Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pueblo Ingles

I have been off line for the last week because I have been busy on the language immersion course I signed up for in Valldelavilla!

I came to this week with very few expectations - only the knowledge that I have the chance to spend a week in the countryside, eating three-course meals for lunch and dinner and talk all day with little or no expenses - a dream situation for a poor backpacker!

What I experienced is much more enjoyable than I imagined. We had 20 english speakers and 20 spanish speakers there last week. For the first few hours after arrival we settled in our separate groups and looked suspiciously at each other. Not a great start..... The english speakers didn't know each other but we at least all spoke the same language.

After a few ice-breakers, the sessions of talking started and we found ourselves talking one-to-one with a different spanish person for an hour all morning and afternoon. After apologising for their bad english, the conversations usually started to flow and we all got to know each other very quickly.

Tongues were loosened each evening in the bar and before long everyone felt like old friends. At every meal we sat at tables of four - with 2 english speakers and 2 spanish speakers at each table. This is where some of the funniest conversations happened - often with each of us talking about something completely different and trying to figure out what the topic was when we got off track.

Like any intense courses, there are intensely funny situations and there were many many laughs all week. I was definitely in my element with these great people and I know that more than a few people thought I was completely mad. There was at least one lady who made it clear that she disliked me and a few others who were having fun, but I figured that it was her problem if our good mood grated on her.

The week was long and tiring but VERY enjoyable. The location was peaceful and stunning but it was the people who made it so great. I barely slept and still managed to get up every day and keep on talking. My plan was to catch up on sleep when I returned to Madrid but I have had a few nights out with people from the course that have kept me out once again.

Today was my enforced rest. I am completely out of money {except for 5 euros in my pocket} until my bank transfer comes through tonight so it was a great excuse to stay in bed all day and catch up on some sleep.

Ok, I am off to finish my laundry, find something cheap to eat and find somewhere to watch the Spain game tonight.

Hope you are all well = would love to hear some news from home if you have time!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Finisterre and Muxia Photos

Originally uploaded by Sabihabeautiful.
Come on in - there are a few more pics to look at which have us at the "end of the world" enjoying sunsets and general celebrations.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

0km - the end

0km - the end
Originally uploaded by Sabihabeautiful.
Some more photos have been added today - feel free to have a look.

I have some more from the sunset at the cape and the ensuing celebrations to come.


Life is Wonderful

by Jason Mraz

It takes a crane to build a crane
It takes two floors to make a story
It takes an egg to make a hen
It takes a hen to make an egg
There is no end to what I'm saying

It takes a thought to make a word
And it takes a word to make an action
It takes some work to make it work
It takes some good to make it hurt
It takes some bad for satisfaction

La la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life is full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful

It takes a night to make it dawn
And it takes a day to you yawn brother
It takes some old to make you young
It takes some cold to know the sun
It takes the one to have the other

It takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is
It takes some fears to make you trust
It takes those tears to make it rust
It takes some dust to make it polished

Ha la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life is full circle

It takes some silence to make sound
It takes a loss before you found it
It takes a road to go nowhere
It takes a toll to know you care
It takes a hole to make a mountain

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life is full circle

tme for the party to stop!

Hola from sunny and hot Madrid.

Where did I leave you last? In Finisterre I think. Well, after the last post a group of us walked to the cape and watched the sun set on the Atlantic and we drank wine and took photos to celebrate that we WALKED there to see this ;) We were back in the local restaurant that we discovered the night before and finished dinner around midnight (spanish style!). We continued on to a bar that was recommended and we were still dancing around at 5am when a few of us decided to have one last dip in the ocean!

A bus the next day to Muxia was strange. I had not moved this quickly in over 6 weeks and it f elt very strange. Muxia is a cute town that is trying desperately to jump on the camino wagon and were very accommodating to the handful of pilgrims who make the extra km´s to visit. W slept in the sports hall that night and, surprisingly, it ws the best sleep I had had in a while.

Back in Santiago, we had one more night before parting ways with our Finisterre crew and happened upon the party for thye Ascencion (40 days after easter) and the locals partied LOUDLY until 5am - bands, dancing, marching bands etc, all night. Had every intention of an early night and whil I was in bed early I didnt get any sleep.

A few weeks earlier I had an emal from Phil - ann irish guy who had emailed me some tips for my camino months ago. We agreed that we would try to meet wh ile he is in Spain. So that gave me somewhere to go, because until now, I had no post camino plans. Caught a bus to Salamanca and met up with Phil, his friend Shane and their other new friend Christi from Canada. Despite being exhausted, good manners meant that I must join them on a locals tapas crawl, taking in the best of the best. The food and company was A1 and we had a great night. Tapa followed tapa, nightclub followed bar and then bed followed dawn!!! How did THAT happen?? Slept til midday then meandered around town for the afternoon before meeting up for dinner with the crew again. This time I showed restraint and managed to get to bed by 2.30 (!!!)

Caught a train with Phil to Madrid (eventually - we managed to miss our origional train by a minute!!) and went straight out to see his best friend Paddy play at a bar. I was then introduced to Phil´s tight group of camino friends - Paddy and Esther - who have welcomed me with open arms. I have now spent some part of each day with either Phil or Esther and I have been shown the local sights and better bars/restaurants.

And, as you would imagine, with all of this frivolity, I am now well and truly sick and run down. I have spent the last few days in bed and am coughing and spluttering when I do get up. So, I will go back to bed soon to feel sorry for myself but also happy that its all been for a good cause ;)