Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 61: So now what, Kemosobe?

Dscn4557bOctober 11: Karolina and I left Santiago with a slight drizzle to dampen our parade, but the drizzle quickly stopped before it had a chance to really get us wet. However, we expected rain, despite the temporary relief. The weather forecast, which I last checked that morning, showed an 80% chance of rain all day long. The clouds certainly looked menacing.

Near lunchtime, we stopped at a bar in Augapesada—which, without confirming in my Spanish-English dictionary—I believe translates into “Heavy Water.” Seems like an appropriate day for that, although we still had managed to miss the rain. The tables and chairs outside were wet from rain earlier, and the guy running the place went around with a rag to wipe off the water and dry them all. We took a couple of seats and ordered some Cokes.

Before our Cokes even arrived, however, the rain poured lose in buckets. A drenching downpour that had Karolina and myself scrambling to pick up our bags and go inside. The sudden change was remarkable.

We finished our Cokes and stamped our credentials, looking outside occasionally to see if the rain might let up, and about 15 minutes later, it did. It still dripped from the trees and other overhanging objects, but it no longer fell out of the sky at all, so we paid our bill and headed out again. Although it wasn’t raining at the moment, we still knew that we had gotten lucky so far and it would still likely pour rain before the day was out. In the meantime, however, we enjoyed the lack of rain.

We arrived in Negeira, booking ourselves into the municipal alburgue in town—but, we were informed—they were out of beds. No more room. “So now what, Kemosabe?”

“Kemosabe?” Karolina asked. “What’s that?”

Hmm…. I thought about it and had to admit, I wasn’t really sure. Tonte said that on the Lone Ranger, right? But what did it actually mean? Was it an old Native American word with subtle meanings I didn’t know about? I just told her it meant something like “partner” or “friend.” But admittedly, I wasn’t entirely sure how to define the term. I know how to use it, but I can’t define it…. “It’s not really a word you have to be familiar with,” I told her.

Then I thought about it some more and changed my mind. “Actually, no, you should learn that word! I think it would be really funny to hear a Polish girl walking around calling people “kemosabe.” It’s not something you’d expect from someone who’s learned English as a second language! It would probably surprise a lot of native English-speaking people! =) So I had Karolina say it a few times and nail the pronunciation.

“But that still doesn’t answer my original question,” I continued. “So now what, kemosobe?”

Dscn4567bWe had a couple of options. The most obvious would be to find some other alburgue that might have still had beds available. But it hadn’t rained since our lunch stop at the bar—incredibly enough—so the ground wasn’t entirely wet. “I’m kind of partial to the idea of camping,” I told her. It would almost certainly rain overnight, but my tarp was easily big enough to fit two people under it with plenty of room to spare. “I’m not so much opposed to camping in the rain so much as I dislike setting up camp in the rain and when the ground is freshly wet.” I hadn’t really given camping much consideration today because I expected it to rain all day long. The fact that it hadn’t…. I was willing to make a go of it.

Karolina had to do some grocery shopping, so she said she’d think about and walked into town to resupply. I waited behind to watch our packs. She got back nearly an hour later. The rain had still held off in the meantime, and Karolina wanted to camp. “Let’s go, then!” I said, “Before the rain starts up!”

We hiked out of town, and I encouraged Karolina to hike faster than she probably would have preferred in an attempt to find a place to camp and set up the tarp before any rain started. Ultimately, we settled on a location a couple of kilometers out of town, on an obviously abandoned dirt road that hadn’t seen traffic in years based on its overgrown status.

Remarkably, despite the absolutely dreadful weather forecast, the only real rain the entire day was during those 15 minutes we were indoors at the bar. We got really lucky in that regard. We were completely prepared for a very wet, very miserable day, but miraculously, we missed it all!

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I was stunned—holy cow! 88,022 kilometers to Finisterre?!!
I had a lot more to walk than I thought I did….
Of course, any of you familiar with how they write numbers
in Spain know that they switch around the commas and periods,
so it’s actually 88.022 kilometers to Finisterre. But
that’s almost as funny to me because it seems like an
unusually precise number. Not just 88.0 kilometers.
Not even 88.02 kilometers. But 88.022 kilometers?
Given the fact that 1 kilometer is 1000 meters, it’s like
stating 88,022 meters to Finisterre. Who the heck measure
such distance down to the meter level? Not 88,023 meters.
Not 88,021 meters. But exactly 88,022 meters. *shrug*

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Drinking a Coke in Augapesada as it pours buckets of rain outside.
Interestingly, they always gave me a lemon slice whenever
I ordered a Coke.

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While walking past this mirror, it occurred to me that I didn’t
have a picture of Karolina and myself together. So we
took a “group shot.” =) In unrelated news, at one point
we were walking together and I saw one of these mirrors
ahead, and I saw a gigantic full-sized bus coming around
the corner of a building in it. We were waking on a narrow road and
I told Karolina, “Big bus coming!” urging her to the side of the road.
Seconds later, the big bus turned the corner and Karolina was
amazed. “How did you KNOW that bus was coming?!”
Magic…. =) Or at least tricks and mirrors. =)

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We did stop in Negeira long enough for a few silly photos. =)
I love how that woman statue looks like its looking at Karolina,
almost as if in shock at Karolina grabbing the other
statue’s butt. =)

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I get a little friendly with a statue as well….

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Camped in the middle of an old dirt road.

3 comments:

lou p otter said...

This is how I've understood it.
Tonto is Spanish for stupid or fool. Tonto, (not so tonto), responded calling the Lone Ranger "qui no sabe", which translates from Spanish to he who knows nothing.
And now an appropriate joke.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto went camping in the desert.
After they got their tent all set up, both men fell sound asleep.
Some hours later, Tonto wakes the Lone Ranger and says, "Kemo Sabe, look toward sky, what you see?"

The Lone Ranger replies, "I see millions of stars."

"What that tell you?" asked Tonto.

The Lone Ranger ponders for a minute then says, "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions
of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo.
Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
What's it tell you, Tonto?"

Tonto is silent for a moment, then says,
"Kemo Sabe, Ssomeone's stolen our tent.

Baqash said...

http://www.old-time.com/misc/kemo.html

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

Seeing as Tonto wasn't Spanish, or Mexican any spanish translation is idiotic. It is generally accepted that Kemosabe means "Trusted Friend" or "Faithful Friend" and Tonto's name means Wild One.