Published: May 3rd 2009May 3rd 2009
Sitting here now, bathed in moisturiser, drinking copious amounts of water, it's hard to believe how changeable the weather was at the start of the week. One minute, it was raining and blowing a gale, and the next it was sunny, we didn't know if we were coming or going. The umbrellas were up and down, coats were on and off, flip-flops were put on and immediately regretted... April is the month of unpredictable weather, I know, but this was taking it to extremes.
And then May arrived, and along with it, a full day of glorious sunshine. So we headed to the beach at Gijon. The only problem was the wind - strong gusts kept whooshing sand around so that it ended up absolutely everywhere. Unable to eat our picnic, or even lay our towels out straight, we, like everyone else on the beach that day, relocated to the far wall, which acted as a huge, stone windbreaker. After that, conditions were more or less perfect, sunshine, and just a light breeze to keep us cool. The cool breeze was where our problems lay; it wasn't scorching hot, and we thought we had all escaped unscathed (except for Becky,
who was already going a vivid shade of pink as she slept. It was only when we got home and had showers to get rid of all the sand and sea that we realised. Emerging from the shower, I realised that my face, forearms, and feet were red and radiating heat. Rosy's knees were glowing through her tights, Jo's feet were hot to the touch. Only Sarah had gone a nice brown shade, but she too was pulsing out heat and shivering simultaneously.
One thought crossed all our minds: if our sunburn had only just come out now, what was Becky's like? We'd all used suncream for a start; my sunburn was in the patches where I obviously hadn't rubbed it in properly, leaving me with some interesting finger impressions around my ankles. Secondly, we'd all had cool showers and moisturised from head to toe, but were still feeling the effects. Becky, on the other hand, had done neither, and had barely shifted position the whole time we were on the beach. We soon found out via facebook that her legs were so sunburnt that she couldn't move. Ouch! We ordered her to have a cool shower and moisturise
immediately. I think she's still at the painful stage but hopefully it'll go down for all of us over the next couple of days. I've learnt my lesson for sure, and that the sun here is at its hottest at about 3p.m., around the time when it's supposed to be getting safer.
Caroline, on the other hand, is currently in Seville, taking advantage of the long weekend. I wonder what colour she'll be when she returns! It turned into a bit of a group effort and a drama to get her there; she decided to go at the last moment, and when she tried to book coach and train tickets online, there were all sorts of problems. So Becky, Rosy, Caroline and I went to the bus station, and got her return tickets to Madrid. Then we went to the train station to get her tickets from Madrid to Seville. However, there was only availability on a train for the way back. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, for the way there. Now, this was a last-minute trip, and there was some sort iof festival taking place, but generally, Spain's transport system is the worst I have come across so
far. Trains are hugely expensive, irregular and uncomfortable, flights are even more ridiculously expensive. The coaches are a more viable option but take absolutely ages. Eventually, Caroline managed to get coach tickets all the way to Seville, changing at Madrid and Granada. Spain is a big country, true, but France is even bigger and its rail network is second to none, and prices are reasonable. Getting to Madrid and back felt like a mammoth undertaking, where in reality, Oviedo and the capital are only 5 hours apart, and you would think that there could be decent links between the two. In all, it gives the feeling of being a bit cut off; to get anywhere outside of Asturias is a challenge without a car.
However, we had a perfectly good week without going out of Asturias. We found a great cocktail bar called Morgana; it's modern, up-to-date, plays good music and serves amazing cocktails. It was the perfect place to go after dinner at a little Italian restaurant, which is one of our favourite places to eat. After Madrid last weekend, it was nice to have a more relaxed one this time, although my feet are itchy again already. I'm not sure my bank balance will support too many more Madrid-style mini breaks though! Still, We've got a few adventures to come; we might have a trip to Portugal depending on how much it costs to hire a car, my lovely Fiona is coming for a visit at the end of May, and then I'm jet-setting it back to spend my 21st birthday at home at the start of June!
And I've got a lot of studying to fit in between! So lots to do and to look forward to - but no more sunburn. That's not an experience I want to repeat!