Let's go Cliff Jumping tonight. Okay!

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Dec 16, 2009

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Where I stayed
Stoke campsite

Flag of Spain  , Basque,
Saturday, July 11, 2009

After running with the bulls two days in a row (Thursday and Friday), I guess you could say I was on an adrenaline rush. TheAustralian blokes that I met in Pamplona were headed up toSan Sebastian, which is off the Northern coast of Spain. Stoke Travel was the travel company (if you dare to call it that) that had campsites that we had stayed at in Pamplona, Spain. They had quite the set up. They provide tents, sleeping bags and other amenities for one low price (not really low at all actually.) But, I would highly recommend it. They follow festivals around and set up camp to provide people with a place to stay and par-tay. It was a grand time. I am all about this Stoke Travel business.

They had what they called a “Surf Safari” in San Sebastian. The campsite we stayed at was technically right outside of the lovely town of San Sebastian in a town called Zarautz. It was gorgeous. I do have pictures of this beautiful place, but they do not even dare to compare to the real thing. The pictures were taken just after sunset and I have not mastered photography to capture these photos at dusk.

On Saturday July 11, 2009 (or it could have been on Friday… I get all the days mixed up. Living a life without an agenda is the way to do it. Let me tell you.) The Kiwi boys packed into the Richard’s car with his lovely Canadian girlfriend, Leah. The Australians and I jumped into their rental car and headed north through the mountains. It was a road trip at its best. We had all the essentials: Blink 182 greatest hits CD and bread and water. Always a good time with Australians. Thank you Alex, Alex andBrett for the wonderful memories.

The drive through the mountains was just simply breathtaking. I enjoyed rocking out to Blink while road tripping through Northern Spain. That’s an experience I can check off the list.
Zarautz, Spain had a much calmer feel than Pamplona, and thank goodness. I think we all needed a little calmer anything in our lives at this point. Leah, the Australian in charge of the campsite, was so great to us. She had her stuff together and kept us very happy. Thanks Miss Leah!

That first evening at the camp, the troops rounded up for a cliff jumping adventure. I was down for anything because of my newNever-Say-No attitude. (No worries, its only a metaphor, kind of. I did and do say No to lots, okay at least some things.)

A big gang of us walked out around the campsite towards the cliff. Little did I know that a lot of people were going to stick around to watch some of us swim out about 300 meters to the jump. Turns out I was the only girl with about 12 guys who decided it’d be a good idea to swim out and cliff jump around sunset. Like I said my new attitude had my head held high as I struggled to swim through the decently choppy water out to cliff.
Alex Anderson was a sweetheart always turning back to make sure I was okay. At this point in my travels, my voice was completely gone. So, I would return his concerned look with a thumbs up and a forced smile. I was reminded of the fact that I am not a very good swimmer (and quite out of shape, at best), so this nice little swim was an adventure in its self. To my credit, there was two guys swimming behind me that turned back before we had even gotten halfway. So, I felt pretty hardcore to say the least.

The water was respectably rough and trying to cling to the rocks wasn’t the all-time easiest task known to man. After a few goes at it, I was on top of the rocks, which were covered in some type of sea creatures that were rock solid and hurt my feet. However, I didn’t really notice my feet because in the process of climbing the rocks I got my knee pretty good. There was an instant bruising and blood gushing. Okay, maybe not necessarily gushing, but there was blood streaming down my leg as I ascended up the side of the cliff.

I will never forget what Alex Anderson said to me. As I climbed in my bikini with blood running down my left leg, he turned to make sure I was still trucking.

“Excuse the saying, but Sarah, you’ve got balls.”

I grinned at him, “Thanks, I think.”

Thank you, indeed.

Finally, I made it to the top where the other 12 or so guys were already beginning to jump off the cliff. At this point I am feeling more bad a** than ever. That is until I look over the edge. “Oh Lord, what did I get myself into?” I thought to myself. The whole swim and climb, I was excited and ready to do some cliff jumping. Yet I somehow forgot that I had never jumped off a cliff before. Yet alone a 30-something-foot cliff into the Bay of Biscayoff the Northern coast of Spain with a bunch of guys from around the world.

My stomach was up in my throat, but I kept a smile on my face. Before I knew it, there were only four of us left up on my cliff. I spoke up as much as my lack of voice allowed and told them that I better jump before I am the last one left up there. So, I did. I jumped. Well, actually I am told that I basically just stepped off and gave all of them a scare. But here I am: alive and well, telling all about the experience, so I did a pretty dang good job in my opinion. That thirty-something feet felt so extremely high. I had enough to think to myself as I fell, “Wow, this is high.” In my book, if you have enough time to talk to yourself coherently, that’s a long time.
I did do a second jump, where I definitely jumped. Let’s just say this jump left a lasting impression on everyone.

Needless to say, I enjoyed myself and hope to do much more cliff jumping in the future. However, I doubt any cliff jumping can top my First Cliff Jumping Experience into the Bay of Biscay. However, 30 feet does not even compare to my 13,000 feet adventure that followed that week…

Here's a picture of some of the gang at our campsite: (from right to left: Alex Smith, Brett, Geoff, Nic, Richard, Me and Joshua)
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