Monday, December 22, 2003

December 22, 2003
We hit the road early this morning, travelling south out of Valencia, bound for the beaches along the south shore of Spain. Traffic was light until we got to Allacante. The countryside looks remarkably like the southwest complete with century plants, prickly pear cactus and adobe haciendas a la Santa Fe (I drove my family crazy making them stop every mile or so for a photo op).

Had breakfast in Spain's version of Las Vegas, Benidorm. The kid's scrinched their noses at the tackiness of it and all the "loutish northern Europeans about" but I felt right at home and could have stayed a week or two. Hmmmmmm.

Got off the main road on the approach to Almeria and visited a little secluded beach town called of all things San Jose, which ironically is not far from the Sierra Nevadas (it's so embarrassing when the Spaniards copy all of our names). Had a big lunch on the covered porch of a local hangout. Drank wine, had a four course meal for 8 Euros ($10 each, $40 cash). Lots of olives and cucumbers, beef in gravy, flan and cafe con leche afterwards. Haven't eaten since.

Several observations about our road trip:

  • They don't have any jerky. Can you officially be a country and not have jerky?

  • Only one American size pickup so far, a big Chevy, pulling a travel trailer. Other than maybe two other trailers they don't have the Winnebago phenom.

  • Absolutely no mobile homes! This is wonderful. I cannot tell you how great it is not to see any (sorry, some of my favorite relatives live in mobile homes, but man they are oppressive looking to me).

  • The truck drivers here all stay to the right which is great. There also appears to be about half as many semis on the road here.

  • No matter how fast you are driving (Deena was running over 140Km in our four-door Ford Focus rental car) there is someone going 20 miles an hour faster. Sorry, kilometers.

After 12 hours on the road we pulled into Nerja, south of Grenada, and got two rooms with a terrace overlooking the beach at a hostel for 60 Euros. Kind of cool. CanĂ‚´t wait for morning to see the whole layout. Saw this internet cafe and couldn't resist, came down at about 9:30 to send this.

"Most roads lead homeward, my road leads me forth." -John Edward Masefield.

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