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Published: February 18th 2010
Left off last time before an evening out in San Sabastian. Mikel showed me a great time including sampling all the best pintxos and Spanish wine in about 5 different bars. Felt a little like Anthony Bordain getting to sample the best cusine that Basque country has to offer, it´s a perfect mix of delicious for your eyes and your stomach 😊 Anyone back home looking for a business opportunity in hospitality should really consider opening a proper pinxtos bar in the "after-work" part of downtown.
Next day the goal was to get to Madrid. It was the first time I´ve had to emply the number one law of hitchhiking: someone will always
stop eventually. The problem was a combination of being in España where hitching is notoriously slow and that it was Saturday and the snowiest day of the year. It was freezing; twice where I had to wait about an hour it felt like my running shoes were freezing through on the bottom despite the constant jogging on the spot. But whether it was the gas station attendent who brought me out an umbrella while I waited or someone going out of their way to offer advice on a better route, my spirits were kept high enough to continue and I made it the 500 km to Madrid before dark. The drive was gorgeous, through snow capped mountains and over flat green plains, and always with old abandoned remanents of Spanish history.
Paco, the owner of the next couch I had lined up to surf, had to work late but was nice enough to meet me and take my backpack so I could freely tour Madrid. It was the big night of Carnaval and many people in Madrid were celebrating, although Spain is different than Latin America in that people dress up a lot more in traditonal (and non-lingerie) halloween costumes. I´m told they dont celebrate halloween here so Carnaval is the time to dress up. It was neat to see, and walking around to all the government and religious building was nice too; the Royal Palace is enormous enough to host a small city and very well groomed, but of course no one lives there.
Next day got on the Metro, which is much cleaner and more efficient than anywhere in Canada but somehow remains cheaper, to the south of Madrid and was able to hitch relatively quickly to Toledo. Out of all of Spain it has always been number one to get lost in Toledo´s tiny streets and learn about the home of Don Quijote and Spain´s finest swords and knives. Stayed with la cocinera Eda and her 3 flatmates for the night and in the morning she´ll drop me off at an onramp for one last long-distance stretch of European hitchhiking.
...wrote that on Sunday, attempted hitching on Monday for about an hour but it was very snowy and wet and where I waited turned out to be too busy to stop, so decided to postpone the trip southbound. Turned out to be great partly because it gave me time to find a gym and a library to catch up on training and physics, and mostly because Eda, Use and OneCarLost (jaja) were awesome and the two extra night were very entertaining. Hope you all come to see Toronto Entero one day 😊
Olive tree filled trip Toledo to Granada was good, rode most of the way with a trucker (couldnt pronounce his name so I wont try writing it) who gave me a great lunch, explained history, and had a sewing kit handy so I could do repair #1 on my backpack. Met Manuel in Granada who showed me the town and a few Tapas bars (free tapas with every drink!) and this morning took me to Alhambra to see what´s left of the former Arabic capital of Spain.
Hitched my way here to Estepona and am bussing it the rest of the way to Algeciras because its only 5 dollars and practically all city and terrible hitching. Anway, what Im really writing about right now is the fact that I CAN SEE AFRICA!! 😊 Although it´s rainy the continent is still visable across the Mediteranean. So one more night for me on the European continent and then tomorrow it´s one more boat ride until a new world and the real adventure starts.
I´ll write about Morocco as soon as I can!! xoxo
(ps pics soon but Im at an internet cafe with no time 😊
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Getting closer :)
Hey Chiquita! So glad you posted....I was wondering how things were going :) I love how you can see AFRICA....I am sure that moment was very exciting...shivers and everything :) Well time for part 2 of the journey....what you have been waiting for for many years now. I am very, VERY excited for you...can't wait to hear the beginning of I am sure many, many stories. Xoxo
you brave girl
Hey, OMG , you are the bravest person that I know.My thoughts are with you , please be careful . I didn't realize that the tempreature would be so cold there. I give you lots of credit for your determination. Hopefully when you get this you will already be in Africa . Good luck to you and I hope everything goes great for you, Love, Auntie Di xooxoo Uncle Ralph sends his best.