. So, he decided to make the village really hard to get to, and then made a reward for everyone who made the pilgrimage. Maria told us that everyone must come to San Andres de Teixido at some point, and if they don't make it in this life, then they will come back as an insect in San Andres after their die, so we should be really careful not to step on any little bugs. We left some bread crumbs for them instead. She also said that, as a reward for those who make it, San Andres will grant everyone one wish. We hiked out to a little fountain that is the magical fountain of San Andres. There, we all threw a bread crumb in the creek and made a wish. Maria told us that if our bread floated, it means our wish will come true, and if it sank, it will not. She then handed me the first bread crumb and told me to go make a wish. I stood on the edge of the creek and thought hard about a wish... and thought, and thought and thought. No wishes occured to me, but after a while, I realized I must have a really good life, if I couldn't even think of one wish! Everyone else didn't seem to have the same problem, so after they had all made their wishes, we hiked back up to the bus.
From San Andres de Teixido, we drove to A Garita de Herbeira, the highest cliff in Europe. As we drove up the mountain, we passed wild cows and horses and pretty rolling hills with purple flowers-- I was reminded of the Scottish countryside
. However, when we got up to the top, a huge cloud had descended onto the mountain, making it extremely cold, wet, and WINDY! We literally had to bend over double to fight our way across the fields towards the cliff, at which point we realized that A) we were not going to see anything and B) we didn't want to be right over the highest cliff in Europe in gale-force winds. We struggled our way back to the bus, giddy from laughing (and probably having the sense blown out of us) and drove to Cedeira.
In Cedeira, another little Galician town, I went with some friends to find a seafood restaurant, since Galicia is famous for its seafood (especially octopus and shark). I obviously couldn't eat any of the squid, octopi, shark, clams, mussles or shrimp offered to us and stuck to my trusty "ensalada mixta", but the others decided to be adventurous and try the shark. They said it was quite good, and I'm sure it was, but I still think I will be able to live in peace having never eaten shark. After we ate, we went to the beach, where it was low tide in a cove. We were able to walk out really far into the cove without even getting our knees wet, and we saw a delightful (not) assortment of creatures that I'm pretty sure were doomed to be that night's dinner. I was totally grossed out, and I don't even eat those things, but somehow no one else seemed to mind! After the beach, another girl and I went to the bathroom before we got back on the bus, and when we set out for the bus, it was 4:29..
. and the bus was supposed to leave at 4:30! By now, we have learned to take Nuria's threats of punctuality seriously, and so we started sprinting towards the bus! We saw a few other Duke students sprinting too, and at 4:30.... the bus started to drive away!!! We sped up and started screaming, and obviously the bus stopped and let us on, but now without another lecture on punctuality and the goodliness of her mercy by Nuria.
They then took us to ANOTHER little town that was supposedly having a fiesta of some kind, but when we got there, no one could find the fiesta. We felt a little "small town-ed out", so we just sat in a cafe and got ice cream and coffee, and left for the bus in PLENTY of time.
That night, at the casa rural, we had dinner and then were told to put on gym shoes and go to the rec room for a "queimada". When we got there, we were all gathered around a ceramic cauldron, where the owner of the casa rural proceeded to show us how to make what I can only describe as the Galician version of moonshine. The approximate recipe is: 1 liter of aguardiente (an anise liquor), 2 cups of sugar, lemon peel, orange peel, apple chunks, and 1/2 cup instant coffee. The ingredients are all mixed together in the cauldron and then lit on fire and allowed to burn for about 30 minutes. As it was burning, we all recited the queimada poem, a long speech in gallego, the language of Galicia, inviting in good witches and banishing bad witches. Like I said earlier, Galicia is a land of witches and magic, and standing there in the dark, watching the bright orange liquid burn a bright blue fire, chanting in Gallego... I felt it! We were each given a cup of the queimada, which smelled approximately like the rubbing alcohol you put on cuts, and then were taken in to the rec room, where we were given a lesson in Galician song and dance. No surprises that after a coffee mug full of queimada, everyone was quite enthusiastic about the whole experience!
We woke up this morning quite chilly and saw that it was also misty out... my favorite weather! I am liking Galicia ever more. After a pretty typical Spanish breakfast of super strong coffee with milk, dry cracker/cookie things and fruit, we got on a bus for a 2.5 hour ride out to San Andres de Teixido. I would have loved the scenic drive, but I had to go to the bathroom so badly the entire time! Me and one other girl are always asking Nuria when we can go to the bathroom, and I'm pretty sure that by now, my entire group thinks we have some strange bladder condition. But what can I say, better overhydrated than dehydrated! We finally got to San Andres (and a bathroom), and then I could really enjoy the town. San Andres de Teixido is a small village set into a mountin in the far north of Galicia, and it is supposed to be a pilgrimage site for all Spaniards. As the legend goes (Galicia is full of legends and myths and magical stories), San Andres (Andrew) was jealous that his brother(?) Santiago (James)'s pilgrimage site got so much traffic and was so well known, and his was not