw them through the tears in my eyes” replied Randy “But let us forget the trials of the day and enjoy our meal and strange bowl of coffee”
“Aye my friends” quoth St James.. “It is true that today was tough but surely tomorrow shall be an easier day”.
The three of them seemed happy with that thought and tucked into their bowls of mystery meat in silence.
“I call first in the shower” said St James as they finished their meal and with that he bounded off before the others could react. “But James!” Little Ron began to shout..
“Shh Ron, In his haste to shower he hath forgotten about the flan and so we shall share his pudding less it goes to waste” said Randy with a sly glint in his eyes.
“You know what?” Said Ron.. “You’re my kinda guy.. pass me a spoon please”.