A Travellerspoint blog

Day 10

Spain Excursion

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This morning I had to be at the school by 9:00 pm. That doesn’t seem too early, however when I have been staying up until like 3:00 am because we don’t finish dinner until 12:00am that is very early. Needless to say, I was tired this morning. But look what I found on my walk to the school—I knew instantly it would be a good day! :P
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Luckily, once we got on the bus we had an hour’s bus ride, and I slept the entire way (very uncomfortably, but I did sleep haha).
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Our first stop on our excursion today we stopped at the Belmont Castle.
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Again we got English phone things to hear information about the whole caste.
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It was pretty incredible! My favorite part was this 3 story tiny spiral staircase that was pitch black basically and you could walk down them!
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There was also a basement that had cage things lit up in red and it was really dark and creepy. I went down there alone (In my head: “Sarah what’s going to happen? You’ll be fine. Grow up!”) So uh yeah just walking around an all the sudden out of the pitch black a whole wall lights us with a scary person chained up behind bars…so yup never going into a scary basement alone again! I’m pretty sure my heart stopped beating for a second….
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Here are some more pictures from the castle: (Yes, I was crowed Queen in my short time there, and "Look mom! I can touch the ceiling!")
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Haha but the castle was awesome and then after we went over to see some windmills.
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One of them was open and we got to walk inside!
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After the windmills we went to lunch. Again, I ended up eating two starter courses because they didn’t have vegetarian options. Eating out as a vegetarian in this country is not easy lol!
After lunch we went to a 16th century house (made to look like those times) and were given a tour! This has to be one of my favorite things I have done on this trip! We were allowed to touch and play with everything in the house and I learned so much about how people used to live a long time ago! Amazing!
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This is me on an old fashioned birthing chair (Haha makes more sense than laying on a bed. No?)
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This is me pretending to curl my hair with an old curling iron. (literally iron that you had to heat)
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After the house we all walked to a church and looked around that for a while. All the churches I have seen on this trip are amazing and very wealthy. Lots of extravagant décor. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside of this one…but it’s not hard to picture.

Back on the bus we drove an hour home….I slept the whole way again.
Once we were dropped off I walked home, put away my laundry, ate dinner, showered and I am so ready for bed!

Highlight of the Day: Playing dress up and seeing the old medical tools that were used in the 16th century!

Food: (Yup, I survived on green beans today lol)
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Posted by sarahtravel12 06:52 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 9

Kayaking and Rest

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Today I got to sleep in for the first time in quite a while! It felt great but I was still quite tired as always lol. I had to meet at the school at 11:30 because 5 of us were going kayaking today! I got there at 11:30, however one of the people in our group didn’t arrive until 12:00 (our appointment time) so we were a bit late haha. Opps! We had to walk from the school to the kayaking place which ended up taking about 45 minutes because we accidentally took the long path. Lots of issues haha, but when we got there they were either too lazy to say anything because they knew we wouldn’t understand anyway, or they just didn’t care. But, they gestured to us to change clothes and then they just gave us 5 kayaks. :) We were not given a guide, a time limit, a distance limit, haha we just went. Cristina (our program director had indicated that we only would have 2 hours so we just went with that assumption. We paddled an hour out and then an hour back. It was super relaxing and it was also great exercise haha. When we got back we changed back and payed (only 6 euro for 2 hours lol!). Then we began our journey back to the town (another 45 min walk). This was my favorite activity so far! I really enjoyed it!
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Once back to the town, it was about 4:00pm. Some of the people went to go get food and drinks, but I just went home. My host family was going to be gone all afternoon (except for Sophia) and so I knew I had the house basically to myself. So I decided to take the afternoon for some much needed relaxation and me time. I spent the afternoon doing laundry, reading, doing homework, and cleaning up my room a bit.
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I also accomplished finding a place that sold toothpaste because I was out lol. :) The host family got back to the house around 10:30.

Highlight of the Day: Having a blast kayaking on the river!

Food:
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Posted by sarahtravel12 06:01 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 8

School/ Museum/ Tapas Night #2

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I slept last night!!! I didn’t die! I woke up feeling better! (Not all the way, but much better than the past few days.) Getting up was difficult because I stayed up pretty late and was tired haha, but I did sleep when I tried to! At school today we had Leo as a teacher! She is my favorite. We learned vocabulary about Don Quijote today because on Sunday we are doing a day trip surrounding his adventurers. The morning dragged because I was so tired, but at break I got a lot of fresh fruit to eat which made me happy! And then for the afternoon we went to a Don Quijote museum and just got to look around! I was pretty happy about that!
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After the museum, I walked back home to relax. I feel asleep and got woken up for lunch haha! Then after lunch I set an alarm and feel asleep again really really fast. When my alarm went off I was very confused for a while, I couldn’t figure out what day it was and why my alarm would be going off so early lol! I did however figure it out and pull myself out of bed to head to the dinosaur museum with the rest of the group. We walked about 30 minutes to the museum and then paid out 1.50-euro admission fee haha. The museum was really fun especially with such a fun group of people!
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After we left we went to a lookout platform. Cory and I wanted to go down and see the lake so we announced we were going there and then left the group (assuming they would follow or wait there). Haha they didn’t…we lost them…oh well at least there were two of us! We made our way back to town, found a bar with wifi and texted the other group to find a meeting place. Haha the joys of only having phones that operate when wifi is abundant. We all met up again outside of the first bar we went in for tapas. After that bar we walked to a really cool cave bar place!
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It was a bar inside of a real cave! I had tinto de verano to drink (basically wine, fruit, and soda I think), and the food was AMAZING! Much better than the food we usually are served at bars! And tapas night is fun because everything is free! (I mean we paid this program enough that it should be… but it feels fun to not have to worry about paying at the end. :) ) A big group of people were going to a party after but I really just wanted to go home. Plus, Alannah (who I am becoming very good friends with) wanted to head home and I wanted to make sure she was safe since she is only 17 (so young!) and doesn’t know the city that well yet. I walked her to where her host parents were meeting her and we got to talk along the way and even sat down and just talked for a while. She is so sweet and I really value the friendship we are building! (She reminds me so much of me at that age!) Today was fun! And in a week from today I go home-mixed feelings about that- but, “I must say” [Ireland saying] I will appreciate sleeping in my own bed soon and seeing my real family!

Highlight of my Day: Talking to Alannah about life and building an international friendship! And also laughing with my host family so hard at lunch over something silly the dad said that we were all crying lol! :)

Food:
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Posted by sarahtravel12 14:02 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 7

School and Hike

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Last night was… not good. I hardly slept at all because of the fact that whatever is wrong with my chest kept waking me up because I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Lying in bed this morning texting with people back home, I vowed to try to go to the doctor today, because there were points last night where it was actually kinda scary. Once I got up and got ready, I started to feel better (as per the norm). It was actually pretty cold outside today! That’s a problem for most, because they packed clothes for warm weather, however I packed for Ireland too haha so I’m prepared!
Today in class we practiced more of the past tense use of verbs. Lots of writing and speaking examples. It was a long morning. I was utterly exhausted from not sleeping all night and it was quite a struggle to keep my eyes open.

At the break I went in to the office to talk to Christina: my program manager. I told her I felt like going to the doctor might be a good idea. Her answer to me was that it could very well just be allergies (that she gets extreme chest congestion from allergies here) and that going to the doctor would basically end up costing a lot of money (and a hassle dealing with international insurance) and that they wouldn’t really do anything for me. She suggested I get an antihistamine from the pharmacy and try that tonight before I go to the doctor. So that’s the path I am going to take I suppose…I mean I know she is right, but it is scary to not feel able to breathe!

In the afternoon portion of the class we basically just talked—about the history of countries, about the political and educational systems and the similarities and differences (in Spanish). As tired as I am I was glad to get to go back home and just relax for a while.
I had lunch with my host mom and dad (the girls were out) and then at 5:00 I headed to the school for our hike. We walked about 15 minutes to the start of the trail and then about 30 minutes up the mountain (hill) to a monument of the virgin Mary and Jesus. The view from the top of the mountain was amazing! The hike was great fun because I haven’t exercised much since I got here, so I really enjoyed it.
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On the way down Devon realized that she had lost the end of her ear bud (the little squishy soft thing). She was devastated they were her favorite pair, so I offered walk back on the trail and help her find it. Everyone was like “No way, it’s the same color as all of these rocks.” …otherwise known as “Sarah now it’s a challenge for you to find this thing!” Guess who’s eagle eyes never fail? I found it! Haha, that was fun! On the way back down to the town everyone stopped for tapas again. When we go that early in the night (8:00) no one else is there because most people don’t go out until later. So, our group just dominated the place and we sat and socialized for a while.
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I headed home after about an hour because I was exhausted! When I got home, I just relaxed until dinner was ready. After dinner, my host mom gave me another round of the natural antibiotic thing. This time she showed me exactly what it is. Basically she sets up an electrical half-cell and silver ions from two charged silver rods are deposited into the water. And that is what you drink. Haha I want to do more research on this!
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I am getting more and more comfortable with my host family every day! I am learning so much as loving my time. (My youngest host sister showing off her helmet at dinner lol! :) )
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Highlight of the Day: Finally exercising!
Food:
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Posted by sarahtravel12 13:35 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 6

Class and Cooking

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Last night was a struggle again with the cough…I think I might need to seek out some type of medicine today. School was at the same time this morning again. I walked there and we had class with Carmen again in the morning. We did grammar again this morning, this time practicing pretérito indefinido. This is a past tense form that I have seen before in Costa Rica so it served as a good review! During break time I went and bought a whole bunch of fresh apricots and ate them…so good! After break we had Leo (Ley-O- female) as our teacher. She is the girl who was our tour guide on Sunday! She is so cool! We learned cooking vocab with her all afternoon. BECAUSE… we had a cooking class this afternoon!

After class, I walked home, ate lunch and rested. The family left for something and I was sleeping (this sickness makes me just want to sleep all the time!) and the family dog realized I was still home and then she cried at my door until I let her in. :) Then she had me pet her, and if I stopped she would let out a tiny whine, ahhh sooo cute!
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I got up with an alarm to go back to the school. We all met there and walked about 10 minutes to the kitchen we were going to cook in. We got into groups of three and all worked on different things. I was with Connie and Alannah and we made empanadas. (Different from the Mexican food—its more like a calzone). All of the food had meat in it so I didn’t get to eat it, but it was fun to make and the cook made me some vegetarian things at the end that were…okay lol.
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After eating, we walked around town and ended up getting ice cream.
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My cough started to get worse at this point again (nighttime) and so I went to a farmacia (pharmacy) and got some cough medicine and headed home. Once there, no one answer3ed the buzzer but I just saw Jimena and Rosa turn the corner so I followed in that direction, caught up and went to the store with them. Rosa noticed my cough while walking (I mean I’m sure she’s noticed it before, but she said something) and said she had a natural medicine made of silver that would work like an antibiotic (that her girls take it and have never had to take an antibiotic) and she offered to give me some. Haha…I mean nothing like a mom to take care of you right? So I tried it! It tasted like water (she said it would have a metallic taste, but I didn’t really taste much). We’ll see if it works.
For dinner I got to learn how to make tortillas (not Mexican tortillas, here tortillas are made from potatoes and egg). It was fun to learn and my host Dad messed it up and my host Mom fixed it and it was hilarious.
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Dinner was delicious and Jimena offered to make me a phone case cover tomorrow! :) I was also given a new nickname “diplomatic Sarah”. My dad thinks I just try to make everyone happy… haha wow after only knowing me for one-week pretty spot on! LOL
Later on in the night I took cough tablets which didn’t do much for me honestly. My cough gets bad at night time. I hope I can sleep…

Highlight of the Day: Having my host mom try to take care of me! When you’re sick in another country alone, it is nice to have someone try to help you. And if this stuff works, I have to find out what it is!

Food:
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Posted by sarahtravel12 05:31 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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