Spain Series: Lodging

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After our first (long) day hiking around the Pyrenees mountains a long haul with perhaps 100 bunk mates was a welcome sight.

The ancient beauty of the albergue was not to be outshone by the many pairs of bunkbeds. The converted churches and monasteries made the prettiest ceilings for sore and tired pilgrims.

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One thing I could hardly believe were the frequency of warm and hot showers. The picture above is the Jesus y María in Logroño and with over a hundred people on two floors in bunkbeds I got a hot shower. Spain must have magical water heaters.

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Not too surprisingly, toilets were more hit or miss. From the toilet/handsoap quantity to the Easter egg search that had to be performed on the flush handle almost every visit.

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The basic formula of an albergue (Al-bur-gay) was a room with double bunk beds, shower and toilet combo (not always split for sexes), a kitchen, possibly a laundry area and a shoe rack designated for dirty shoes that were not allowed in the dorm rooms.

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Some of the private hostels veered away from the dull white on white color scheme. We were always a little shocked when we came upon bright pink or orange sheets. What a treat!

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This was a very visually appealing albergue along the way. Although it was very plain it just had a good feel. Deep brown ceiling and floor with the lighter colors on the bunks themselves.

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Ciraqui (sear-raw-key) had some freaky art and dripping paint effects in the process.

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Although one night we worried about finding an inn with room. We never had to worry about staying in one of these wild looking rock shelters.

So, what can be said about shared living spaces?
• Don’t gawp in the bathrooms.
• Wear earplugs and an eye mask.
• Don’t be easily offended by smells.
• Stay in a hostel when you go to Europe—the experience was very enjoyable.

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Day 333: Raffy Bat

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This is the Rafenesque’s big-eared bat at one of the cave entrances. Hope this helps: Raw-fin-nesk. If you think the Raffy’s common name is a mouth full then go ahead and Google their scientific name. I have a scientist buddy who spits them out without hesitation. Oh, to be a bat scientist.

I was ecstatic that I got to see him/her because I hadn’t seen one on person.

I have several awful pictures of me grinning widely just below him. Typically, me and self-portraits don’t have good results.

Even though four tours have been passing by this bat daily, he can’t be bothered.
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Here’s a close up of the little beauty. He has one ear unfurled so he can listen to the world turn. You can see why they are called the big-eared bat.

Day 283: Sleeping Handsomes

Tybalt really likes to cuddle. Typically by 9:30 he will jump on the bed and claim his spot. He keeps his spot at the top of the bed (head on pillow) until we come to bed. Although he loves to cuddle, he gets too warm, heaves a sigh and stumbles to the foot of the bed.

Kit may look posed, but in reality, he just ignored me and was trying to sleep as I snapped (no joke) 10-15 pictures.

Beagles are such photogenic dogs. They constantly exude cuteness.

Day 240: Merry Christmas

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I was going to take a break from blogging these two days but I have come to a standstill in family visiting.

The issue, stockings. When we were kids, we woke up at the crack of dawn and opened stockings. We weren’t allowed to wake up anyone before 6AM. Mom and dad always hoped we would magically sleep past six.

Now that we’re all adults (I’m the youngest of five) it seems consensus to sleep in to a more human time. Last year, the vote won out for 10AM, which was a torturous wait.

This year we are waking and opening stockings at 8:30A. Much better except I was awake at 6:30.
Now you understand my dilemma.

I’m not necessarily all about the presents. I just want people to be awake because Christmas before light is so magical.

Also, when my brother wakes up he can tell me how to figure out their fancy coffee pot.

Just some of the cool things that happened this year:

-Learned to drive stick and bought a “new” car.
-Got out a job I hated
-Got to work with the hubster at NP
-Had first garden with hubster (drought)
-Made tons of crafts via pinterest
-Led tours with my hubster at work
-Couple of my sibs got new and better jobs
-Graduated college (late but whatever)
-Purchased presents for my first Angel Tree kid
-Canned tons of things from the garden! –Pasta sauce, pumpkin, pickles and more.

This morning I awoke 2 hours early and in that time I…
Took pictures of the Christmas tree and “stockings”, read some funny gift reddits, almost tripped over my mom who migrated to sleep under the tree, played all my draw something friends, scrolled through new instagram, scrolled through new tumblr, peed, and tried to wake up people in vain.

Oh yeah and I wrote a blog….20 more minutes.
[My brother’s alarm just went off. Sweet!]

MERRY CHRISTMAS, to my darling readers!

Day 225: Sleepy Bears

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Look at my sweet, sleepy babies.

Sometimes I feel like I’m following a toddler in circles with my dog. He loves the catbox….even after just having eaten.
So sometimes I call him just to make sure where he is. He didn’t come this morning so I wandered after him and found him here.

He ate his breakfast, went potty and then decided it was too early and too cold to be out of bed.

Catching some Zzs with his daddy.