Day 75 & 76
Granada, the city of tapas with beer, giant castles and natural hot springs was city number 2 in Spain, a pit stop on our way to Valencia.
This city didn't start off all to well either, as not only did I have no ipod to listen to on the long bus (had to deal with Spanish radio), but about 100m from the bus stop, our bus breaks down. Any normal person would think, "oh, only 100 meters away, you could walk the rest of the way". But, unfortunately, as the bus driver happen to not be a normal person, he kept us on the bus for a further half an hour.
Eventually, after a decent wait, the bus doors were finally opened and we were "escorted" from our bus all the way to the terminal.
Things started to turn around once we met up with Aid and Zac after our week of separation. Stories were shared, photos were shown and we got all caught up before heading to our hostel to prepare for the evening.
Us not being the people to learn from our mistakes, we once again made the bad decision of taking our hostel Tapas tour. Whilst it looked promising at the beginning racking up a decent crowd it seemed to just go downhill from there.
A very uncharismatic tour guide led us from place to place, however we found several places closed and others simply had bad food.
After we had been to 3 restaurants, we had had enough and our little group decided to leave to go get something real to eat. Whilst we did end up having some amazing pizza and churros with chocolate, it was sad that out 2nd tapas adventure, even in the town known for it's tapas, had ended badly.
The next day was a packed one as it was our only full day in Granada. Our first stop was the Albramada, a huge Moorish castle, essentially the only reason why Granada is famous. What we didn't know is that to get inside the castle you would have to book tickets weeks in advance.
So, without tickets we were unfortunately unable to get inside the castle and we had to settle for the massive forest outside. That was until we discovered the free side.
After a bit of looking around we discovered another entrance to within the castle walls that did not require a ticket at all. This included a Colosseum like building in which we had battles of our own, an amazing view of Granada from the highest point and a giant souvenir shop that had everything imaginable. We managed to turn a really bad trek up a giant mountain in which we saw nothing into a quick walk up a hill to see an amazing castle.
By then it was getting late and we were getting hungry. We headed to the shopping centre to grab snacks for the bus to Valencia and dinner. Making some awesome chicken and vegetables put a smile on everyone's face and got us pumped up for the night.
What we had planned for the night, was very random and ended up being one of the dodgiest (but incredible) experiences of the trip so far. Innocently enough we signed up for a natural hot spring tour with the hostel. For 10 euro it sounded awesome and we had nothing planned for that night. However from the start, this little adventure just got weirder and weirder.
At 11pm we are waiting in the lobby when suddenly two woman arrive. Not speaking a word of english, the hostel receptionist let's us know that they will be taking us to the hot spring. The 5 of us follow them outside where we pile into their van. It is at this point we realize their will be no one else on the tour. We start to drive.
For the next 30 minutes we sit in this car with no idea where we are going. We head out of town, onto the freeway and just keep going. That was until we get to a pitch black dirt road in the middle of nowhere. We began to worry a bit. We thought we were the next wolf creek.
As she makes her way along this dirt road, we have no idea how she can tell where to go. The really annoying Spanish music on the radio and the fact we kept getting bogged in the dirt wasn't helping the mood either.
Eventually, we arrive on this big open dirt plain and they signal for us to get out. We can not see a thing. However after a couple more steps round the corner we find a big pond with a surprising number of people in it.
It was amazing. We all jumped in and lay back in what we found was a boiling hot sulfur pool. Looking up into the sky we saw 100s of stars above us and over the horizon saw a town in the distance. It was so peaceful and chilled. Our worries melted away and we were loving it.
We stayed there for a couple of hours and watched others come and go. Even the people that brought us had a dip but because nobody there spoke english, very little conversion was had. We hopped out at about 12:30, and just in time too. As we left, a whole group of skinny dippers decided to jump in and they weren't the "type" we would like to have joined.
It was an awesome night but it had to end and we walked in at about 1. Straight to bed we went as we had an early bus to Valencia the next morning.
I know you all are dying for the tomato festival blog but you will just have to wait a bit longer. I will make it worth the wait.