Here is an introduction to my adopted family on El Camino De Santiago…
Jonny ‘9’ Toes
Part Man. Part Myth. Part Missing.
An old friend of mine, whom I met in Poland during December 2007. After this trip we had experienced 13 different countries, across 2 continents.
A few days into the pilgrimage, he was suffering with a large blister. In front of a small audience, he took Finnish Anna’s advice and went at it with a scalpel. The myth had started, that the man with a blister, had cut off his toe, and Jonny 9 Toes was born. He started to trail behind the group as he was unable to keep up with his injury. A few days later, we had waited for him. In a Romanesque city, Jonny 9 Toes appeared, carrying his Jesus Stick, and with a small following of disciples. Oddly, we left without him again.
I designed a book cover for him and left it on the way. Whispers and rumours of the man called Jonny 9 Toes increased. Rumour has it, that he continued to lose toes, until he became Jonny ‘Nein’ Toes.
So English, he could be English for England.
We met Tom in the evening after the first day’s walking. We connected over a shared sense of humour, after a German man smacked his head on the bed, sending us both into uncontrollable laughter.
Tom’s accent, mannerisms, sense of humour and just the words that he uses, makes him unmistakably English (not that there is anything wrong with that). Although, he also a liking for stealing bread that he finds in villages. We could always tell when something was wrong with Tom, as he would walk ahead at a lightning speed. It normally related to wanting 3rd breakfast.
P.S. Don’t ask him what he is studying. Actually, go on, do it.
AKA Anna Poogi-Boogi
We met Anna on the 2nd day of walking. Despite her constant threats of leaving us, and wanting to walk alone, She never managed to escape the group. Anna not only finished the walk with us, she joined us for a few days in Portugal too.
Anna had done a wilderness in Lapland, and entertained us with details from a lecture she once had, regarding different ways to go to the toilet whilst outdoors. There were numerous ways, some even involved teamwork. I don’t think anybody tried anything but the standard on El Camino.
Despite living in Lapland in Finland, Anna was always cold in Spain. She would either wear or sleeping bag, or do ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ in Finnish, to keep warm.
Brian – The Photographer
Half American. Half Japanese. Half vampire.
We met Brian in a pub on the second night, and starting walking at the same time on the third day. I spent about 30 out of 34 days walking with him.
Brian loves to take photos, lots of them. We had no reason to complain though, we appreciated the group photos and natural photos from all along the way. My one complaint about Brian…he slept easily and peacefully through most of the chaos in the dorm room. Everybody was struggling to get to sleep, and he would just be laying there, sleeping like a vampire, with a smirk on his face. This made him an ideal room-mate though.
Many photos from his journey, can be found here.
I designed a book cover for him too, unrelated to his Camino experience, I just thought it was funny.
He’d buy you a drink, and then he’d make you cry.
We met John on the 2nd night, at the same time as Brian. They both walked together on the 2nd day.
Oh, Johnny Irish loved the wine on El Camino, he was bad influence, but always a good laugh, until he made you cry. You see, John had a way with words, and can hit you right in the feelings. Finnish Anna was a repeat victim.
Two randoms facts about John: the more tired he gets, the more clothes he takes off, and, he struggles to sit on chairs.
John went a bit crazy on the booze, during our Saturday night in Leon. The next day there was no sign of him, as well as possibly related blazing fires on the Spanish news. He ended going missing for about 2 weeks, turning up at the last moment.
Other notable Camino buddies:
Carla & Mandy, Hungarian Anna, Raquel, The Lithuanian Girls (Vismantė & Greta), Jun The Drunk Korean Who Supports Man Utd, Maurlena, Jordi and Janice.
I would like to thank everybody above, for a fantastic time in Spain.
I would liked noted, that NO THANKS goes to…The Brazilian Masturbator.