Jen and I met at 3:30pm at the Starbuck’s on San Pablo to photograph people with our telephoto lenses. To our surprise this Starbuck’s has recently built a nice stool high long table outside next to the sidewalk, very European, that when seated at provides just the elbow support we need to hold the long lenses steady while shooting.
Many people wondered who we were shooting, asking if someone important was arriving. Everyone comments on the size of the lenses (70-200mm and me with the 2X attached making the lens look even longer) which makes for much small talk. People were very nice when they noticed we were shooting them. We smiled and they smiled. It was a fun experience and a great way to meet people.
Canon 5d Mark III
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM +2X
Focal length: 260mm
Exposure: 1/500 sec at f/5.6
Manual exposure and Spot metering.
http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/ Interesting read.
Here are links to where you may see some of the shots I took.
Friday, The Gay Pride Festival – http://gottago.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Gay-Pride-Parade/
Saturday, The Gay Pride Parade - http://gottago.smugmug.com/Events/2014-Gay-Pride-Parade/
A memorial site has been created to honor the memory of my niece, Lena Ramadan. Please visit http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/lenaramadan/ to see pictures and messages for beautiful Lena.
Please post your message in her memory book and upload your favorite pictures of Lena. It would mean so much to the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Washington Humane Society http://support.washhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=support.
Thank you for all of your love and support.
Thursday, September 11th
Today our plan was to take a taxi back to Zubriri and walk the 13.1 miles back to Pamplona we’d missed when we took a taxi to the hospital in Pamplona. I’d convinced Pat she was ready and strong enough to get back on the trail. I set my phone for 4:15am. A taxi was coming to drive us the 30 minutes it takes to get to Zubiri.
I woke just before my alarm and asked Pat what time it was. 4:25! We both lay in bed without talking. Pat then shared, “We need to talk.” She didn’t leave me guessing for long and said, “My Camino is over.” Pat cried. I cried. She said that she had pain in a front tooth and I know there is a bigger problem going because my teeth are moved out of alignment from their normal bite position, AND 4 teeth are numb!
I knew she was going home. There was nothing to say. No pep talks were indicated. This was serious. I felt awkward. The taxi was coming shortly. I had to pack up if I was going on without Pat. We talked, cried and hugged as I got ready to leave for the Camino alone. We’d talked about what the other would do if one of us could’ve go on. Each of us said we’d continue our walk alone. So I sadly left. Pat was going to see a dentist in Pamplona or back home.
I was scared. I was sad for myself and Pat. The taxi driver dropped me off by the old bridge. It was dark. After a quick pee behind a dumpster, I got on the Camino, south of the Arga River, heading west. My mind played games with me as I walked on the narrow, dark, brush lined trail past an industrial part of town, wondering if someone would jump out and rob me. I distracted myself by thinking about the cafe con leche I’d have about 3 miles up the trail at the very small town of Larrasoana. “Historic houses from the 15th and 16th century line the Main Street; some retain their coat of arms above the door.” The moon was still up and looking like the full moon it had been two days before. I started to get into a good hiking rhythm, reflecting on past backpacking times. I was back out in the country with the cutest little horses and new families of cows. I was on the tail again, feeling good.
It was getting a little lighter, I was up higher than I’d been and thought that maybe I should call Ray before he heard from someone else Pat was leaving the trail. Ray answered and I said’ “Pat is leaving the trail.” Ray then said, “So are you!” (That was so unlike Ray to say something like that.) I quickly and adamantly said that I was not leaving the Camino!” (I thought he meant that he didn’t want me doing the trail alone!) Ray said that something terrible had happened. I could not believe when Ray said that a dear family had died. Of course I was going home. My sister Ginny and her family were arriving in Palm Springs the next day. I wanted to be there. I was in shock and disbelief. I tried to gather my thoughts to get a plan of how I was going to tell Pat to wait for me as I was going home too. I had a Spanish SIM card in my phone but had never made a local call. I didn’t have the number of the NH Hotel, and I don’t speak Spanish well enough to trust I’d understand the operator. I called Ray and asked him to call an International operator. Ray doesn’t know how to do things like this but he tried. He needed the phone number of the Hotel he was told.
Ray eventually called Pat at our hotel, after looking up the hotel on the Internet!!!,telling her I’d find a way back to Pamplona and to not leave before I arrived. I didn’t know how I’d ever find a taxi when I got to the next tiny village. I walked the empty street one way and then the other way before knocking on the door of a Pension. A nice man called someone and told me a taxi would arrive in an hour after the driver dropped his kids off at school.
I reconnected with Pat, we took a taxi to the train station and are now on the train headed to Madrid to see about changing our tickets and getting on the first plane home.
I can’t wait to see my family.