social exclusion

Donostia Travel Blog

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Freezing!!!!!

Inspite of all those thoughts about how nice camping can be  we decided that in donostia, in Spain, we would take a hotel for the night. It had been some hard days and 41 km later after some manic city riding we were looking forward to an afternoon of and started looking. But there was no room for us anywhere as each pension either priced us out, didn't have working door bells or was full. "Not long...not long til a home isn't something we have to look for everyday anymore" i grumbled as i realized we couldn't stay in Donostia afterall. No afternoon off, no shower, no warmth.... But we decided to make the best of it and spend the money we were saving on food and wine -Tappas, since we were in spain again.

Even more freezing!
It took us hours to reach a goodish spot up a tiny track in a wet beach forrest and lots needed to be done: We gathered leaves for a bed, dug trenches round our tent so the water would avoid us, offloaded the bikes and carried everything along a narrow and soggy path and then finaly unpacked our even more soggy home. At six o'clock after an hour of intensive work i was starving and tired....and then the rain began. But in the tent everything was good: Wine, snacks, possibly hot tappas later if the rain would ever stop only 220 km from Santander.

But things were staring to take their toll on us seriously. Grumpy moods became more frequent and society seemed to drift further and further away from us. I wrote this in my diary after a long day, riding in dark and rainfilled spanish mountains and eventually getting lost on a small road:

"That hour when darkness falls, when all windows and doors are firmly shut and the few souls still outside hurry home, hidden under heavy coats and hats, doing their best to ignore the world and the weather, that is the hour when loneliness hits. It is a hard loneliness that reavhes all the way into the sould just like a sudden deep sadness. The sadness comes because it's a glimpse of such a horrible place to be....If it rains or the dark clouds hang low around us and we still havn't found a place to sleep the shut doors seem twice as firmy shut and the angry faces seem not just angry but full of scorn and hate for the likes of us. It seems we have finally crossed the invisible border between being socially and mentally closer to the man wandering the road with a broken rucksack and sleeping in doorways than we are to the people who stroll in the park or hurry home from the shop. It's the people with tangled beards and holes in their clothes who greet us happily whilst the others stare longer and harder at us than what is polite....Maybee to people at this side of the social divide politeness need not to be applied...? Or maybee it is ok to point at someone who has left 9-5 behind...? I make a big point of starring directly back at people until they realize their rudeness, which is normally ages..."

We did find a near perfect spot that night and as soon as the tent was up, the blankets out and our tea on the go the feelings of loneliness faded away and we quite happily exclude the world just as it seems to exclude us at times. But we are lucky: First of all were two, we have actually choosen this way of life for now and we have good homes to go to were good people are waiting eagerly to see us again. But the people we pass on the road don't know this, they shun us like the plague and show us clearly what social exclusion, prejudice and rotten narrow mindedness on their behalf feels like.

The sad thing is that often society silently supports social exclusion as cityplanning in places in Denmark involves moving benches from the central parks so that the homeless will not sit there but will move with the bences and shelters to the darker parts of the cities....

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Freezing!!!!!
Freezing!!!!!
Even more freezing!
Even more freezing!
Donostia
photo by: alex_daza2