Today was characterized by several good decisions followed by a bad one follow by tears and relief.
I woke up around one this afternoon because of how late I stayed up last night and also because I’m a little sick. No cough or anything, but my throat is sore and my lets hurt from all the walking I’ve done. My back is starting to feel the pain too 🙁
I went to eat a snack outside the South Pole Inn and had a gorgeous view.
There was this bag of chips I couldn’t resist to buy either…
During my snack Kata came to meet me even though she didn’t feel 100% so we could hike to Inch Beach. It’s not very far away, but due to the hills and whatnot you have to walk a very roundabout way to get there.
All in all the hike was about eight miles from my hostel, to town, through the trails and to the edge of a beach that juts out into the bay. By the time we reached about 4/5 of the way out to the end of the beach, we gave up and turned back- neither of us were feeling to great and our feet were killing us. Not to mention we hadn’t brought food with us so we were pretty hungry.
At about 7:45 we tried hitchhiking from the beach back to town and were picked up by this lovely older couple. The drive only took a couple minutes, where the walk had taken us two hours! They dropped us off at Kata’s bed and breakfast which happened to serve pizza. SO good. Junk food always hits the spot after an eight mile day. When we were eating, there was a group of bitchy, demanding Americans sitting near us. When you’re in someone else’s country, always make sure to defer to their method of doing things, and be polite, and don’t get upset if they don’t have infinite food for you. Oy.
After dinner, I got my pack from Kata’s room and headed back to the hostel. At this point, it was really dark and I forgot there were no street lights for 1.5km between town and my place. I just followed what felt solid all the way down the road to my hostel to find… It was locked. I tried calling the owner. No answer. I knocked on his door. He told me that his friends were coming to pick him up soon and that he was closed up for the night. At least, that’s what I think he said. He’s got a pretty thick accent… I had failed to make a reservation earlier that day because I didn’t think I would need to. And it was only ten o clock, so surely other travelers would be there, I thought. Nope 🙁
I didn’t know what to do so I sat down for a few minutes to collect my thoughts. I could set up my tent, but there was no light for 1.5km to set one up. I could try some other hostels, hitchhike to a larger city, keep walking until dawn, sleep by the road…
I decided to call Kata to see what she would do, and to check if maybe her hostel had rooms available. No answer. I collected myself and walked back to town. Kata called me as I was hitting the lit part of the road and told me she would ask the owners if they had rooms available. I’ll make a long story short… She couldn’t find the owners, so we (we as in Kata left her room to walk all over town and help me out) tried a couple bars and another bed and breakfast (and a code locals on the street) until we found the (nameless by request of the owner)l. I told my story to a bartender there and he got the manager of the hostel to come up to talk. She said she had a room available, but that none of the sheets were clean because they’d been working on other things and hadn’t intended to open up another room. I told her I didn’t care at all. At this point, having been walking for something like five hours, I was ready to basically give up on a bed and sleep on the floor.
She actually ended up giving me a private room for ten euro with a space heater and free breakfast. When she told me it would only be ten euro, I started to tear up a lot. I felt like an enormous weight had been lifted from me and I couldn’t believe I had actually found a place to sleep.
As soon as I was in the room she got me a duvet and a pillow cover, and I used the blanket I bought to cover the mattress. I’m warm, clean, and I’ve got wifi. Kata also gave me some cold medicine and pain medication for my legs tomorrow because they will definitely be sore. The kindness of strangers is a beautiful thing, and probably something I will depend on a lot while I’m here since I’m so freaking stupid and bad at traveling.