Saturday, 20 February 2016

Let Me Just Say...

Let me just say Spain's been an interesting and at some points a really inconvenient ride. I've had the idea to come here for a few years now, back when a friend told me how easy it is to reach Morocco by ferry (which can easily be cancelled due to weather but we'll see what happens!) With said idea brewing away I kept telling myself that it was going to work and I wouldn't regret anything. Let me just add on that optimism can sometimes be a bitch.
Mountains Around Ronda, Spain (taken 2016)

I reassured myself, and despite not knowing the language and having relied on group tours in the past, that this was going to be one of the best journeys of my life. Now on my sixteenth day in this country I can honestly say it hasn't been what I wanted it to be. Ups and downs have been a plenty and I now have vendettas against gypsies and their rosemary scam, but over the past two weeks I've found a few positivos to be happy with... and learnt a few lessons that I'll live my nomadic life by from this day forward.

These little cyber postcards are meant to be about the good things so that's what I'm sticking with. The better side of my Spanish adventure includes some southern views, a humbled little setting coloured white and orange, watching the flag fly in Madrid (seriously, watching that thing was therapeutic) and an impressive bridge standing up in the mountains. Experiences were included, as well as some friendly people, and these are what I'll endeavour to remember for the rest of my life.

For the sake of adding more emphasis and words to the count, these are the better bits I want to share. Cordoba was a lucky and most merciful stop for me. Small and easy to get around (once I had a map), I enjoyed walking under the orange trees lining the streets, through the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos and 'clouding' (cloud watching) on the Roman Bridge they had in Game of Thrones. These are little things, but they did SO MUCH for me what with my love for simplicity in life. Too much paperwork is a devilish concept.
The Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, Cordoba, Spain (taken 2016)

The next highlight revolves around the mountainous Ronda, which I waited the better part of a year to visit just so I could see the bridge keeping the two sides of the village together. It was amazing, but my only regret is not getting a picture of it from the bottom of El Tajo Gorge. That would've been epic. Another positivo are the views I took in; truly amazing, as were the colour contrasts! Spanish mountains are something I'll love forever. Originally this was intended to be a two night stay but it turned into a day trip for 'Seville is an effing bitch' reasons.

And then there's the bit down south which is what got this stint of backpacking off the ground! Disembarking the bus (taken much earlier) in Malaga, I was immediately reminded of Surfer's Paradise in Queensland. This is where I was most at ease in Spain. Nothing got in my face, everything was easy to reach by foot and the sun was glorious to walk under... especially out on the marina. I stayed at a really good hostel that a 'nightclub of badarses' were running but I had to leave it for another because likes to bottle neck people for some reason. Very bummed for they were some nice and patient badarses! The new place isn't a loss but I wish they had a kitchen. At this point of The Dorito Tour all I want is a bowl of cornflakes and some pasta for dinner! I AM NOT A FOODIE!!!
Malaga, Spain (taken 2016)

These are the ups best mentioned, for I quite enjoyed mentioning them. There are others, like the zoo in Madrid (first I've been to outside of Australia) and my finally seeing Gibraltar (it was raining a lot but I saw some photogenic monkeys) but these little blog messages are best left a little condensed. I gotta save something for when I get back into regular blogging once I'm home. Add to that, after a few hits and misses I finally ate a paella in Spain that I liked (prior to that the only good one I'd eaten was back in Belfast). Fifth plate is the charm but make sure said caste iron plate isn't heated up.

The downs will still be with me, which I believe is an important factor for all of us. They can help shape the next journey and the ones after that; more nature is NEEDED, and dodgy hostels and pensions can screw themselves! I'm off to Morocco tomorrow for some sand and blue things, hopefully (the ferry better be moving), so I might just get my wish. The fourth continent I intend to stand upon has left me feeling a little off but I'm hoping that will all change. I'll be doing a group tour of the Sahara, which is something I now miss taking part in.

Hereth be the end of my words, and I'm sure you're very warped after reading them but I'm not going to care because I'm a freaky bastard. I know my rant about Ireland was a bit more hilarious and colourful (so says a Belgian girl I met) but Ireland isn't Spain, and Spain isn't Ireland. It's a good thing afterall. Don't think anyone could swallow going to the same place over and over.
Madrid, Spain (taken 2016)

And here we go...         

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