justin adler, blog, buenos aires, bahia blanca, university of arizona, brooklyn, basketball, travel, paul mcpherson

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Part 18: Las Merindades

Some times the pursuit of a dream is better than actually accomplishing it.

That was the final line of short informational movie Sarah and I watched inside the Cave of San Bernabe. That seems like a pretty deep quote, but since it came from a tour film conducted by a caveman actor with a pet dragon who kept askin us to have a sip of root broth, I chose to ignore it’s magnitude.

The cave itself was really impressive, yet I imagine that if I always dreamed of walking through a cave in a tiny Spanish town, that dream sequence would have surpassed the actual experience.

Alfoz de Santa Gadea
We stayed in a town that according to Wikipedia had 132 people and according to our b&b host had 70 people, which seemed like nothing, until we drove through neighboring towns that boasted a population of five.

The entire countryside was crazy beautiful. Our host’s baby daddy was an ex-pat who was a screenwriter hopeful in LA until he moved to a neighboring town in the Merindades region.

Our host told us that we were sharing the century-old-house with an American from Seattle. I got excited as I really enjoy Seattle and Seattlites for no particular reason. Then we met her and she was a terrible human being because she gave me a terrible, unsolicited sales pitch..

I told her I had a friend who lived in Seattle. Her first question was, “Does he work for a start-up, because there are so many start-ups in Seattle.”

“No, he works for some weird medical company,” I said.

“Oh there’s lots of medical stuff in Seattle too,” she said. “I work for a start-up, it’s called DataSphere. We sell advertisements. The problem with advertisements these days is that nobody watches commercials because everyone has DVR. We sell ads that go in elevators. It’s really innovative.”

I kept eating my shitty pasta and tried to pretend she didn’t exist.

This was the worst, unsolicitated “my job’s actually important” conversation I was jumped into since I met someone who sold life insurance.

Our conversation went like this:

“I sell life insurance.


“Let me ask you this, what would your loved ones do if you died?”

“I don’t know. Be sad.”

“Yeah, but what about your savings?”

“I don’t really have any money.”

Cliff Jumping

On our way out of Burgos, we passed by a modern-built castle and a waterfall. We were expecting the waterfall to just be something pretty to look at, but once we rolled up we found a beautiful lagoon that was just unreal.

We instantly went back to the car to change into our bathing suits. Then we waded in the water which was 10 chilling centigrade degrees cooler than I anticipated. It took me a good 20 minutes to work up the courage to swim the 20 meters to the waterfall because I’m a huge pussy who hates cold water. Eventually I swam under and I felt better than I’ve ever felt in my life.

I swam back to the lagoon’s shore facing the waterfall, on cloud nine, everything felt perfect. Upon reaching the shore I did the soccerplayer jump/fist pump combo, which is very different than MJ’s famed post-Ehlo defeating jump/fist pump. Then I started singing P.O.D because I don’t know how else to express how alive I felt.

I was completely satisfied with life but I figured I should still double down, so I decided I’d chase after this feeling again by ascending the waterfall and jumping the 25 feet back to the water.

Once up there I remembered how much I hated cliff jumping. I said to myself “I’m too old for this shit.” Then I remembered cliff jumping with all my cousins in Laughlin 10 years ago.

They were around 25 at the time. Granted I haven't talked to them in 10 years and from what I hear they live rather... umm.. different lives, but for better or worse the memory gave me some sense of courage.

Still it took me 10 minutes to jump because apparently I’m more afraid of cold water than I am of death/heights.

All went well, but it didn’t give me any kind of swimming-under-a-breath-taking-waterfall natural high.

Some times the pursuit of jumping off a waterfall is better than actually jumping off a waterfall.


nicole lor'aun said...

People from Seattle do suck. Seriously.