Tag Archives: beach

Son of a Beach

Going to the beach, we think

Going to the beach, we think

 

 

Son of a Beach

 

July 10, 2014

 

We woke up around 8 am, rolled out of bed, ate some egg grub and got ready for the beach. Life is difficult when you are in beach bum mode…NOT!

 

The owner of the hostel, Joseph, asked us if we were going to the playa ( that means “beach” in Spanish). His English is non existent and our Spanish is poco- poco, but we are able to communicate. He offered to take us to the beach instead of having us walk. We quickly said yes and took off in his Mercedes SUV (super nice car…I want one). Well, we thought we were going to one beach and he ended up taking us to another one (turns out it was the same beach, but we were confused with the direction). He drove us 4km away, through a secluded jungle like road and dropped us off on the side of a trail and told us to follow the path. Uh…ok.

 

We walked on a wood plank, tree covered path alongside a river. The path dead ended into an over- grown trail which opened up onto a river bank which met the ocean. We were walking through the river to reach the other side of the sandy beach when we heard deep barking. We saw the trees and shrubs shaking and heard massive barking and then appeared three huge white dogs, all about the size of bear cubs weighing close to 200lbs. They came pounding down the side of the hill heading straight for Abby. Ahhhh! I’m freaking out. I’m half- way in the water, surrounded by rocks and Abby is 20 feet ahead of me about to get torn apart by these massive bear dogs. Should I videotape the proceedings or start to throw rocks? My mind was torn. Abby was looking at them running towards her and at me and she was telling me to remain calm as I’m going to a) pee my pants b) close my eyes so I don’t have to see her pulled apart c) gather my momma bear courage and go after them. Ya…all of these thoughts were going off in my head at once.

 

Abby talks calmly to the dogs as they rush her. And then they stop. Look at her. Wag their tails. Want their heads- the size of boulders- to be scratched and then turn and bark at me!
The two smaller calf size ones are puppies and the mom is watching both her pups and us suspiciously.

 

Well we make our way onto the beach flanked by the welcoming committee. They escorted us down to the water and then watch as we continue to walk away. We were super happy that we were left intact.

 

The beach is beautiful. Thousands of shells lay on top of the sand. We have a mile of white sand to ourselves. We found a cove that protected us from the wind and we laid out on the beach to enjoy the sun. Two hours later, a mom, grandma and two little girls came. They laid their towels right next to ours. A mile of empty sand and they are right next to us. I could have held hands with the grandma if I chose to.

 

Time for us to go. But first I went to the waters edge. I looked down and found a beautiful shiny black shell. My perfect unique Camino shell that I will turn into a necklace. Then we set off to find our way out. We walked and walked and walked through over- grown trails and up and down tree root paths. It took us almost a hour to walk back the 4km.

 

But who cares? We are beach bums. We have nothing but time on our hands and a large bottle of sunscreen to use up. We like this Camino adventure.

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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.