Saturday, September 19, 2009
BEACH TIME! We all left at 10am from the Neptuno mall. It was about a 2 and a half hour bus through mountains and fields until we made it to Almeria, and then eventually to our hotel in Roquetas del Mar. It was a very touristy town, but since it was off-season, there actually weren’t many people there at all. We got everything situated (I roomed with Merete…we got lucky and got one of only 2 double rooms!), checked out the hotel and then headed down to the beach. Our hotel room was pretty weird. It was REALLY nice, except our toilet didn’t have a toilet seat…and at one point Merete goes: “well, I peed in the other toilet.” I thought she meant the bidet…good thing she was just referring to the fact that our toilet LOOKED like a bidet because it didn’t have a seat. There’s a pretty funny picture of them up on Flickr. Our room also had a sink, stove top, microwave and fridge, but too bad we didn’t know this earlier or else we would have brought something to cook! I miss being able to cook! Anyway, Merete and I ate our bocadillos we had taken from Jardines on our balcony, looking over toward the mountains that separated us from Granada.
The beach was amazing! There were little cabanas everywhere, but we opted for the cheaper option—towels and sand! Some people played volley ball, and some people just sat there. I liked wandering up and down the water line, people watching. We stayed out there for about 4 hours (in the words of Paula: “reapply, reapply, reapply!”), and then headed in for dinner. This is what many of the kids had expected to be the highlight of the trip. Seeing as the meals we are served here are sometimes questionable, we were all excited to have access to a buffet of basically anything we wanted. I think the hotel waiters were starting to get a kick out of seeing us act like we had never seen food before. They even had a guy making crepes! Of course I had to get one, even though I was pretty stuffed. It was wonderful.
That evening a bunch of us went down to the beach again. It was so dark out there!!! We just ran around and sat and looked at the stars. It was a bit chillier that night, but made for some good pictures—I’ll have to steal some of the other people’s from off of Facebook…
The sun had made us all pretty tired, so we went back to our rooms rather early. I heard some people went to a disco nearby…but I’m glad I didn’t because I knew we had another buffet waiting for us at breakfast that I didn’t want to sleep through, haha!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Breakfast wasn’t as exciting as dinner, but it was still good! (Better than our normal pan tostada todos los dias.) We headed out to the beach even though it was still kind of cloudy. Luckily it cleared up by noon, so those who left with the AIFS group got some sun in. We ate at this pizzeria right on the boardwalk, which had surprisingly good pizza!
A couple of the boys had rented one of those 4 person bikes and had ridden around on it (mainly because the one kid was still on crutches from his sprained ankle, but I think they just wanted to anyway). It was funny to see these 4 big guys peddling around. They even managed to get it to drive out onto the beach…somehow. There’s a funny picture of them pushing it back to the boardwalk up on Flickr.
In the evening, we got to eat at the buffet again…so good. That evening consisted of some boardwalk walking and another evening under the stars with the waves crashing in. It got pretty windy, so we had to move inside. Regardless, it was nice not having to pack up and leave that day…because the beach was just too nice to leave.
My only complaint was that I couldn’t find any gelato places! However, I did find these yummy popsicles! It seemed like everyone went to the local supermercado at the same time…because there was always a long line to grab my daily popsicle.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday was an interesting day. We got to sleep in (kinda), and then went on a hunt for different food. Since a lot of things were closed (no idea why), we ended up back at the same pizzeria as on Sunday. Oh well, it WAS good pizza! We got to stay at the beach until around 4, and then we asked the receptionist for her suggestions on traveling back to Granada. Paula had suggested that we take a taxi to the Roquetas del Mar bus station, and then a bus from there to Almeria, and then from Almeria to Granada. However, the receptionist (through a mix of us trying to speak Spanish, and her trying to speak English) told us that there was a public bus that would take us directly to Almeria within 35 minutes. Then we’d only need to catch the bus from there to Granada. We thought we had it timed out well, but the bus ride from our hotel took a bit longer than 35 minutes…and we ended up missing our connection we had wanted in Almeria. We had to take the later bus (3 hours later), and there wasn’t really any way for us to go out and about and see Almeria…we had our bags and their lockers were ALL out of order. Ugh. So, we had a nice time exploring the small bus station.
Luckily once we got to the Granada bus station, we knew where to go. Will had lost his phone earlier and we had to pick it up at a place near that bus station, so he was able to lead the way. We had missed breakfast, lunch and dinner by then at Jardines, so we decided to stop for Shawarmas! (Will and I both agree that that word reminds us of Anupma…SHARMA) The guys at the place were super nice, and the one really wanted to practice his English. I’m pretty sure the only English lessons he had were from English people coming into the restaurant. However, the other 2 workers actually spoke very good English, and were helping us translate his…English. I told Will that he should ask that guy to be his intercambio…maybe he’d get some free food out of it too! We took our Shawarmas and ate them on the steps of the cathedral. It felt like we had finally gotten back home!