Our second Spanish excursion was to a beach north of Barcelona, Costa Brava. We were driven up there and given a short introduction to our guide Dave, who is actually from central California and has lived in Barcelona for the last 10 years. He attempted to remember everyone’s name by word/name/physical-attribute association. This is how mine went:
You’re from Riverside, which is scary, and you’ll probably end up in the ER. ER starts with an E and Emily starts with an E. Riverside – ER – Emily.
Happy (or maybe not so happy?) to report that he remembered my name the whole day.
We partnered up and set sail. It took Sarah and I about 3-minutes to figure out how to work together, but we were pretty good after that. Occasionally, my competitiveness sneaks up on me and comes out in full force. For whatever reason, kayaking brought that out and we were continually at the front of the pack (sorry Sarah, and everyone else who was with us…)
We took a snorkeling and swimming break in a cove just off the shore.
I’ve only snorkeled one other time and I wasn’t too impressed. The snorkel makes me uber claustrophobic. And my aversion to fish isn’t just in terms of eating them. I don’t like them touching me, I don’t like their smell, I don’t like seeing their eyeballs staring at me and I can’t say knowingly swimming with them is high up on my list.
I remedied the claustrophobia by letting my snorkel flap behind me…
I looked so cool.
And I lasted about 15-minutes swimming around with the fish before I had enough.
Luckily, we were kept busy by Dave showing us a cliff we could jump off. We had to scale the side of it, which was actually the scariest part. The view from the top was pretty spectacular and jumping in was simply awesome.
Dave also introduced us to sea urchins.
During the year, Dave is a science teacher and gave us a lesson on sea urchin anatomy and then broke open two for people to try. I opted out of this part. Apparently it’s actually illegal to fish for and eat sea urchins in Spain. During the economic crisis, too many people were using these as a free source of food and they’ve since become protected. So basically, my aversion to fish helped me uphold the law of the land.
The sea urchins are everywhere and unfortunately, I stepped on one while climbing up to cliff jump. I still have three quills in my toe, which apparently my body will calcify and “suck up” in two to three weeks.
The wind had picked up on our kayak back to shore and it was so much fun going over all of the choppy water! We’d get a face full of ocean spray followed by some pretty awesome kayak rocks as we went over the waves.
Between my kayaking and paddle boarding adventures, I’ll definitely be exploring Lake Michigan more next summer!