Thursday, 2 August 2012

San Sebastian Day One-Meet and Greets with the Busabout Crew

Hey everyone,

I checked out of my Bilbao hostel and caught a cab to the bus terminal in San Sebastian. I was quite nervous as I had already found out that the locals only spoke Spanish and I wasn't sure what times the buses left. I got there and was the only girl in the whole terminal that was non Spanish and I could only see one other male backpacker. I walked up to the information office and said I wanted to go to San Sebastian and hoped that they would understand me. Thank god the man did and he sent me over to another ticket box to get my bus ticket. I said 'Hola, San Sebestian' to the lady and she said some price in Spanish and I looked at the screen in surprise as the ticket was only 10.50 Euro. Just as I bought my ticket the bus driver who was heading to San Sebastian came up to the booth. He signalled for me to come with him, spoke all of this Spanish to me which I couldn't understand and then put my bag under the coach. I listened to music on my iphone on my hour and a bit journey to San Sebastian and took in the beautiful scenery and landscapes along the way.

When I got to the bus terminal in San Sebastian there were loads of Australian backpackers hanging around the terminal. I got off collected my bag and showed a taxi driver my address and was off to check in with Busabout for the Running of the Bulls festival or as the locals call it 'San Fermin'. My taxi driver dropped me straight off at the front of my hostel and I knew I was in the right place because Australians were piled out the door. I was a little intimidated as I again was travelling alone and lots of people were in groups. I headed up the stairs of Lola's Urban Beach House to meet the Busabout Crew team members. I lined up for along time while I stood around people collecting their keys and checking into their rooms. Whilst waiting I found out that because there were around 250 Australians staying with Bus About in San Sebastian they had three separate hostels to accommodate for all of the travellers. When it was my turn to step up to the Busabout desk they gave me my 'Running of the Bulls' T-shirt, my paƱuelo (red handkerchief) and they tied a Busabout band to my wrist. They told me there were meet and greet drinks at 7pm, gave me some general information and then sent me over to reception to get my room keys.

After getting my keys I checked into my room which had three beds. One girls bag was already in the room beside a single bed and there was also a bunk bed so I claimed the bottom bunk and decided to go and look for magnets and a white outfit for the following days festival-San Fermin. I found a cheap store which sold white shoes and I also bought a waterproof bag to put my money and things in for the following day as I'd heard you get covered in sangria. I tried on several pairs of white pants but felt gross in them so decided to see what everyone else was buying before I bought mine.

When I returned the girl who had already checked into our room before me was there. We introduced ourselves and I found out her name was Lorraine and she was from just near where I was staying in London which was crazy. On the way to our meeting point for the 'meet and greet' drinks I ran into Jadie Field who I had gone to uni with and hadn't seen in years. She was actually working at the hostel as her VISA had expired in the UK and she didn't want to go home yet. It was great to see her after all those years!Most of the Busabout people met out the front of the hostel and we all headed off together with our tour leader. She guided us around some of San Sebastian and showed us some of the new and old town areas. She also explained lots of the history of San Sebastian and I got to see the beautiful beach for the first time. She explained that this city is known for it's culinary skills as it has more Michelin star restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the world which I found impressive. San Sebastian looked beautiful and it was also very touristy with lots of people buzzing around the streets. The guide walked us into the 'old town' which was the very first place of settlement in this city and its tight cobbled streets where beautiful.

She explained that San Sebastian is apart of Basque country which is the area at the north of Spain. People here claim they are separate from Spain and also speak Basque instead of Spanish. Basque cuisine is very important in their culture and San Sebastian is known to have the best 'Pintxos' in the world. When she told us this it clicked that this is what I was actually eating back in Bilbao when I had no idea what it was ooppps....

Pintxos  is the name of certain snacks typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern Spain and especially popular in the Basque country.They are usually eaten in bars or taverns as a small snack while hanging out with friends or relatives; thus, they have a strong socialising component, and they are usually regarded as a cornerstone of Basque culture and society. They are related to tapas, the main difference being that pinchos are usually 'spiked' with a skewer or toothpick pincho (Spanish for spike), often to a piece of bread.They have gastronomic societies which are dedicated to creating delicious recipes and dishes and apparently only men could attend these bars and restaurants and only recently have women been able to attend.

After our tour around San Seb we all crowded into a bar which served very cheap drinks and served free pintxos. We got to meet loads of new people while we sipped on Sangria and a Basque drink called 'Calimocho' which is a mixture of red wine and coke lol They had two shots for 2 Euro which was so cheap and I was enjoying drinking with Lorraine and my new group. I met a really nice couple and some nice guys who we hung out with for some of the night. There were also some dickheads from Melbourne and other places which thought they were so good and were obviously here to make asses out of themselves but each to their own.

We stayed at the bar for quite awhile and I ended up doing some shots with a bunch of girls who took me under their wing at the bar because I was travelling alone just like they had done a few years ago. I ended up having jagar bombs and many other shots  which I can't remember the names of and we all headed off to another bar which was playing music. I remember I felt pretty drunk as I watched people playing limbo and I met a guy who knew Sarah (Holly's house mate) from Forbes which I thought was random. We did more shots of the bar and then Lorriane and I decided to go back to the hostel. I remember talking to the beautiful couple I had met previously and this is where it gets blurry....I can't remember walking home after we left the second bar, getting back to the hostel and I can't remember writing a status update saying 'wasted' on my Facebook before I passed out.

I woke up and moved around in my bed and remember feeling something wet on my sheets. At first I thought it must be water but then I was confused where the water would have come from...?I got up and turned on the light to find a huge pile of red spew in the middle of our room and it was also all over the sheets at the bottom of my bed. I was in shock because I can not remember vomiting or going back to sleep after it happened. I called out to Lorraine and asked her if it had been me who spewed or our new room mate who had checked in later that night which I hadn't met yet. Lorraine laughed and said it had been me and she remembers me making a painful noise and then vomiting on the floor before running and vomiting in the bin outside and then finally in the toilet. OMG the Vomitron strikes again!I was so embarrassed as this hadn't happened to me since that time Sally and I were in Thailand and I vomited in between two single beds during the middle of the night lol Gross I know. I quickly got up and cleaned up my mess while laughing with Lorraine and trying not to continue vomiting from the smell. I took the doona cover and sheets off my bed and left them out in the hallway as they didn't have the most pleasant smell and slept for the rest of the night with my uncovered doona. Great first night to the trip Karissa!lol   

San Seb Beach
Our Busabout tour guide

Walking around San Sebastian

Guided tour of San Sebastian

Busabout friends on the pub crawl

San Sebastian

James from Forbes lol

Jesus statue overlooking San Sebastian

A beautiful church in San Sebastian
My roomie Lorraine and I on the pub crawl
Love The Vomiting Backpacker

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