So, Siggy and I have finally reconnected and we met up in France last week. (For those new to my blog, Siggy is a girl I met in India early in my trip – we call each other soul sisters).  Siggy and I have tickets for a festival in early August in Portugal, but since we were finally on the same continent, we couldn’t stand to be so close and not get together, so we decided to meet up sooner.  Siggy was already in France, so I took the ferry over from Ireland to meet her, and then we’d make our way south through Spain and into Portugal for the festival.

10551077_10152335434388095_8196168367926831768_nHere we are, our first night together, planning out our route south…

Now, Siggy and I, although extremely close, are very different people… I am a recovering type A personality, Hello, my name is Eryn, I have a problem, with a not so distant past life full of spreadsheets and jobsite meetings, my calendar full of appointments… I secretly miss the structure of pivot tables and spreadsheets.  She is a free spirit who walks most of this earth barefoot, with a nose ring, numerous tattoos and the bottom half of her head shaved.   While we have led different lives and have some different views on life, she is a beautiful soul, and we connect on many levels… She is me, and I am her – we are one… Well, most of the time…

We had both really wanted to do the El Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage walk across Spain, but didn’t have enough time before the festival, so we decided we’d do our own pilgrimage walk of sorts.   We’d start in France and just work our way south towards Portugal, delving deeper into ourselves, and relying on our wits and intuition to guide us… We wanted to stretch ourselves, push our limits, and break out of our comfort zones and see the world in a new light. Wait, wait, haven’t you been out of your comfort zone the whole time since you left the U.S.?? Ummm, well, yes… But this is good… Go on Eryn, just go!!

We emptied our backpacks and gave away anything unnecessary. Eryn, you obviously still have some learning to do on attachments – you have too much stuff!!  I forwarded some of my favorite things to London where I’ll be going in September, and we hit the road with our portable tent as our roaming home and our somewhat lighter backpacks on our backs.

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We knew the distance was too far to walk and it would have to be a combination of walking and riding, maybe trains and buses. We’d figure it out on the road… We came across this service called ride share, have you guys heard of this?  It’s sort of like online organized hitch hiking, except you pay a small fee to the driver… You check online to see if someone is going where you want to go from where you are and organize a pick up. Brilliant!!! You don’t pay till you get there and there are reviews to read, etc., so it’s relatively safe… We’ve used it twice already and it’s worked great – and you meet the coolest locals…

We had an interesting first few days on the road though… Grrrr… Ummmm, so, we underestimated two critical things… One, how heavy our bags still were – even though I dumped at least 12 kilos, once we added back in some food, water and the tent, our bags were too heavy to carry for any length of time. I mean, I’m pretty tough these days, (C. Godlewski hold your sarcastic comments.. lol) but it was just too heavy for long distances…  I’m too old for this shit… Furthermore, it’s no fun!  And I’m too annoyed to be spiritual… Wuss…. Secondly, we underestimated how challenging it would be to find a good location to pitch a tent in a random place where we wouldn’t get busted by the French po po…

We worked it all out, don’t worry, we had no major incidents or problems – we never felt unsafe at any time. And you guys know I would totally throw down a credit card for a taxi and a hotel in a heartbeat if it I didn’t feel comfortable…  Plus we are armed with our pepper spray… Thanks mom.  But this was the type of travel we chose – we were just working out the kinks… But I will tell you it was an exhausting and frustrating few days and we had a few little catfights along the way…. Grrrr… Hissss… Grrrr… Deep breaths… Bring back the soul sister love!!! 

Finally after our tug of war between recovering type A and free spirit personalities, we agreed we’d stay at campsites from here on out – So I guess I’m only half a hippie…  It was just too stressful for my little brain to not have a plan on where we’d stay each night… I had my bitchy resting face on too much those days!!  And unfortunately we both knew the reality that walking long distances just wasn’t working for this trip. Dammit man, it was supposed to be our own spiritual pilgrimage walk. Ok, ok, so we’ll have pilgrimage car rides – we’re adaptable… LOL. We’ll just have to work out 30 days or so later in the trip for the El Camino, which is set up in a way that you don’t really have to carry anything – there are frequent stops every 6 miles for food, water, shelter and showers… Oh yes, that walk WILL happen…

Now we’re settled all nicely in a camp site, ahhhhh that’s better, on the coast of Spain and back to singing kum-ba-ya around the camp fire… Actually, no, we’re not singing kum-ba-ya, we’re playing/singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” on our ukulele’s… That’s right folks, we’re learning the ukulele and having a blast doing it!

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We’ll be in Santander Spain until Thursday or Friday and then we’ll move further towards Portugal… It’s so nice to be reconnected with my soul sister and I am coming back to the realization that it’s so much easier to travel with someone.  Well, yeah… Duh…  It’s nicer to share in some of the stresses that come along with foreign travel… I can let my guard down a little and don’t have to be on my A game all the time… Ahhh yes, that’s good stuff…

So, that’s what we’re up to for now.   This recovering type A personality is trying on her hippie shoes for a few weeks…  P.S. We’re kind of addicted to the ukulele – don’t judge us… LOL 🙂

 P1090629P1090640 A little yoga and ukulele time…. Nice…P1090650 Awwwe…

P1090655 P1090635 Rockin’ the uke’s… 10551113_10152335425978095_2038410720239542646_nThat’s all for now… I’ll check in towards the end of the week before the festival 🙂 XXOO to all my peeps out there!!

 

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