Day of Rest

Trip Start May 04, 2011
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Trip End Oct 08, 2012


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Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Thursday, May 12, 2011

A challenge it was, but I finally made my way home last night and asleep by 11:00PM. I slept a solid 12 hours to wake up to a flood of emails letting me know "You rocked Spain when you landed, did you hear about the earthquake in Murcia?" Earthquakes in Spain are rare and thankfully it hit south of Madrid, so all well here.

It was another nice day, approx. 70 degrees. Dressed for a run, I wandered east. Passing the Palacio Real, the University, Temple Debod and around Parque Oeste, for a solid 5 miles.

One of the things I love about Spain is the Menu del dia. Today it values at around $14, includes a first plate, entrée, bread, drink (wine or soda) and dessert. If I recall it was more like $4 back in the 90s. Regardless, I consumed it all and ready for my afternoon siesta. I guess the jet lag and a month worth of burning the candle at both ends, finally got to me. That or "when in Spain....."

Once I woke and showered it was time to meet up with a new Couchsurfing.org (CS) friend, Nector Perez. We met at the famous Oso (Bear) Statue in Plaza del Sol; a common meeting place when I lived here back in the day, like I said some things haven’t changed. I had sent a CS request to Nector last week, but he had been out of town. He generously offered for me to come stay by him, which was my first encounter with the CS community, which I later learned was par for the course. Ultimately I passed, feeling settled in at the hostel, or else a true sign that I was clearly traveling with too much stuff. It was nice of Nector to meet up for a drink back to his place for dinner and Hookah with others. He has a lovely home, and has done his fair of travels as seen in his photo album. Nector is a true gentleman and I look forward to staying in touch. He already has a list of people for me to contact in various locations along my route. It is always nice to bond with a local and realize I speak fluent Spanish.

It was approaching midnight and I was still wide awake, hmm I wonder why, so I dropped off my things at the hostel and scouted out a dance club. I was on my way to find Tropical House for some salsa dancing; but got distracted by another crowded bar, Gari Baldi instead. It was interesting to hear what music Madrid clubs are playing these days. It seemed to be Spain's version of pop since everyone was signing along. I got excited when when they threw in one of my favorite Juan Luis Guerra songs from the 90's.

The conversation at Nector’s led to a craving for chocolate and churros. It just so happened that around the corner from where the club was, is the famous chocolateria San Gines, another place I used to frequent back in the day. Luckily, it still stays open until 7:00AM and others had the same idea. I wound up sitting with a couple from Argentina and England (a long distance relationship, rendezvousing in Madrid). Together we shared a plate of churros and talked about traveling. On my way home, I dropped back into the same dance club, hoping to sweat off the dessert. I got home at 3:00AM and stayed up for another hour writing this entry.
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