Fireworks and Flatulence:

At midnight, in the middle of our slumber, there was a huge explosion of fireworks that went off without warning. I shot up to a seated position on my top bunk. Simultaneously, every other pilgrim sat up with the same look of sheer horror in their eyes. Everyone breathed heavily until we all knew we were not in danger. The finale of fireworks was set off right behind the albergue and the explosions caused the entire interior of the building to light up with each pop. It may have been a coincidence, but I looked at my phone and it read exactly 12:00am. America had been setting off fireworks that entire day to celebrate their independence, and now the day was over. Were these Spanish pranksters celebrating the end of the 4th of July?

After the fireworks, I was scared to let myself fall back asleep for fear that another surprise would cause me to have a heart attack. The banging in the middle of the night actually made my chest and breathing feel constructed. It was especially terrifying after concluding that the building we were staying in was haunted. I did, however, manage fall back asleep only to wake up to another loud noise: the sound of someone letting it rip on the sleeping porch. I don’t remember it, as I must have been half asleep, but apparently I sat up in my bed and said really loudly, “What the FUCK?!”

On top of the farting and fireworks, the door of the albergue was unable to be closed. Thus the wind blew it open and slammed it shut all throughout the night. With the little sleep I did get, I used the REM cycle for very pressing issues. I dreamt that I was being eaten alive bedbugs. The entire dream was about my constant struggle to defend my body from these blood-sucking vermin. By the end of the dream, I surrendered my body and told the beasts to have their way with me. Just as about to be slowly munched to death, the slamming door interrupted the climax of the story. The sky was finally showing the first signs of day, so we eagerly packed up our things and get out of that hell-hole.

The hostel keeper owned at least three buildings in the small town and maybe more. We saw him managing at both restaurants we ate at and he also came to give us a spiel about the next leg of the journey. He warned us not to follow the old trail that would lead us through the mountains. The summer rains had completely washed out the entire path and it was now dangerous, he said. We followed his suggested route along the coast. It was a beautiful hike that dipped down into six river ravines and then scaled the ocean cliffs on the side. The hill-limping was a little strenuous on what we think may be a hint of tendinitis coming in on both of our right feet. The blogs we read made it seem like tendinitis was a common injury from walking on all of the pavement.

Since we hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before, we decided to stay at someone’s house rather than the albergue in Cadavedo. The house had only four bunk beds per room. We were the first to arrive, so we claimed a room, the two top bunks within and closed our door to get some shut-eye. I woke up from possibly the greatest 3-hour-nap of my life to the horrible sound of Dread’s voice. I thought it was a nightmare, but he was truly there, sticking his nose into our room and saying, “hello chicas Americanas… have I seen you before? I think maybe you were my wives in a past life!” I rolled over in my bed in hopes that rolling over would change my nightmare to a different channel, but it was all for not. Aria is way too nice to him, so he ended up happily jumping into the bunk bed below her.

When I got in the shower I noticed that the bottom of the shower had been patched with a make-shift-putty patch. I remember thinking that my shower was probably going to end badly because when I stepped in the shower the floor bowed down leaving a gaping hole for water to escape through. Sure enough, I got out to see water literally squirting out a crack in the tile at the bottom of the shower. Flood #2 was in the making. This one traveled all the way to the other bunk room on the uneven floor and I almost soaked everyone’s bags. Thank God I caught it before then, but again, I spent most of the evening mopping, so I left a pretty mean comment in the guest-book. As I wrote, I noticed several other entries asking the owners to PLEASE repair the shower.

We scoped the town out for a good place to have dinner and found a really busy Cideria. The man working at the counter smiled as we first walked in, but quickly became hostile after learning that we didn’t speak very much Spanish. He muttered something under his breath and shoed us away with his hand. We sat at a table outside for five minutes hoping a waitress would find us amongst the crowd, but I was over the place by then. We got up and left the restaurant huffing about how many people here don’t treat their customers right. I’m sick of people not giving us a chance, and instead, being extremely snappy and rude to us when we’re trying our hardest to acclimate to their world. I don’t understand the hatred many people have for tourists here… Our commerce is paying your bills!!

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