Monthly Archives: August 2015

Hellooooo from Portugal!!!

It´s been about two weeks that I’ve been here, and here you’ve probably been thinking that I wouldn’t post anything! Well, I hate to tell you that you’re wrong, all you naysayers, you’re wrong!!

*the writer slowly pulls her fingers away from the keyboard, realizing that calling her readers “wrong” from the getgo (get-go? get go? gecko??? Yeah, the last one is probably the right one, for sure) is probably not the best way to make friends, or to keep them, either. She slowly returns to the keyboard with a mug of tea in one hand, and laxatives in the other, to see which will best aid her in loosening the bowels of creativity and awkwardness. She starts anew.

Hellooooo from Portugal!!!

Why, hello my friends! If you haven’t already been thoroughly disgusted by my reference to bowel movements (all in the spirit of a semi-truthful blog that actually resulted in no laxatives whatsoever), and are still reading this post, I am proud to say that you are some of the strongest human beings, if not some of the craziest.

*once again, said writer raps her hand with a ruler. “How dare you be so rude to your readers!!” She sets the measuring device down next to the delightful drink selections, then begins once again.

As I was saying before I was so rudely being rude, I have been in Portugal for exactly two weeks now. Well, technically, I’ve only been in Porto for one week, since I did the Camino the first week (well, more accurately for four days, but still). So I started working here at the refuge since last Monday, and have gone on a few sightseeing excursions around Porto. Basically, it’s been pretty busy, yet not busy. You’ll see what I mean in a little while.

Well, first of all, we (and the “we” refers to my mentor and intern-training-extraordinaire, and a fellow extraordinary already-trained-by-the-intern-training-extraordinaire-July-Intern) did the Camino for a week, or as my mentor and intern-training-extraordinaire calls it, a “mini-camino”. We started out in Pontevedra, Spain, then made our way up to Santiago, Spain, which is only about 65 kilometers away (that’s 40 miles, but it sounds much better to say it in kilometers). Other pilgrims that we have met have come all the way from Porto, or even Lisbon, which can be around 250 miles and more.

When walking the Camino, we developed a very specific routine: wake up around 5 am, start walking at 6, take a break at a cafe at around 10 or so, then arrive at our hostel around 1, or even earlier. Then, after the refuge managers stamped our credentials and showed us our beds, we would set up our beds, shower, then take a nap for about 3 hours- all in no particular order. We would joke as we were walking during the day (or racing, more like) that each person we passed was a bed that we just gained, since the pilgrim’s refuges were first come, first serve. At one moment, I was at a breaking point with such a low amount of sleep, lots of back pain, and hip blisters, that I began to growl hysterically as we were climbing up a hill, to try to keep in front of a large group of Spanish kids. “AAAHHH!!! We need those beds!!”

I also think I’m a bit competitive naturally, so that could’ve been it. Though it was hard to silence that voice upon walking the last few kilometers to Santiago, since we wouldn’t be staying there overnight.

So without further ado, here’s a few pictures from my Camino!

The day before we began. I'm clearly very confused about how pictures work.

The day before we began. I’m clearly very confused as to how pictures work. To my right is the extraordinary already-trained-by-the-intern-training-extraordinaire-July-Intern, and to my left is my mentor and intern-training-extraordinaire.

photo 1

This is where we stayed for the 1st official night of the Camino. We got to meet so many new people!

photo 1 (1)

Walking into Valga, the town that never seemed to end. But hey, there’s some nice views every once in a while. I think this one was the worst. 

photo 3 (1)

Only 16.2 kilometers left until Santiago. Woohoo!!!

photo 4 (1)

Corn fields and vineyards- a combination I never thought I’d see in Spain.

photo 2 (2)

I see Santiago!! There it is! There! Right! There!!! 

photo 3 (2)

Oh. The Cathedral is under construction, and apparently always is… oooooookkkaaayyyy….

photo 4 (2)

Inside the cathedral. Quite nice actually. Freakin’ crowded though. 

photo 3 (3)

Inside the cathedral, with the thurible, which we unfortunately didn’t get to see at work.

So that’s basically it. I would tell you more about Portugal, but that might have to wait a little bit. One can only digest so much at a time (and one only has so much laxatives… jk. This one really has none, but one has to keep the gross theme comin), like parts of the Camino. But anyways, here are a few things that I’ve realized in the time that I’ve been here:

  1. The Francesinha is a lunch/ dinner of Champions. The Francesinha–which means “little french lady” for reasons I don’t quite know of yet– is a traditional sandwich comprised of bread, ham, two types of sausages, steak, ham, bread, egg, cheese, then a spicy, tomato-based sauce on top– all of that from bottom to top. Plus fries.
  2. I’ve been folding fitted sheets wrong my entire life.
  3. Sleeping on the job has never before been allowed, but here, it’s never been easier, or more accepted.
  4. I can pretty much butcher any and all languages, even English, even though I studied both English and Spanish in college. Yup.

And yeah. So this time, that’s actually about it! I wish I could say that I have a poem for you, believe me, I tried. But you know, sleepers gotta sleep. And poets gotta poet… yeah, that’s how it goes.

Night all! And keep away from those laxatives now.