Tag Archives: adventure

Life is a Beach

Beach Day!

Beach Day!

Beach Day

July 9, 2014

Yesterday, we took the bus from Santiago back to Muxie to stay for the week on the coast. The beach is beautiful. White sand, clear blue water. Perfect. We also found a hostel to stay at for 22 € a night x 7 equals 154€. About $200 U.S. ( less than what I would pay for camping on the beach in the U.S.) It has a full kitchen a TV and a washer/ dryer. Plus it is a new place that a family owns. They are very friendly and helpful and they speak English. We like it.

We ate at a bar/ cafe a couple of hamburgers. I thought I had paid with a 20€ bill! but the man gave me change like I had paid with a 50€ bill! which was about $60 in return change. Neither Abby nor I speak enough Spanish to get it straightened out, but we had determined that I had paid with a 20€ bill and that he had given us the wrong change. We went to the counter to explain and lucky for us a woman sitting there was able to translate our concern. Both looked at us and upon hearing the story they both shook their heads in disbelief that we would return the money. No one would have done this if they had been locals they agreed and yet here we American tourists are doing it. We told them that we were very honest and did the right thing. We know what is the right thing to do. This man would have lost a lot of money and he could have lost his job over this missing amount.

We are taking the bus from here to the main bus station in Santiago in order to catch the over night bus that will take us to Madrid to fly out on July 16. It should all work like clock work. We ride the bus down from Muxie and arrive at 5 pm, in time to catch the 9:30 pm- 6:30 am bus to Madrid and from that bus station, catch a bus to the airport and have plenty of time to make our 12:30 pm flight. Well, I got to thinking that I should figure out the bus situation and make sure time wise we would have enough time to catch the bus to connect to an airport bus upon arrival in Madrid. I have enough time in advance just in case I need to rearrange plans. I put my questions out on American Pilgrims on the Camino seeking advice from others who had done so. I received a whole lot of information. More information than what was told to me from the one bus agent. Turns out that there is a bus that goes directly to the Madrid Airport and I won’t have to unload and find another bus. Great! This should work out. But then I found out that I need to reserve my seat in advance just in case it is sold out. Uh-oh.

This morning I went on the computer to the ALSA website, filled in the information, found the bus I needed, completed the form, typed in my credit card amount and nothing happened. So I did it again and still it didn’t go through. I remembered someone had said they could pay using PayPal. So I completed the form again and put in my passport number for id purposes and once again it wouldn’t go through!
I’m getting frustrated. There are only 10 seats left on the bus. I am going to have to go back to Santiago in order to book directly at the bus counter and turn around and come back. I was thinking of the bus schedule to Santiago and trying to determine if I should just take a taxi there this morning and catch a return bus late tonight. Ahhhh!

Then Javier, the employee who was helping us out last night with our laundry came in. He said no problem that he could figure out the website and get my tickets booked. Well…long 2 hour and call to the main ALSA office later, it was determined that my Visa card did NOT go through, even though the seats showed that they were taken ( the seats are placed on hold for 10-30 minutes in order for transaction to occur) AND since I had a foreign card I was directed to another bus site ( http://www.movelia.es) to pay there. So we went to that site, selected the seats, completed the form, paid with Visa, only for a message to come up from my credit union wanting my password. I put it in. Nothing. Access denied. I put in my other code. Access denied. Javier and I look at each other. He says, ” no problem, I pay with my card and you pay me” well…3 attempts later- meaning filling out the forms again, and again and again- it finally went through! We printed the tickets. I received an e-mail confirming the purchase and Javier and I jumped and shouted with joy. We had a bonding moment.

In the end, I booked the remainder of the week with him to stay at the hostel. He even gave us two large towels to use at the beach.

Which is where we are sitting at now. In the wind. With the sand blasting us. But we don’t care, because we are at the beach on vacation and letting the waves wash our stress away.

“See mom. I told you it would all work out,” said Abby.

When I’m on the plane heading back to the States, THAN, I will totally relax. Until then…I’m trying not to think of all the little things that could still go wrong and screw us up to have us miss our flight. I am NOT going to project my unspoken fears, just in case the fates are listening and think it would be fun to mess with the end of our trip just as much as what occurred in the beginning.

Please send good karma and thoughts and prayers our way that NOTHING goes wrong to interfere with this current arrangement. And keep reading, cause you all know there is going to be more to this adventure.

 

 

Do I Really Need a Reason to Justify Doing the Camino?

Bonding as we journey

Bonding as we journey

And Your Point Is?

June 11, 2014

I was asked why I’m doing the Camino de Santiago. Was this for a religious reason?
I have many reasons and not just one will suffice.

I like to explore. It can be at home in my own backyard, but I enjoy venturing out and partaking in life. Everyday is an adventure. Going on a pilgrimage, such as this is for me an epic adventure. It is fun. Exciting. Scary. This is outside of my comfort zone. I need to rely on others to help me along the way. This is a humbling experience because usually I am the one who is steering the boat, so to speak.

I believe that I should instill in my children a thirst for attaining knowledge. Traveling broadens their horizons. Going on a pilgrimage with my 19, soon to be 20 year old daughter is a bonding experience. I’m showing her that it is a good thing to challenge oneself and go interact with others in the world. What a great experience to do this together. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know everything, but I’m willing to ask for help. I believe that by showing my daughter that we can go venture into the unknown, we are empowering ourselves with fortitude, strength and humility. When I’m old, we will look at pictures together of this adventure and tell lots of stories to the next generation. What a great opportunity to do this together when we can, before life becomes more complicated.

We both had a cancer scare. It smacked us up side our heads by surprise. A very eye wakening experience for the two of us. Life can end at any time in any place. Why put off until tomorrow what can be done today. And with this thought in mind, the seed was planted to go and live life now, not wait for some day. We should take glory in the present and rejoice in the life that God has created for us.

What do I hope to gain from this pilgrimage? So many thoughts to that question.

A feeling of freedom. A belief in myself for being able to endure all things, even be able to overcome difficult situations that I don’t haven control over, but that I will have the fortitude to move forward and persevere. That my daughter will witness this and see how we can overcome problems together and not just by ourselves.
We will have a sense of accomplishment. When the going got tough, we kept on going and that it was/is ok to acknowledge that situations do not always go as planned. Change the course and make your own path. Create your own journey.

When we are born, we don’t have a playbook/guidebook/travel guide to follow. We are dependent upon others to mentor us along the way. We make mistakes. We learn from them. We gain more wisdom and knowledge as we grow older. Only through first- hand experience can we obtain these lessons.
This pilgrimage, is a reflection of life’s journey for me. We are on the road discovering sights and sounds that we can’t witness first-hand, sitting at home on the couch, reading about others adventures or watching the travelogue special.

Bottom-line, life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. The world is a beautiful place. The people who populate it are fascinating. By going outside our comfort zone, we are embracing the unknown and welcoming whatever we find on our path. The good, the bad and the ugly. And the best part, we are not alone, doing this by ourself. Just as we mature, we have others to lean on. All we have to do is humble ourselves, open our mouths and ask.

Just like from the beginning of birth, leaving our Heavenly Father’s presence and security of being with him, to come test ourself on Earth and to the end of life when we die to return Home to his presence once again, we are not alone. Guidebooks are full of suggestions, but it is up to each of us to decide how we are going to travel on our own journey. To own it. Buena Camino!