Saturday 3rd July, Olula Del Rio, Spain.
One year yesterday since I left Australia with no money, and I'm still having fun. Last night was the second night in almost two weeks that I've slept in a bed. My bosses Robin and Nick (remember them?) have put me up in a swish hotel here in Spain. They flew in from England yesterday afternoon, and I met them in Almeria last night.
Yesterday was a bit of a stuff up, transport wise. In spite of being slightly disoriented in the morning, I managed to find my way back to my hotel in the medina. I grabbed my backpack, still sitting forlorn and unopened on the bed that hadn't been slept in. From there it was a race (sadly no time for a shower!) to the ferry port in time for the first boat to Spain at 7:00 a.m. I boarded the huge vessel, bought an orange juice, and lay down and slept.
The ferry got away a little late, and seemed to take longer to cross than I'd expected. By the time I reached Algeciras and finally found the bus station- which doesn't actually exist, or I would have found it sooner- it was looking unlikely that I'd reach Almeria in time to meet Robin and Nick. A small communication breakdown, and I was off on the slow bus to Malaga, stopping in at every tiny beach resort town along the way. By then, all plans of meeting Robin and Nick at three o'clock as planned, had gone out the window. Which was just as well, since it was already after three o'clock, and the next bus to Almeria wasn't till five. The clerk informed me that the bus to Almeria- a couple of hundred kilometres away- takes five hours, putting me in Almeria at ten o'clock at night. I phoned Robin and Nick, feeling pretty embarrassed to be seven hours late for our first meeting. They didn't seem too concerned, but it's not the 'first impression' that I like to make.
By the time I finally reached the lovely beachside city of Almeria, I'd been on the road for sixteen hours. I'd ridden in a taxi, a ferry, two coaches, and another taxi. I hadn't eaten since yesterday lunchtime, and even that had just been a snack. I was hot and sweaty and grimy, and I knew I was a little bit 'on the nose'. My taxi dropped me at Telepizza, where Robin and Nick and Nick's younger brother James greeted me with a cold Pepsi and a pepperoni pizza. We sat there drinking Pepsi and talking till about two in the morning, marvelling at the neverending parade of young beautiful women who just seemed to be out for a casual evening stroll. Of course, Robin and Nick are both very happily married, and they weren't really looking at the girls, they were just pointing them out to James and me!
It's ten o'clock the next morning now, and I'm waiting for the boys to wake up and get the day underway. Today marks my return to the workforce, at least for the next few weeks. I'm dying to see the project that I'll be working on. Apparently, it's a 150 year old farmhouse, out in the countryside, a half mile walk to the nearest small village. The boys tried last night to bring me up to speed with what stage of development the house is at, but until I see it for myself it's hard to really appreciate what I've got ahead of me.
C'mon boys. Wake up! I'm hungry. Apparently, there's a breakfast included with the hotel room, and I'm hoping that it's bacon and eggs, and not one of those poofy Continental deals with fruit and a croissant. You could never know just how wonderful bacon and eggs are until you've spent six weeks in a Muslim country where you can't get pork.
Nick has just woken up, so I guess we're on the move. I'll let you know more about the job next time.