Ryan and I are currently sitting on a bus from San Sebastián to Bayonne, France where we will meet a guy who will drive us to Pau where we will find a train taking us into the Pyrenees. In the last few days we have found refuge in the peace of northern Spain along the Camino and have come up with a tentative plan for the next few weeks. We both recognize that setting out with a strict plan is not something that is healthy for either of us so we want to keep that awareness and openness to whatever comes up along our journey. We couldn't have picked a better place to rest while we come up with a plan for our time in the Pyrenees. Northern Spain feels like home.
On leaving Barcelona we found a ride with a guy who was heading into the hills of the Basque Country to trip lsd for the first time by himself that evening. He was an incredibly curious guy asking us all about our lives and what our plans were for the rest of the summer. There were a few times I wish he had focused more on driving as he almost hit a curb and seemed to be incapable of not swerving on the highway, but thankfully we got there safely and wished our friend good luck on his night and to call if he needed anything.
San Sebastián was bigger than I remembered because when I was hiking the Camino I blasted through the town without looking around and appreciating the city and its history, but we had plenty of time to do that these past few days. Ryan and I made our way to the hostel and checked in officially deeming Ryan a pilgrim. We must have hit the city in the middle of a huge festival because there were stages everywhere and strange costumes being worn with dances and music going on all around us. The city seemed to be thriving with life and as I sat watching the sunset over the Bay I felt so much peace entering my heart after a rough time in the big city.
The next day wasn't my proudest moment. I suppose after three days in Barcelona of heavy drinking and little sleep my body had taken a huge hit and I woke up feeling dizzy and exhausted. After a few hours my heart started feeling weird and I couldn't shake the fatigue so I went to the emergency doctor closest to us and had an EKG done and other things checking on my oxygen levels and blood pressure. The doctor came back and said that everything seemed to be working perfectly, but sat across from me in her chair and looked me the eyes and said, "go find a place to lay down and relax. Take it easy for the next few days"; words I was expecting to hear.
After leaving the doctor I felt confident knowing my heart was ok, but knew I shouldn't be taking it to hard today so we took a bus to a small town east of San Sebastián where I spent my first night on the Camino. We were welcomed into the hostel by an amazing man, just like the one when I was there, and I took a nap while ryan wondered the streets taking pictures. I couldn't help but feel guilty again for not being able to give all that I would want to someone on this journey with me and realized how much of a responsibility I have to take care of myself not only for myself, but for everyone around me from now on until forever. We definitely affect those around us even if it seems we are the only one being affected. The rest of that day was uneventful because I wasn't feeling much better so Ryan and I laid down and watched some Netflix until we fell asleep.
- It's nice having a friend around in hard times.
The next morning I felt a lot better and was ready to start exploring this coast further with Ryan. We headed to Zarautz to rent some surf boards and try and learn for the few hours we had left before we went to the Pyrenees. With all that has been going on the past few days we decided to take an extra day here and give me some time to regain all my energy and get some sleep so we bought a 24 hour rental pass for surf boards and wet suits and went to play in the ocean.
Zarautz is known as one of the best beaches in the world to learn how to surf so we set our with confidence in picking it up quickly, but it wasn't long that we learned it was more difficult than we imagined. However, both of us stood up plenty of times and had a few good rides on some smaller waves. We didn't last very long and the tide began to rise making the swell higher so we took a break while we checked into our hostel and ate some food.
omeone got stuck in the current and had their boat crash up on shore in the massive waves.
Later in the night we went out for an evening session and spent about an hour thrashing in the white water trying to get past the breaks, but exhausted ourselves in the process. We put our gear up for the night and found a place to eat before returning to our hostel to get some sleep before our big day heading into the Pyrenees. Luckily we woke up with enough time to sneak an hour in before our bus left. This was probably our best session while we both had a long ride on a wave and the ocean seemed to be more forgiving than the day before.
unset over Zarautz
Our plan right now is to spent ten days in the Pyrenees and then take a few weeks off to head into France and spend some time hitching east and see if we can make it to Germany where we may be able to meet up with Matilda! After that we want to go back to the Pyrenees and do the last sections with about ten more days to spend in the mountains. This is all tentative, but has given us both peace in having some what if a vision and something to get excited for accenting both of our passions.
My shin feels a lot better, but is still not able to walk for more than ten miles a day. Our time in the Pyrenees will be slow and restful and for that I am thankful and prepared. I feel like everything so far has led up to this experiences giving me peace and trust in whatever comes up and accepting the reality that I am presented with while maintaining positivity in making decisions and responding. I have been dreaming of the Pyrenees for months now and this trail was going to be the highlight of my summer and it still will be, but in a more relaxed and beautiful way that I never expected. My heart feels relaxed after the last few days of good sleep and nothing but water and food entering my system. I can't believe the Pyrenees are finally here giving me a place to continue this journey and pattern of healing and growth. I'm so excited to see how I am pushed and pulled and stretched and torn in the process of becoming a better person more capable of trust and love.