14 December 2008

So . . . This is what it sounds like when doves cry.

Just finished our porridge and tea at my aunts house and are readying ourselves to go down to the city (Dublin)

We spent Thursday and Friday night in Galway and had an excellent time. We stayed at Kinlay House Hostel right near Eyre (Air) Square. It was a really nice hostel although a bit more than we wanted to spend (14 euros a bed).

The first night we found an art opening and went in. There was free wine (with refills!!) and interesting art to view. Great find. Friday we got roommates! A couple from Miami and a girl from Australia - all 18 -19 years old. I'm not used to being the older person in a group - it was interesting. We ended up being the group leaders I think because we were older. The couple from Miami was new to backpacking and very excited about traveling without reservations. The lady from Australia got into a fun debate with Justin about Celsius vs Fahrenheit. I think Justin won it.

That day we went to the ocean and found some second hand shops where Justin bought his second pair of women's pants this week. This pair was fake leather - I'll have to get a picture up here.

We went for fish and chips at the famous McDonagh's. Justin said he has a tshirt from a previous trip there. It was very tasty.

In the evening we got the troops together to go to a pub. First we stopped for crepes. Snowy - from Australia- can't eat Gluten and they had Gluten free buckwheat crepes that she was very excited for. We got advice from a Kiwi there on a good pub and went.

The pub was pretty typical I think. There was a small little band playing without speakers or anything in the corner. The great news was there was some beer promotion going on and the nice people in charge kept giving us free beers. I think 4 or 5 free pints in total. What a deal!!

Saturday we found a great open air market with crafts and yummy Indian curry. Then back to Dublin on Saturday.

We went out with my cousins Saturday night to a pub in Dublin. They had friends and boyfriends in tow. I taught them Presidents and Assholes that we played a lot in Thailand. Another good night out.

Today there is a xmas market that we're going to downtown and then a calm evening at home. we have to get out the door pretty early to go HOME!!!

I'm excited for:
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Bathtubs
  • Sewing/knitting/crafting
  • Driving
  • Thrift stores
  • Speaking English
  • Cooking (especially Thai food)
  • Having a variety of clothes
We'll post again from the US when we are back. Thanks as always to our loyal readers (mainly our parents and Jon) for all the love and support!!

10 December 2008

PHOTOS! Part 2

Here are the photos from Leon to Finisterra. Enjoy!


On an unrelated note . . . My brother - Daniel Berube- got a short film of his (One-Half World) into Slamdance film festival. Here's the official link for the festival. I'll provide more information as it becomes available.

Congratulations Daniel!!

Turty- tree and a turd (33 1/3)

we made it to ireland!! full of english books and english tvs. how lovelerly!

in finisterra we burned justin's socks and said a little prayer. i thought about what i have taken away and what i want to leave behind in spain.

here are some of my thoughts:
find the good
walk often and slowly
spend time alone
hold hands often
appreciate everything small and big

the first pilgrim we met, christina, in pamplona before we started, we met once more in finisterra. peculiar. she burned instead of clothes thoughts she wants to be rid of. i like that idea more i think - mostly because from my mother i got an inability to throw out or burn clothing.

tomorrow we are going on an excursion with irish jenny who was a teacher with us in thailand. we are thinking of going to galway thursday - saturday.

it's been lovely having a place with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. justin is currently tuning a guitar with the simpsons on in the background and a fire going.

today we took a bus downtown, walked around, bought books, saw the college. cold, but sunny.

more soon!! love to all!

06 December 2008

Feet don´t fail me now: The last 21 km!

Hola from the ends of the earth!

As your comments of success have guessed, we did indeed make with all our appendages to Santiago! I took Sil´s suggestion and took a big deep breath in front of the cathedral and thought about how many others had stood in my exact spot, with sore shins, tired shoulders, and maybe sandaled feet and felt what I was feeling in some capacity. Pretty amazing.

The cathedral itself looks pretty gloomy to me, but it was more what it represented than what it actually was. We haven´t gone in yet because we caught an early bus to Finnisterra. We are going back to Santiago Sunday and will go Monday morning I believe.

The actual hike into Santiago was pretty normal. It drizzled all day, but nothing too heavy. Had some good talks about Nigerian email con artists and the vigilantes that punish them. We didn´t bath in the river because we felt pretty clean from all the rain. The locals seemed pretty disappointed about it :(

We got in around 4pm to Santiago and headed for the only open alburgue- Seminario Menor. After getting a bit lost, we found it only to discover it closed!! Till April 2009! We thought it was pretty bizarre not to have an open alburgue in the one town that pretty much every pilgrim will stay at. I´m not quite clear on that.

We asked a young fellow with a backpack to point us towards the cathedral and we wandered that direction (justin telling me the whole way that his feet were done walking). In the pilgrim´s office is where you get the ticket out of purgatory for walking the camino. HOWEVER, we failed to qualify!! Eek!! They have you fill out your information and ask if the pilgrimage was religious, religious and other, or not religious at all. Being the honest pilgrims that we are we said not religious. She double checked that with us and then gave us a certificate of completion more or less instead of the get out of jail free card. Oh well. We´ll have to rely on our good hearts instead.

From the pilgrim´s office we found nice, cheap accomodations across the street. There were some other pilgrims we knew there as well. It was 13 euros a piece for a private room with shared bath. Not too shabby.

The only problem was that we were right on a main street in the old town. About an hour after we checked in we heard someone screaming at the TOP of their lungs in French. On and on for at least an hour. We peaked out our window and saw who it was: the young fellow with the backpack who we had asked for directions screaming in French. We never found out what he was so angry about.

We had a cheap meal out that night, before crashing. Friday morning we walked to the bus station and took a 3 hour bus to Finisterre/Fisterra.

We found a great place to stay here because the alburgue does not take pilgrims who took the bus here. It is only 10 euros a person for a private room, with a kitchen, free washing machine, and a bathroom with a bath tub!! It´s called Pension fin da terra, and you can get info at the Re100 gift store near the harbor for anyone headed that way.

I feel a bit ill today so have been taking it easy. I took my first hot bath in a year today and read. Leading the good life over here!

It feels very nice to rest our tired bodies and be by the ocean. It´s a HOT 60 F here, woo dog.

Justin and I were both impressed by how tired we are. We thought after a month of walking we´d be roaring to go, but our feet especially feel very burnt out. (Justin´s understandably so.) My leg muscles do feel stronger and my endurance is higher. But my shoulders and feet still feel sore. I remember a German guy in LogroƱo telling me that. He had been walking 40-50 km a day since Germany and said that he was surprised at that: no matter how long or how far he goes, his feet still get sore. Good to know.

We both have really loved the Galicia province of Spain. It has a very different feel from the rest of Spain. They believe in witches here and other spirits too I think. Maybe Sil can tell me what the little raised houses with crosses on both end are? We haven´t figured that out yet.

On a totally unrelated note, Justin wanted to add that we met a Dutch guy about a week back who kept commenting on all the ¨snorking¨in the alburgues. Justin loves this new word for snoring and would like as many people to start using it as possible.

Also I can´t remember if I wrote about Justin´s melting his last pair of American flip flops?? He put them over the heaters to dry and left them over night. In the morning they were all curled up on the ends. Oops! He flattened them out a bit, but has since switched to his back up pair. Maybe he´ll find something in Dublin.

Ok that´s all for now! Thanks Sil for the biking links! Thanks to everyone SOO much again for following and all the comments.

abrazos y amor para todos!

04 December 2008

Day 30: Melide - Pedrouzo (36 km) Almost there!

Hola!! I am in a cafe in Pedrouzo the morning of Dec 4th getting ready to head for Santiago!!

Yesterday was our longest day yet. We felt surprisingly untired and ready to keep walking - but we stopped anywas.

Our alburgure last night was full to the brim - 18 people- which was odd because we´d been pretty much alone the last two nights. We met back up with a few old friends which was very nice.

One girl, Mary, said some people we knew got stuck up on O Ceibrero with over a meter of snow!! I´m glad we didn´t stay that day and kept on going.

Thanks Sil for all your advice. We´ll be sure to bath as much as possible!

So yesterday, lots of rain/sun. The rain was never too hard or for too long. We used our headphone splitter to listen to an ipod together and sing. That was entertaining. We were both still a bit tired of walking and looking for new entertainment.

There was a giant puddle that day that I had to put on sandals for. A sheep farmer warned us about another one later on and to take the road. I wore my sandals today for the first time without socks. How luxurious!!

We had lunch on the road which helped us with our good time. (Left at 8:30, got in before 7pm) We made vegetable sandwiches the night before and ate them as we walked.

The scenery the whole day was eucalyptus forests (smelled like California), streams, woods, and insanely bright green grass. It was warmer - in the 50s. It felt like the first warm spring day when you overly excited and go out in shorts and a tank top. I guess it kind of was our first spring day after the blizzard.

We ate dinner with Mary and her boyfriend. Afterwards I had some wine with the French group. They were listening to Eminem and Linkin Park. The French lady got pretty tipsy and started dancing into chairs. It was pretty fun.

This morning the hospitelera got made that we hadn´t left yet at 8:40. I think her and Burgos guy should get together.

Now just 21km to Santiago!! Woo Hoo!! We´ll be sure to take it all in once we get there.

Oh and Sil, we are thinking of doing this maybe with Jan and Dan on bikes?? If you have any tips for that!

We have both been SOOOO thankful for everyone following the blog with advice, encouragement, questions, comments, everything. It has been really motivating and fulfilling to have this group with us as we travel.

Buen camino.

03 December 2008

Day 29: Hospital da Cruz - Melide (29 km)

And now today. It was a pretty long day, but we made good time. We left right at 8 am and got in around 4:30.

It was bizarre to start in the dark and watch the sun rise. It was SUPER icey on the roads and we both nearly wiped out a couple of time.

After a couple of hours we got a delicious tostado at a bar. It´s just a giant, thick piece of heated bread with butter and jam.

By about noon we were out of the snow again. There was a lot of mud on the trail though. It was again through beautiful forests and little towns the whole day.

This town is a bit bigger and we were able to get new batteries for Justin´s headlamps and have internet! Still only 2 other people in our alburgue. I can´t figure out where everyone is.

Two more days till Santiago and then somehow to the ocean!!

Oh and sorry Amawalker we didn´t go to that school because we didn´t read the comment till now. It sounded really neat though.

Abrazos y calor!!