Living Like Queens:

During our time in Spain, we’ve witnessed many bull-fights on television. Yesterday, we watched as security had to shoot down several angry bulls that had escaped the Running of the Bulls. These huge creatures were pestering innocent people and apparently the only way to stop an angry bull from attacking was to kill it. Of course, our walk today took us through a huge cattle field with hundreds of not-so-docile beasts. We tiptoed around them for fear that they would attack like the ones on TV. There was a huge bull with a ring through his nose that looked as if he was warning us with his stare. However, I think that we was just feeling uncomfortable that we were watching him while he was trying to mount a female. I swear animals feel guilt, my cousins dogs about pooping in the streets of NYC, and this bull about his sexual endeavors.

We forgot to have breakfast, so we planned on stopping at a cafe along the way. Today’s path was pretty uncivilized, however, and we found that there would be no cafe until we got into Ribedasella. At the restaurant, the Spanish girl that had been traveling with us had her tennis shoe up in the table, so I figured that taking off my boots wouldn’t be an issue. The moment I had both bare feet on the ground, however, the waitress came out and scolded us. Ribedasella was a beautiful coastal town. We all decided when we were older we all wanted to settle down and have babies here.

There were no Albergues in the town, so we went to check in at a youth hostel on the beach. The place was in shambles on the inside, but there was still a bell desk. We rang for assistance and a man emerged from the basement. He brought us the bad news that the building was closed to the public for renovations. His wife ran out to offer us her rental apartment in the heart of the city for $20 each for the night. Aria and I knew we could do better, so we decided to go on a scavenger hunt for the best hotel prices and deals in town.

Though we thought it was highly unlikely to have a Pilgrim rate, we approached the nicest hotel in Ribedasella. We asked the gentleman at the desk whether he had a discounted price for the the Camino and he declined saying that all rooms were $135 for the night. We said thanks and turned around to walk out the door with heads hung low, but a lady swooped in and called us back to the front desk. She offered us a room in the “pool house” for only $75 with a breakfast buffet included. We accepted her offer without any contemplation and decided to live like kings for the night for only $25 each.

The Grand Hotel Ribedasilla was the biggest hotel in town and was by far the nicest. It was located on the very tip of a peninsula that divided the fresh-water marina from the sea and had the best hotel rating in town. Our room had two large double beds and a big jacuzzi tub. The pool house was its own separate building from the hotel, but our room was directly adjacent the salt water pool and the beach. Laying by the pool on the freshly laundered beach-towels was, alone, worth the extra expenditure. They say that being rich doesn’t make one happier, however, while we enjoyed the ocean-front pool and the perfectly manicured lawn, Aria and I found the falsity in this statement. We had found or happy place at this five star ocean resort.

The nice lady at the front desk recommended several restaurants to us. She specified that we needed to order Cachopo, a dish that was only cooked in this area of Spain. We went to the water-front restaurant she suggested and ordered one for all of us to share. Basically, we received a huge stack of battered and deep-fried layers of meat with layers of melty cheese and mushrooms glueing each layer of meat together. This meat-stack/deep fried sandwich was salty and cheesy and delicious, but we all could practically feel a heart attack coming on.

Once back to the room, we pushed the two beds together so we could all share the make-shift California-King. Since we had to share the bathrooms in most of the hostels we’ve stayed in, it was nice to finally have our own lockable bathroom. The jacuzzi tub was looking lonely, so I decided to pay it a visit. I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d taken a bath, but it definitely was before I started college five years ago. It was great to take a long soak and relax in preparation for tomorrow’s trek.

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