The Andalusian Triangle

Trip Start Mar 04, 2008
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Trip End Oct 06, 2008


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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Andalusian Triangle! Wow. This province of Spain is a vacation unto itself. Andalusia has it all: wonderful cities, breathtaking mountains, amazing beaches and one hell of a lot of olive trees.

The triangle I refer to is the trio of major cities in the region. Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada. Here you can wander the maze of cobbled roads in Santa Cruz, Sevilla, the tight alleyways of the Cordoban Jewish quarter, and see the last remnants of the Moorishish empire at La Mezquita in Cordoba and the Alhambra in Granada.

So all that was pretty cool, but here are the highlights:

Met an interesting British chap and his lady on my second night in Sevilla. Benjamin (not his real name) was an ex drug runner. He used to pack Morocco's finest from Gib all the way up to Jolly Ol' back in his younger days. Not your typical drug smuggler tho, at least not typical North American car or truck drug smuggler. Get this, he packed it in his belly and took the plane. Ben said he could stuff a kilo and a half down his gullet before checking in for his flight. He knew all the tricks too. I asked if he used Saran Wrap to seal the hash. Negative. Cellophane shows up in the urine. You dip it in bees wax, stupid. Ha! Live and learn. He even had a buddy named The Suitcase (suprisingly, that IS his real name) who could shove 2 and a half kees into his belly before departure. Layovers must have been hell.

Met a cool Slovenian guy named Jona in Cordoba. Jona is a tour guide for a British travel company and consequently speaks perfect English, which unfortunately is still a necessary trait in potential friends for this pathetic single tongued north american. Jona also speaks Italian, Croatian, German, of course Slovenian, as well as his own blend of Italian/Spanish which he calls Spitalian. It consists of speaking Italian to the Spaniards, peppered with whatever Spanish words or phrases he can think of at the time. Despite his impressive language proficiency I was still able to teach him a thing or two about Spanish on our night out in Cordoba...'Hey! Hey Rob! How do you say 'asshole' in Spanish?!?'

Jona was going to rent a car in Granada and we planned to meet up after I ride my ass down there. 9,562,548,763 olive trees later I was in Granada. We picked up the car, piled a couple of girls in and hit the road. The wrong road. We headed up into the Sierra Nevadas, as planned, but we took the dead end highway. Signs passed us by every half hour or so...Elevation 1500 m, 2000 m, 2500 m...then we hit the military stop. No vehicles past this point. Back to Granada. Found the right highway. Back into the Sierra Nevadas.

The highway skirts ridges and stops in at all sorts of cool little mountain towns. The big thing in this part of Spain is the cured ham. Shops have rows of salted pig legs hanging from the roof. Man, I just wanted to take a big ol' bite out of them but they are really pricey. I've talked about this stuff before...it is so good. I think I called it pork sashimi. It's the closest you can get to taking a bite out of a live pig. Delicious.

So out of the Nevadas and down into the dryest region in the continent. This is where they filmed a bunch of the old westerns. They've still got all the old movie prop towns set up for the tourists. Tumbleweed blows by on the roads in front of wood slat buildings and teepees.

Ok, enough tourist BS. Now we're off to the Cabo de Gata. Apparently it's the least touristed beach in the region. We got there as the sun was near setting, took a quick dip, well, Shell (Perth) and I did but the Slovenian and the American wussed out. We dropped off Ginger, the American, at the train station as she was off to be a nanny in Madrid. The three of us, Jona, Shell and myself, then loaded up on groceries and wooden palettes and hit the beach to find camp.

Camp we found. Sort of. In amongst the garbage and plastic bottles we made a fire pit and got a good blazer going with the treated wood palettes. Threw in a couple of veggie packs, some bratwurst, uncorked a bottle of Cabernet and there you have it: an unforgetable night.

Jona had neglected to bring anything to sleep with, so he borrowed Shell's wet towel to lie on. It wasn't quite doing it for him so he tore the trunk lining out of the rent-a-car, lay on that and used the wet towel for a blanket. At least his feet were warm. After all this, he still ended up sleeping in the car. Jona my friend, when you come to Canada I will teach you how to camp.

Well, I'll cut this one off here. I'm retro-blogging right now and have a lot to catch up on!

R
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