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~Explore. Dream. Discover~

"Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you,
because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places."
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Current Missions:
~To Walk Every Street In San Francisco~
~To Give 1,000 Compliments~
!To Find my Great-Grandparents' Birth Certificates in Italy~
!To Walk Across Spain on the Camino de Santiago!
!To See Lava in Guatemala!
!To Study Spanish in Mexico!



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Day 2 (June 20, 2009): Montemarta → Riego del Camino → Granja de Moreruela (22.5K)

What do I remember about this day? Just being HOT! And tired. I clearly left too late in the day, but what did I know? Read more...Collapse )

I woke up after my first night in an Albergue (the low-cost, pilgrim-only accommodations found at various intervals along the route) at a miraculous 6:30 am after only one very brief hit of “snooze”, which was quickly aborted in anticipation of the absolutely soul-disturbingly awful ringtone on my Vodaphone cell alarm. I then managed to foil my early start by taking 2 hours to get ready and arrange my stuff in my backpack. (This will be much less surprising than the early wake-up to those who know me well.)

Read more...Collapse )


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The first day was amazing. I wanted to walk FOREVER! That, despite the fact that my legs felt like jelly at the end of the day. Which, perhaps, should have been a warning to how my legs were going to feel the next morning....

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Camino de Santiago: June 20, 2009

Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage, Via de la Plata route. Zamora to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Approx. 700 KM.



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Day 1, 19k (19/700k): OMG This is Amaaaaazing! I want to walk around the WORLD!



Day 2, 25k (44/700k): Holy crap.


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9/11/2001

9/11/2001: New York City, 3rd street and 2nd avenue. I watched the first tower burn, the fireball go up the second. I wandered the city in a daze, walked with the hoards of people covered in grey ash like snow, no one speaking, stunned into silence. I panicked in the streets when someone shouted: "They're going after the small buildings next!" and ran till my heart pounded louder than the words in my head. I dialed my mother, I dialed my mother, oh god don't let me die without speaking to my mother! but the phones weren't working. "Due to the tornado in your area, your call cannot be completed." The Internet: our savior. All of us desperately trying to connect. Reunited randomly online with an old lover: "Where are you?" "Here." "Meet me on 14th Street." Watching ambulances race down deserted streets. Holding hands, clinging to familiarity, waiting for the world to end. The next days were only eerie, the city empty, except for the vigils: I held a stranger in Washington Square Park, touched the faces of missing people plastered on streetlights, burst into tears at PETA's simple white signs, "Do you know of an animal who is missing its person?" Life is so mundane, so normal, until one day, it isn't.

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Crépes

I'm in France. FRAAAAANCE!!!!

Click for the Famille Cailly Crepe Recipe.Collapse )

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Destined Connections

Lago Atitlan is a beautiful lake, up in the highlands, hemmed in by volcanoes and famous for being the second biggest tourist destination in Guatemala.

Meaning: loaded with students and aging hippie ex-pats.

There are several villages of varying sizes dotting the lake, and small boats ferry peopole from one to the other around the lake and back to the largest town, Panajachel, where the busses and shuttles land.

I wasn´t quite sure what I´d do once I got there, but I figured I´d let the adventure find me.

I did know, however, that I would avoid San Pedro -- exactly where EVERYBODY I met told me to go -- which is described in the book as a haven for pot-smoking and all-night reggae parties with travelers, distinctly not my scene.

So, once in Panajachel, I clambored off the bus, and waited, as is customary, quite some time for the ferry to fill up enough for the driver to decide it was worth his while.

As a mix of toursts and locals slowly amassed, I noticed a skinny white guy, dressed in loose-fitting, colored linen/cotton clothes, with an unkempt blonde ponytail and a scraggly goatee, playing some sort of rather annoying Indian flute. I involuntarily thought something along the lines of ¨Ucccchhh,¨ but when he sat down next to me and started talking with a robust Santa-Claus wannabe ex-pat, I discovered his mitigating secret: he was British.

He was also very soft spoken, and overtly spiritual in that peaceful, new-age sort of way that is oddly catching. I found what he had to say fascinating.

On the slow-moving, open air ferry, I mentioned that I was thinking of staying in the town of Santa Cruz, a quieter, more laid-back town on the edge of the lake. As we continued talking, he shyly said that he wasn´t used to company, but that he was staying in a cabin not far from Santa Cruz-- did I want to have some tea? And, maybe the people he was staying with would let me stay in their other cabin. If not, it was a short walk back to Santa Cruz.

Why not?

It was a wonderful decision. We spent a lovely evening discussing philosophy and world interpretations of spirituality, karma and destiny. The cabin wasn´t available, but the meditation tent was-- a tiny, round slightly raised pavillion with mesh walls and the distinct smell of burned incense, with a diameter of just about exactly 5 feet 2 inches: perfect for me.

I fell asleep to crickets, and woke to sunlight, a perfect, peaceful evening.

The quiet adventure had indeed found me.