It turned out not to be just Pais Vasco where people were unfriendly. Just about everywhere we went in Spain, we felt very other. Very much like unwelcome aliens. People stared at us unabashedly. Challenged us with their eyes. While we did meet some lovely people, Spain felt very unsettling. We tried rather hard to enjoy ourselves despite this by employing capitalism. Spanish food doesn’t come close to Italian food (with the happy exception of pintxos) in quality, so we tried throwing money at the problem, purchasing more expensive meals, to no avail. We found hosts for only about half our time in Spain, so we threw money at it and stayed in hostels. Spain underscored how much couchsurfing changed these past four years. It’s now dominated by men looking for sex, so if you’re not a single female you won’t find a place to stay (as even well intentioned female hosts and couples feel safer hosting women, too). Very disappointing. Combining our failed attempt of capitalizing our problems away with the unfriendly nature of the locals (which prompted me to not busk), and we spent about 60% more per week in Spain than in Italy. Even the less efficient (frustrating) transit cost more.
Luckily there are rocks in Spain. Lots of rocks. Everywhere we went there was some local crag with enough rock for quite a long trip. We whizzed through Spain at a very unhealthy place, however, so we only had a single day in both locations we went to: La Rioja and Hoya Moros. We stayed with a former couchsurfer of mine in La Rioja. We didn’t climb the stunning, main limestone crag there, putzing around the easier stuff nearby instead. Later on, Brent will write an addendum on a concert we went to (won’t you?) which was phenomenally awful.
We took Bla Bla Car (ride share) to Béjar and Hoya Moros. We in fact had amazing luck with transit over the stretch of days around Béjar, with a ride all the way to the little town from Logroño, a ride from the climbing shop owner to the base of the trail, and a hitch back down into Béjar from Candelario acquired within 5 minutes of waiting. It took us about a five hour hike to find the rocks, and even then we were convinced it was the wrong place as we were the only people in the entire area. So we established some new lines :). We met the local climbing God, Cuco, who confirmed that our area was as yet unclimbed, and who showed us some gorgeous established lines. More importantly, he helped hike us out with a one hour and a half trail rather than our long bumbling journey in. Hoya Moros is paradise. I wasn’t prepared for the sun, however, and got sunburned for the third time in my life.
Despite these lovely people we met, however, (our host, her friends, the climbing store owner, Cuco and his friends, our hitch back into town), Brent and I felt extraordinarily unwelcome in the town of Béjar. Unwelcome enough to dissuade even me from busking with our free time.
Earnings: 0,00€, 0 hours