But it now comes time to close this blog and retire back into our normal lives of people that don't understand technology. We've actually really enjoyed this blog, but, if anything, it has worked to make us more confident that we don't want to embrace Facebook, et al. That has been one of the great lessons of this Camino.
Our Camino has come full circle, and now it is time to come full stop. Last Saturday we took part in a family tradition by taking part in the 7th Annual New Orleans Running of the Bulls (this was our fifth year). You see, only in New Orleans would people be crazy enough to re-enact the famous Basque festival of San Fermin by running through the streets chased by roller derby girls dressed as bulls and armed with wiffle bats. This year took special meaning as we were able to wear real, authentic neckerchiefs and waste sashes.....purchased in Iruna/Pamplona.....where we stepped off for our camino on May 21st 2013. Here is a look at the fam -->
|NOLA Bulls 2013. Authentic sashes and Euskatel Euskadi tshirts.|
|Tounge in cheek, and yet oh so serious|
|Look out for the bulls!!!!|
|The fam in 2012. Check out Bri's Basque flag cape.....and just how little Kepa was!|
The next day, we attended New Orleans' Bastille Day Festivities
|I heart pommes frites!!!!|
|Off with his head! Hey, Marie Antoinette was a great film, so porque no?|
All of which brings us to think about how, no matter how sad we are to be done with our Camino, no matter how much we wish we were still walking, New Orleans ain't bad. For our money, it is easily the greatest city in North America (sans Montreal/Quebec, which we haven't been to so we are open). And it is here that the lessons of the Camino will live on. To embrace local and regional culture.....food, music, art. To keep moving forward, never staying still. Eyes on the horizon because no worth pilgrimage has a real destination in sight. Yet, in spite of that, to take pleasure in symmetry, order, tradition, and beginnings and ends. Even cycles have beginnings and ends in which they move on to the next cycle. This camino (and this blog) may be over, but that only means on to the next thing....hopefully armed with what we've learned between Iruna and Fistera.
It is that means of tradition and symmetry that made us want to attend mass at Santiago, that made us want to eat our last meal in Madrid at Botin's, that made us want to do so many of the things we did. Next week, before my mom returns to Virginia, we will take what is left from the Barbie money---the money my mom made from selling her year 2 Barbie, which paid for our rental car in Euskal Herria---and use it to eat dinner at Donald Link's new restaurant, Peche. As readers of this site know, we have a deep affection for Link (who knocks the socks off of Emeril and John Besh btw). But this restaurant is extra special. It, too, is about beginnings and ends. This restaurant was first inspired by Link's interest in the ways they cook fish in Uruguay, and his desire to bring that to Louisiana cooking. But the restaurant really took shape when he took a food trip with Susan Spicer to Euskal Herria, to study the open flame wood grills used at places as divergent as cheap beach fish shops in Getaria on up to the now infamous Etxebarri. He then brought this knowledge home and created Peche. Which he hopes will demonstrate a brilliant fusion of the basics of Louisiana and Basque cooking. A fitting end indeed.
The night we reached Santiago Bri and I each drank a shot of patxaran---the great Basque liquor which we drank several times in Navarra and which we have smuggled back to the states every trip for years---and a shot of liquor de hierbas---a famous Galician 5 herb liquor (first brewed by monks in the Baleric islands) which we had in Galicia. To beginnings and ends. To happy trails for all our readers. Cheers. Salud. Or, more fitting for us, Osasuna.
|Osasuna one and all. And Eskerrik Asko for reading.|