Friday, October 30, 2009

I have left Granada. ¨Punk Rock Alley,¨ my first landmark in the city, was painted over; Rachel went back to Barcelona; the coast was calling me. The last few days inGranada were lovely though. I got to know more of the cave neighborhood, the cave I was staying in became home to five really wonderful travelers. I really love the traveler communities that form while you´re on the road. Bonds are made over cheap food and swapping stories about cities, experiences or life back home. The last few nights in the cave there was one girl from Holland, another fromAustralia, two guys from Czek, a german and me. Once, when we were all walking together, two kids took our picture as a part of their homework assignment. hahaha. We were a bit of a hippy circus.
The morning I left the cave I had a beautiful travelers send off. Only the boys were left at this point. They all woke up with me and presented me with various sweets andpastries that they had recycled from the night before, all knowing that sweets and pastries are my favorite. We ate cookies and chocolate at 9am because, in the words of one of the Czeh fellows ¨you can´t travel on an empty stomach!¨ It was all very sweet.
I got to Almeria, the southern coast of Spain around 4 in the afternoon. My final destination was about an hour or so away but the bus didn´t leave until 830pm. I don´t like arriving in new places at night. It is too stressful to have to find a safe place to sleep, food, andorient yourself in the dark. As travelers luck my have it, I met a couple about a month ago that lives near Almeria. They gave me their contact info and told me to call if I was ever in the region. I was in the Almeria bus station, with their phone number in hand, standing next to the payphone....hoping they wern´t just being nice.
I called, Juan answered. We chatted. Whew. Next thing I knew I was on a city bus to their house in nearby Retamar. Retamar, as it turns out, is the suburbia beach town adjacent to the rapidly decaying Almaria. The houses are new, the streets are wide and well lit. Sprawl at its best.
Location aside, I was welcomed into the home of Juan and Mary. I washed my clothe in a washing machine, showered in a proper bathroom (although I do miss the clandestine fountain baths), ate an amazing three course meal, and slept in a real bed. I haven´t had this combination since I left the States anddefinitely not in the cave!
Mary is from Morocco and she makes her own pastries, which we ate while drinking delicious Moroccan tea. My plan was to only stay one night, however that had to change when I woke up to find that my clothe were not yet dry and that Mary was planning to ¨prepare the couscous.¨ I have made couscous before, you probably have too. I would never call it ¨preparing.¨It is simple...or so I though. I then assumed that this was big. Tasty big.
Yep. It was. A huge platter of couscous, veggies, chicken (yep, I ate it), garbanzos, caramelized onions and a tasty mix of Moroccan spices. Yes, this was worth sticking around another day for.
In the evening, we went into Almeria so Juan could run some errands. This left me two hours to andar through the town. I started by going to the ¨tourist zone.¨ Hummm..not so much. I spot the Plaza de Torros, where they have bullfights. With ample time and tourist desires to fill, I walk towards it. It is closed. But through the gates I can see young boys, maybe 12 years old, practicing to be bull fighters. I watch as they fling the red blanket around as a pair of horns, backed by another boy runs at them full speed. Then they take out a bull on wheels. One boy pushes the bicycle bull and the others take turns stabbing in the back of the head with two swords. I watch all of this until my presence becomesembarrassingly awkward.
I will consider this experience my official bullfighting experience and will never feel the cultural urge to go to a real one. Another cultural experience I can check off is seeing a real flamenco dancer. One day, while eating clementines at a friends cave, his neighbor came out and started dancing. She is a flamengo dancer in a tourist joint downtown and was practicing for her show that evening. It was pretty amazing.
So now the plan is to find the hippy beach near Cabo de Gata that everyone keeps talking about and stay there for a week or so. Then I´ll work my way north, poco a poco. Love!
ps i saw a store that sells manaquins. the display windows were full of naked manaquins. haaha

No comments:

Post a Comment