Gallo pinto and eggs and the sweetest pineapple you’ll ever taste for breakfast. White-water rafting on Rio Sarapiqui. Mountain biking around Volcan Arenal. Vinyasa yoga in an open-air pavilion overlooking the Pacific, the sounds of the ocean and birds and white-faced capuchins and air moist with promise surrounding you in savasana. Snorkeling in the shimmering green waters of Isla Tortuga. Mornings in the hammock, Centenario and Coke at night. Even the rum tastes better there.
Me, in Virabhadrasana II on the Plaza de España.
I’m still recovering from my whirlwind of a trip. We visited nine cities in as many days. I prayed for my mom in Fatima. We ate massive steaks and patatas fritas in Madrid. We hopped on the metro in Lisboa and took the train to the last stop, Cais do Sodre, where we strolled along the Tagus River and had an early dinner at a chic little restaurant/lounge in Praça do Comércio. We climbed the hills of Toledo, visited the old Jewish quarter of Cordoba. While the rest of the folks on our tour were heading to bed, we ventured into the streets of Sevilla at 10 pm for tapas and sangria. The next night we found ourselves squeezing through the crowds of Semana Santa to attend a flamenco show, then devouring delicious paella mixta, taquitos de bacalao, and chocolate con churros at Cafeteria Spala. Our waiter, who spoke no English, showed me the receipt and pointed out that he hadn’t charged us for the churros. I understand enough Spanish to know he said he extended that kindness because he wanted us to remember Spain. I’ll never forget it.
Almost two years ago, I traveled to Italy with my college buddy, Michelle. We had an amazing time and promised to do it again.
Part of the reason why I’m so ready to complete my yoga teacher training is that, just a few days after my practicum, we’ll be heading to Spain, with two nights in Portugal!
To keep things simple, we decided to stick with a tour. We start out in Madrid, then travel to Coimbra, Portugal. We stop at Fatima– where the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in 1917. My super-Catholic mother is really excited about that part. From Fatima, we move on to Lisbon, then on to Seville, and we end up back in Madrid for the last two nights of the tour. I was disappointed that we wouldn’t get to see Barcelona, but that just means I have an excuse to go back to Spain.
This trip has been in the works for several months, so it’s no surprise that I am truly looking forward to it. While I get busy studying for my final and the practicum, I’ll be dreaming of strolling along the Plaza de Espana in Seville (pictured above), ir a tapear en Madrid, and eating buttered cod in Lisboa.
I need to start brushing up on my Spanish.