Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
The French ferry company had warned us that the 28-hour crossing from Rosslare to Bilbao on the Connemara was “économie”, no frills. Looking back, I think the ferry might have been built before the ingénieurs had invented stabilisers.
The car is still covered in sea salt left behind from the waves that came crushing across the open car deck. We were luckier with our “full Irish” than many other guests who lost their breakfast to unexpected and sudden moves of the Connemara.
I thought back to 1977 when I had travelled to Ireland for the first time, from Le Havre on the famous St. Patrick. That was de luxe in comparison. But even with the storm and seriously moving ship, or maybe because of it, this crossing was a super adventure. One of those you’ll never ever forget.
We got over it and are now enjoying the Spanish wild atlantic coast in Santander from the firmer grounds of the beautiful Sardinero beach and from the window of our hotel room at night. One week here and then a few days in San Sebastián before another crossing (but I won’t think about that for the moment:).
Our hotel is right beside Santander’s grand auld Casino. We haven’t been into the Casino (yet:), but have been down to the Sardinero to watch the dozens of surfers riding the waves. And we enjoyed the absolutely breathtaking sunrise over the sea.
Today, we went into town, on the bus. Nothing could have been easier. Much better than taking the car. We went for a walk, discovered Café Bar Dublin and had some tapas. Those alone would have been worth the journey. I have no idea what they do or how they do it. But there is a taste in those bites that is to die for.
Afterwards, Pádraig chilled out having a Coke on the Plaza de la Catedral in the early April sunshine, drinking from a straw and just being happy and content. Life is good.
We wondered: why would the small town of Torrelavega, about half an hour away from Santander, have a highly specialised neuro physiotherapy clinic? We were curious and followed the advice of a clinic in Santander who had told us that all neurological physio treatment was handled by this specialist clinic, Sinapse. So we went to check it out.
We were stunned. It was such a brilliant experience. Pádraig gave it 9 out of 10 and I couldn’t disagree with him. (Even if it’s perfect, it’s always good to leave a bit of room for improvement.)
We now know why the clinic is in Torrelavega – it’s because Cantabria’s physio university is also based there. The clinic is run by one of its professors, Dr. Carlos Rodriguez López.
The two therapists worked with Pádraig for two hours as if they had known him for a long time. They worked so hard, they were sweating. And they enjoyed it so much, you could see their happiness and satisfaction on their faces. They were so proud they asked me to share the pictures and videos I had taken of the session. It was fantastic and we’ll definitely be back there next week.
We didn’t have an idea of what to expect when we went on this trip. The first few days gave us a taste. They made as feel alive, making new experiences and discoveries every day.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore”, André Gide once said. And Hans Christian Anderson was convinced that “to travel is to live”.
We all know that “a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. Let’s take that step together. One each day.
And we’ll have changed the world before we know it.