San Sebastian – Abdel & Sebastian

It was a rough nights sleep last night. In a new hostel where walls were paper thin and cheerleaders were downstairs jumping all around till the early hours of the morning.

Ok so they may not have been cheerleaders but they were a basketball team. Our roomie from Vancouver Island informed us that’s who they were, and assured us that they aren’t always that bad.

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Today’s destination?

San Sebastian.

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We have been told by a few people that it was a must go to destination. And that it’s got lovely beaches and food. I’m keen to go to another destination in Spain, it was either Madrid or San Sebastián. We’ve done some research and found that Madrid is very similar to Barcelona but has no beach because it’s inland. And they have slight differences. San Sebastian is a lot smaller with all the good things one would want. We like to keep our plans open and either explore the place by walking and getting lost or asking people we’re staying with what we should see and do. We have got 3 nights couch surfing planned with Abdel, so we opt just to head there with not much info on San Sebastian.

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We lug our packs onto our backs and make our way to the bus depot again.

The drive to San Sebastián was absolutely stunning. Especially the closer you got. High mountains with green as green hills, grey clouds and blue sky made the green pop even more. So I went hard taking photos on the bus. It was a fairly empty bus ride, I think only 3 others were on the bus so I was jumping from left to right getting wicked photos. I was absolutely stoked with two of my shots. The rest are just good, not Billy quality.

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We load our couch surfing address and it’s a 20 min walk along the railway. We opt to walk it. We arrive at our destination to find the number of the address isn’t matching. We ask some locals who speak little English and all the point with a whole hand and arm movement forward, telling us to keep going over the bridge. We did that, but it was literally another 20 minutes away. We ended up walking a good 40 mins with our packs and stuff.

Like seriously…. we’ve just walked up this hike of a hill with our pack on, sleeping bag and backpack and now we have to cross a bridge.

A trip always seems so much longer when you don’t know where your going or how long you actually need to walk for.

It felt like we were walking for ages, so we strip down to our T-shirts to cool off a little.

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We cross over this bridge that was just going over a road which was maybe 10-15 mins away and we find the house number before and after the number we’re looking for. We have a few house options to ring the doorbells of. We ring one home and proves no joy. So we try the other place that’s situated over a small supermarket. We’re walking closer and we see a couple sitting at a table and we ask them if this is the number we are looking for. Before we know it this man is leaning out the window waving his arms saying, “Mi amigo! Mi amigo!”.

My friend, my friend.

Billy does the whole finger pointing to the person with the almost yelling, “Heyyyy!” to follow.

He races down to meet and greet us. He explains that he has been in trouble with the owner and fellow neighbours for doing Airbnb so he decided to start up couch surfing. How funny is that? He was using Airbnb as just a means to meet new people, so since his landlord didn’t like the idea of him doing Airbnb, he just switched to Couch surfing, so that way he isn’t  making money off it, but he is still meeting people. This guy is the true spirit of Couch surfing. The neighbours also like to chit chat and gossip about what’s going on around the hood so he recommends us to pretend to be his close friends to avoid any sort of talk. He shows us our own room with bunk beds and around the house. We sit down and he offers us coffee and biscuits which we sit and get to know each other.

His name is Abdel. He is Spanish, but from Morocco and speaks 4 languages. Spanish, Arabic, English and French. We get talking with him, and it turns out that he works at the courthouse. He studied international law back in the day, but he isn’t a lawyer. He actually is a translator, and has been brought in for various cases which have required the entire breadth of his lingual knowledge. Very interesting bloke.

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He is super nice too. He is really hospitable, but the best bit about him is how full of expression he is. When he is talking, his eyebrows and mouth are always telling their own stories. The other thing that we noticed really quickly is that when he cant quite explain something, he will create the actions of the movement with his hands, and make a really fast clicking sound with his tongue. Almost like how your grandma will make the same “tsk tsk” sound when you’re in trouble.

The bigger the explanation, the more “tsk”s will be heard.

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Abdel needed to head into town to meet up with his friend and he asks if we would like to catch a lift in with him in his Ferrari*. Of course we say yes. He ends up giving us a mini tour of his town and shows us the 3 beaches. There are 3 beaches, all really close to each other, and the culture of San Sebastian is pretty much built around the beach. We went to the last beach, and there were these blow holes on this stone walk way, which once a big wave will crash, it will shoot water up through the blow holes, and if you stand on them, you’ll get the whole Marilyn Monroe look going on. Sorry Abdel but I can only remember the name of the first beach, Zuriola.

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We go to the fruit and veg shop that have the fruits and veg labeled in Spanish with a picture of the item. I’ve noticed a lot of the names are similar in English. It just reads slightly different, so I can bluff my way through most of it. After we hit the fruit shop, we went to watch the sunset near the beach with a beer with Abdel, while we wait for his friend. We order a drink or two, and Abdel shows us pictures and tells us stories of his mate from Australia.

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He just decides that he will call his mate from Australia, for no other reason than he wants to talk with him, since there are other Australians with him now. We get on the Facebook chat, and give him a bell, but Abdel forgot to factor in the time difference, and the time was 4am back home, so naturally, the call wasn’t answered.

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The sun goes down and it gets cold. He calls his friend to see where he is. Turns out he won’t be meeting his friend anytime tonight, he is with a girl. Has been since 1pm and was meant to be back at work by 2pm. It’s now 8pm. He must have got lucky, I guess.

We head home to make dinner together and Billy helps his get the movie Gladiator onto his laptop. We talk and chit chat until our heads start to bobble and our eyes start to roll.

We bunk up into one bunk of the beds.

Come back for the next story,

Becka

*Ferrari, it’s the name he calls his silver Peugeot which he mentions that needs to get serviced because it makes funny noises.

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