Thursday, January 29, 2009

Turquoise Nerja, and Wind to Granada

Tuesday was a bit of a day. Woke up early and was the first one at the Alcazaba – really wonderful ruins of an Islamic castle and fortress. From there you can continue walking up to the remnants of another Castillo where you can see for miles.
I hiked to the bus station with both packs on – only possible with my fantastically comfortable Osprey pack - and took an hour plus bus ride to the seaside city of Nerja. Nerja is not immune from growth and tourism, but rather than high rises they have opted for smaller, white washed buildings that are more pleasing to the eye. The water here is magnificent turquoise. The main part of the village is fairly large filled with restaurants, shops, and souvenir stores. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon. My host was the most and gave me great tour. Then I hoped the bus to Granada which went along some more of the coast, which is breathtaking even with high-rises and massive developments.
Once the bus turned left into the mountains the sky darkened and it was another adventure into traveling to Oz. The wind picked up to a strong gale with trees bending and the bus definitely feeling the force. As we climbed the winds became stronger – and up along a highway with cliffs to our side a gust came up that blew the bus – the riders and drivers exclaimed – thankfully – no blown-off-the-highway bus. Shortly we were almost eye-to-blade with windmills (a good place for them if you ask me).
I arrived blood sugar deprived and mildly stressed by the high wind ride. The bus to hostel was crowded and with horrible – potential amputating - rear door mechanism which crushed my front pack before I figured out the best place to stand. I missed my bus stop since it was named something other than what the direction said and had to hoof back (with both packs on) – trying to maintain cool although I already knew that I was in no mood for a backpack hostel. I wanted my own room, a hot shower and some good food. With unmarked streets and not great maps it took longer to find the hostel than was good for my mood. Up stairs and a warren (truly) of stone streets I found it. Of course, someone was in my bed (a bit of Goldilocks here) and so they put me in another room where I came upon a well intentioned, travel-lagged and chatty roommate. I set my pack down, went out to find food, and bee-lined for another place to sleep. The gods understood my need and delivered me Serjio, the proprietor of Pension Venezia -two flights up in an old building, with spotless, darling rooms. So I got my own perfect tiny room. I went back to retrieve my pack, told a white lie that I had met up with a friend (my new friend, Serjio☺) and unloaded back at the pension only a few blocks from the hostel. Next food! Struck out a few times and my crashing was increasing when I came upon Canela y Clavo. Heaven-sent (again) – and had the most delicious wok-steamed vegetables and beef. They had numerous delicious offerings with and without meat but after that day I needed some serious protein and felt worlds better after, especially tucked into my yellow-room bed with a down comforter.

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