KODAK PAGES 81-90

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Sorry I have been so long in getting this next lot done. Health issues and I  shoulder injury have slowed me down somewhat.

WHERE THE HELL IS KODAK

Cont…..81

Everyday we go for a drive to somewhere different and most nights sit on the roof of their house and have a BBQ and  beers. After 3 days of this and getting to bed at 4am in the night We had one day where we all slept in.  The heat meanwhile was relentless. At least in Tulum I had the beach.

I had spotted a cemetery earlier in the week from a hill we went up so Rogelio, Tere and I went for a look here. Wow it was massive and beautiful. There where complete buildings like little churches which whole families were laid to rest. Very elaborate and like nothing I have seen before. There were empty holes all over the place. When I asked Rogelio why he explained that if the gravesite had  been unattended for a long period of time then they assumed all family members had past on and so as to have more room would remove all the coffins and do whatever with them. Excatly what he was unsure. In Mexico they bury up to 5 or even 6 family members on top of each other. Learn something every day don’t you. This is unheard of in NZ.

Meanwhile back at the house Rogelios pup has been to the vet several times and I think he is going to die. It was awful to see this and we all kept an eye on him. He had in a drip and didn’t move much all day. It was so hot and I didn’t like this at all. Having grown up on a farm I don’t like seeing sick animals. Rogelio also has a pet iguana. I do not like lizards and creepy crawlies and this iguana hates me in return. I am sitting downstairs on the laptop and Rogelio comes down and says ‘ I see you have made a friend’. I of course ask what he is talking about only to be told that the iguana is behind me. I didn’t believe him as they would shut Omar’s door everyday so it couldn’t come near me. I am sitting at the table right at the bottom of the stairs and there is no way it would have gotten past me without me seeing it. Oh want a bet!! I turn around and this thing is looking at me. I got up to move over to the couch and this iguana starts straight for me. I was up on the table, jumped on to the couch and over the back of it in a matter of a second. And this damned iguana is trying to climb on the couch. Rogelio had to get in the middle of this like a referee. I let them know in no uncertain terms that I was not happy. They all had a good laugh about this. Mind you it must have looked hilarious. Don’t think I have moved that quick in years and I will admit it is funny now.

Another day we went driving south of the city and call in and have lunch at a huge open restaurant. This is where I have the opportunity to try ‘bulls balls’. I decline this one, but Tere got them. She likes them but looking at them was enough for me. Not my cup of tea. After several more days and driving here and there to see all manner of things I realise that I have been here for two weeks. I book a ticket for LA as I have already booked a 2 week stay in a small place in Montana and need to start working my way up to Seattle in order to get to Montana.

On a brilliant hot day I fly out to LA. Now when you come into Mexico you are given a piece of paper when they hand your passport back to you at immigration. You have to go to a bank and pay a fee. This is like a departure fee but you cannot pay for this at the airport when you are leaving so make sure to do this before heading to the airport. I had to go through a health check also because of the swine flu. Thankfully I had stopped coughing by now.










Cont…..82

I stayed at the same hostel in LA. As always there is a good group of people from all over the world. I team up with a young kiwi couple that have been holidaying in Mexico. Off to the transit centre and on the bus to Venice Beach. I love the stalls, shops, resturants and bars here. This time I buy myself a pair of ugg boots. I think these should get some good use in Montana and Calgary. We spent most of the day here and I got separated from my new friends and hoped that they could find the right bus to get back. They did. I have found that you can ask people in the street for info and they are only too willing to help.

This time in LA I also decide its time to get a USA prepay cellphone. If you are going to spend time in the USA and also go to Canada and Mexico you can get a phone from Tmobile and use it in all 3 countries. You will need to top it up in the US before hand and the number will be valid for a year with free calling minutes being added each time.

There are all manner of things to do in LA. Here are but a few,  The California Science Center, the Getty Museum and Getty Villa all of which are free admission. Don’t forget the Griffith Observatory and  Hollywood Bowl Museum. You can go to free tapings of sitcoms and even get tickets to Dr Phil. This website is full of info; http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/calamenu/a/free.htm

From this point on I will have to use free images from google as months later in Spain my camera was stolen and I hadn’t downloaded to my laptop. I mistake I wont make again.

And so onto my next destination after another 3 days in LA. I catch a flight up to San Fran for a one night stay and then catch a bus the next day to Santa Cruz. This is a small university town 3 hours on the bus south of San Fran. I have come here to see one thing. Mystery Spot. A young English girl from London is at the hostel and she didn’t even know about mystery spot so she joined me for a trip out there. You have to take a taxi now to get there as a bus no longer does this run. Its only about 5 minutes. Mystery spot is a small area where there are anomalies in the earths gravity. All aircraft know about this area as when they fly over it makes their instruments go a little crazy. And this place plays with your head. The logical part of your brain cant absorb what your eyes are seeing. Two things that really stood out are this ball hanging from a chain. To push it away from you is really easy and you can do it with one hand, but then try to pull it into your chest and you have to use both hands and really pull hard. The other was our guide stood in the middle of a couple on a level piece of concrete (he had a spirit level to show us). The girl was shorter than her partner, she at 5ft 6, he at 6ft. When she stood to the left of the guide she looked about 5ft tops. When she swapped with her husband  she could see over his head. Yep, no bull, she could look over her husbands head. I still shake my head because the brain is still saying its not possible yet I did see it with my own eyes. I have told people all over the world about this. It just plain plays with the mind. Well mine anyway. http://www.mysteryspot.com/parking.shtml

Venice Beach, LA





 

Cont……83

In the afternoon Rebecca and I go  to the small amusement park that is next to the sea. Its only small but there are roller-coasters so I am a happy person. They also have the one where they haul you up and drop you out of the sky, YES!. I absolutely love being dropped from a height in these things. The entry fee to get in gives you access to all the rides all day, as many times as you can handle. Think I went on everything 5 or 6 times. On the last ride we decided to take I had my head whipped back on one of the corners. I knew the corner was there, saw it coming and missed it anyway. Oh boy did I get whiplashed a real beaut. Sore, no sleep that night, on the painkillers and wondering how am I going to get this treated. Feeling sorry for myself the next morning I walk the short distance into town and go to the library to catch up on emails. I have been booked, by my friend in London, and accepted for another Vaunghtown in Spain. With a date finalised I start thinking of the date I will book my flight out of New York a few weeks down the track.

I catch the bus into San Jose. The bus driver drops me in the centre of the city and from there I catch a tram to a transistion point out near the airport where there is another bus that’s takes you to the airport. Another easy and trouble free way to get there. I am on a flight to Seattle and don’t end up getting to my hostel until 11pm. We had to wait nearly an hour for the airport bus. I ended up talking with two American ladies that where here to catch a cruise to Alaska. Must do that myself one day.

My hostel, The Green Tortoise, is over the road from the Farmers Market, also known as Pike Place Market. This is where the guys at the fish shop are well known for throwing the fish to each other. There is all manner of shops here not just farm produce and it will take you lots of time to have a look at it all. In the afternoon I did a hop-on-hop-off city bus tour. If you are having several days here there are numerous points of interest which include  Pioneer Square, Myrtle Edwards Park,  Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle Public Library, Seattle Waterfall Garden, Smith Tower Observation Deck,  Space Needle Observation Deck, Aurora Bridge Troll, and the Museum of Flight. This is only a few. Seattle certainly has a lot of things to see and for you to do.  There are also 4 national parks in close proximity, and state parks.

That night I was on a bus again at 11pm. Oh I don’t like the Greyhound bus in the US, well not in the state of Washington anyway. Cramped and hard and don’t recline very much. We had a stop somewhere in the wee small hours of the morning and this was a welcome stretch. The breakfast stop was around 8am and I cant tell you where that was. I took photos of the town signs and was going to use them as a reference when writing this up but of course I don’t have those photos. It is 1-00pm when  I finally roll into Butte in the state of Montana. I now have a 5 ½ hour wait for my connecting bus.

At 7pm the bus pulls into the place that I am going to be for the next 12 days. The bus driver doesn’t want me to get off the bus as he thinks I am totally in the wrong place. The population is around 260. Where am I?




 

Cont….84

Basin, Montana. Middle of nowhere, a restaurant, a pub, post office and school. That about sums it up and just why am I here? I am going to the Merrywidow Radon Mine. I read about the radon mines in a national geographic magazine while I was house-sitting for friends in England. I have suffered from severe migraines since the age of 19 and I am hoping that breathing in this gas is going to give me a helping hand as it has done for some people. People and animals come here for all manner of ailments and from all corners of the globe.

My first night I go to the restaurant and bar. Best way to meet the locals and I am not even a one minute walk from my cabin. There is a RV park down the road and a cabin park in the village for people to stay in when they come here. Basin is an artists retreat and between the mine and artist coming here that is pretty much the only reason people do come. The next night in the bar I met a guy, Rob, who took me up behind the town on a quad bike. What a fantastic view. Absolutely gutted now that my camera was stolen. I got, or should I say, had some great photos.

My mine visit is good. You just sit there for an hour talking to the other people or read a book. There are some couples from Canada but mostly from USA. We have some bus loads from Japan come through to. I spent a lot of time reading all the names on the walls. Had to put mine up there of course. Most folks with arthritis would soak their hands, elbows and feet in the water. I didn’t. I  hate the cold and its cold in the mine and the water is more cold. Be a good place if you had a hangover on  a hot day. Everytime you leave the mine you fill your water bottles with the water so you could drink it all day as it has the gas in it to. I visit the mine twice a day like everyone else and after the first day I have offers of a ride both morning and afternoon because the mine is 1mile or so from the village. At the RV campground is laundry facilities and internet connection. An employee of the mine took me into Boulder to do some grocery shopping but I didn’t end up eating dinner at my cabin very much as I got invitations to eat with some of the locals and their families.

One day I am sitting at the table in the mine and pick up this puzzle that is made of 2 pieces of inter- twined wire. As most of the people that are currently here have been visiting for many years running, they all pipe up and tell me I might as well forget about try to get this solved. No-one has managed to do it in years.  All you have to do is separate it into 2 pieces. Looking at it it looks like there is no way I can be done. After a half hour of fiddling it suddenly parts. It was almost like a standing ovation. Then of course the bet was on that I couldn’t do it again. Someone put it back together again so I couldn’t see how it was done and the next morning I set to solving it again. And yet again I got it out. This almost made me famous. Everyone that came into the cave was then told about how Ingrid got the puzzle separated. Actually it happened 3 times all up but I don’t really know how I did it, just luck I think.

This whole time here I am suffering from the whiplash I had managed to get in Santa Cruz. I end up going to Rob and Echo’s for dinner 5 nights and have met some fascinating people from all over the US and Canada. One couple, Mary and Herbie from California were the biggest characters I have ever met. They had everyone in stitches of laughter all the time.  When it came time to go, luck was on my side again as a couple from Edmonton were going home the same day and I hitched a ride through the vastness of Montana to Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to visit my great aunty again. I have now been to the state of Montana in the USA.




Evolution Slimming

Cont…..85

My great aunt has moved and is no longer in the centre of the city. The next day after instructions on buses and their numbers I am in the centre of Calgary seeing a chiropractor. Oh the relief by that night was so good. Because it is so bad I visit the next day to. I have heard from Spain and have my volunteer week sorted out so book my flight out of New York for Madrid. I post a parcel to myself in London but put New Zealand as the return address. This as it turns out this was a good idea. Calgary, like in Basin, is a lot warmer than I thought it was going to be at this time of year so I put my ugg boots in the parcel to.

I hear from my friend, Marc, (I met him in Ecuador) and get his phone number and instructions on which train to catch in New York to visit him in Williamstown, Massachusetts. I spend most of my time in Calgary talking with my aunt. As like last time I don’t know when I will be next seeing her and every moment is precious.

So after 2 visits to the chiropractor, a flower show, shopping, and meeting new people and going to different places, I am on a flight again and off to New York, albeit the long way round. Yep I had to fly to San Francisco and catch a flight onto NY. After landing in NY I catch a shuttle to Grand Central Station and get a train to Wassaic. Marc was to tell me later that Boston is closer. At least I know for next time. Marc is there is pick me up and then it’s an hour or so drive to his place only a few miles out of Williamstown. I immediately like where he lives. In the country with bush all around. Some days he even has bears outside his door. I have my first opportunity to check out Williamstown the next day. You don’t really know the place is there until you are right in the centre. It very spaced out with trees everywhere and huge lawns and not very many fences between houses. Very scenic and I can picture it in the autumn when the tree leaves change to golds, yellow and orange. There are lots of specialty shops, restaurants, and historic places.

As my neck is still a little tight and Marc owns a spa he has kindly shouted me a spa and massage. Beautiful setting for his business overlooking a river. Marc has also said we will visit the local Museum of Art. Now I’m not normally a huge fan of museums unless they are about ancient history like in Peru, Colombia…etc, but this museum was brilliant. Yes brilliant and when I say something like that about a modern museum and art none the less, then you can be assured that it is worth a visit. Wow, I love this museum. Williamstown has the prestigious Williams College so is a student town and very popular. I can see why. It’s a beautiful corner of the USA that I hope to visit again. Having my own personal guide is great. Marc takes me about to all places of interest and I must say big THANK-YOU Marc. Sadly I don’t have any photos from here. (Stolen camera) but this is the best excuse to return another time.

A short walk through a small wooded area from Marc’s house is a small lake. Each year the beavers dam it up. I didn’t see any but would have loved to. Have never seen any, not even in a zoo. I would take Marc’s dog for a walk down here is she would come. Marc at this time can’t walk too far and very slowly as he is waiting to have both knees operated on.

A few days later Marc has a friend heading to New York, so I wave my good-bye and catch a ride to the Big Apple’ with her. Great drive to NY, with a stop on the way at a huge supermarket/hardware store. God I wish I had my photos of all this.

http://williamstownchamber.com/ This is a very informative website about Williamstown.



Cont….86

So back in New York and I have the worst hostel ever. The one I stayed last year in Spanish Harlem is no longer there and the one I have picked is playing musical beds with everyone as they have no idea how to work the booking system on the internet. After the 3rd night of being made to move bed I put my foot down and refuse to move beds again.

I set off for Times Square and a day out in the thick of it all in the centre of NY. The traffic has been blocked off from going straight through the centre of Times Square and there is seating out for everyone. I get a coffee, find a table and sit for hours watching people. I find people watching a great pastime. Watch and wonder at what their story is, where they come from, where they are going…..where I am still going….. A visit to Ground Zero leaves me a little disappointed. I, for some reason, thought that there would be a big difference to the site. I took lots of photos and can’t wait to compare the progress to the year before. (I don’t get to do this though). It’s not as far ahead as I imagined it would be. I will try to return the following year and take another heap of photos.

Spanish Harlem is a better place to shop for family and friends and so on the train and up to 169th street. I don’t even have to work out which stop as I can remember it well from the year before. I spend the whole day here. Try a little Spanish, food, sunshine, laughs with shop owners…..great day.

Because I had enjoyed the art museum so much in Williamstown I set to the next few days visiting art galleries and museums. I have now got a thing about going to them. Yes my horizons are expanding. Who would have guessed? Instead of prattling on just follow this link and set yourself a goal of seeing all you can when in NY. http://www.nycgo.com/must-see-nyc/

I do more shopping, post off parcels and spend more time in Central Park. C.P. is another place I like to wonder and take photos. Even though I don’t particularly like the cold I think I would love to visit NY in the winter and have another try at ice skating.

Before too long I am on another plane and heading to Madrid, Spain for my volunteer week. I fly with Jetairways. This is an airline of India. Very nice indeed. You have the choice of Bollywood or Hollywood movies. Sorry I chose Hollywood, I just can’t do Bollywood myself. You have a choice of Indian or Western food also. Love Indian so that was an easy choice also.

I fly into Brussels for my change and flight onto Madrid. I have an hour up my sleeve for the changeover. What I didn’t know was that I had to go through immigration here for my entry into Europe. Oh god, there are over a 1000 people and 10 lines at immigration. I don’t panic (never do) and after getting through here head down the terminal and turn the corner for security check. Oh no!!! There has to be 2000 people here. I figure by the time I get through here my connection is going to be long gone and so I resign myself to the fact that I will have to organise another flight. I finally get through and look at my watch for the first time since flying in. 20 minutes late. Up the stairs, go to my gate…yep aint nobody here. I decide to look at the board and find that my onward boarding pass has a different gate number on it so I head to the gate which is posted on the big departures screen. When I walked around the corner at pace and heard a ‘Mrs Baker’. To my relief they have held the plane for me. You can imagine how red I went when I walked on the plane. Someone let out a ‘here she is’. Embarrassing!!



Cont…..87

In Madrid finally.

Been a long 24 hours from when I got out of bed. And it’s not over. My backpack has been left behind in Brussels. At baggage claim they offer to send my backpack to me the following day. Hell no!! I have been up since 6.30am New York time and not flown out till 4.30pm from there, had  11 hours flying to get here, and only have the clothes I’m standing in, no toiletries as you can’t take them through security, and you think I am going to wait till tomorrow for my bag. Not likely mate. I get a piece of paper which will allow me to come back through to baggage claim and catch the train to my hostel to get some sleep. It takes an hour to get to Al Centro. I get booked in and catch 4 hours sleep before taking the hour back to the airport, get my bag and take the hour on the train back to my hostel. I’m knackered!!

And so to the next day and I set about to find the LAN office in Madrid. After the mess up on Easter Island, LAN Airlines had still not credited my credit card with the compensation money they said they would. After a Google search and address found, I head out the door. It was actually easy to find. I ended up having a 10 minute conversation with the receptionist at the front desk. He was so interested in why a New Zealander is in the LAN office of Madrid. I keep thinking you have no idea the places I have ended up. I have the travel bug well and truly.

I head to the streets and see what I can. The palace is not far from where I am staying and I like this area. Love to just sit in the park and think about where to next. Today I am thinking about where the hell Kodak is. Damn him not being here.

It’s time to head to the airport again. Do you think I like trains? I love the underground trains. I find them the easiest and most convenient way to get about the biggest cities in the world. God bless the person who thought these up. This time I am at the airport to meet my friend from London whom I met the year earlier when we did the volunteer week. Absolutely great to see her again. That night we attend the evening where all the teachers are introduced to each other. As like the previous year we have a great mix of people from Ireland, UK, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and myself. Unlike the year before we don’t go to a local bar and get happy and crawl to bed at the wee hours.

I meet me friend by 7am and get the train to a restaurant that is open for us to have breakfast before taking the short walk to our bus. After some quick introductions we are on the bus to Burgos. This time it’s somewhat different to the last as it is only June. A lot warmer and in a city this time. If it’s anything like last time this will be another memorable week.

The hotel is very nice and really spacious. We are right in the middle of Burgos and it’s great for us as we have an hour with each person and can go walking anywhere we like so long as we are back on time. One of the Spanish gentlemen is from Burgos originally so I learnt all about, and saw, the place where he did his training for the Spanish Navy. Over the following days we all get to see a lot of Burgos and spend nights laughing at a bar only 4 buildings down from our hotel. Think this was just a little to close but the bar owner loved it. Never had so much business in one week.

My friend from London has also volunteered me to do the Haka. She has kindly said she will join in. A Pom doing the haka. This is going to be good! We have our schedules changed so we have time to learn it. OMG, haven’t laughed so hard in ages. Another Pommy guy, unbeknown to us, video’s us practising. It’s on Facebook. What a nightmare trying to learn this. Trying to teach a Pom how to pronounce Maori words is hard enough but when it came to the actions she just didn’t have the natural hand shaking movements.

Anyway the big night comes and most of us have a skit to do. No-one has any idea what everyone else is doing so when I started the Haka off you should have seen their faces. The All Blacks would have loved the frightened looks. God am I that fierce. Nah – not really! Some of the scared looks will stay ingrained in my mind forever.




Cont……88

The week at Burgos was just as many laughs as the year before and comes to an end all too quickly. I have met some exceptional Spaniards, had some great laughs, taught the haka to a Pom and seen the city of Burgos. I am now so pissed at not having any photos from this week and only a few that I have grabbed on Facebook from friends.

Back in Madrid a week later my friend and I meet up with Castor, a fireman, and his wife Esmeralda and some of the others from our week in Burgos, and go to dinner. It’s great having people that know the best tapas bars in Madrid.

The following morning I hop on the train with my friend and go to see her off at the airport. She’s going back to London and I am waiting to hear from a girlfriend as to when she gets into Barcelona. Her and another friend from New Zealand have been doing a tour which started in Rome and few weeks ago and they are about to get to Spain. In the meantime the LAN office have emailed so its back there to see them. They have sorted everything out and my money has gone onto my credit card and I sign off to confirm everything, have a chat with a new friend at the front desk and on the train again back to the hostel.

Two days later and I’m on the train to Barcelona. I love these trains. We hit 305kmph and you can still take brilliant photos out the window. I get into Barcelona and work out what trains to take on the underground and get on. I have a change to a different line and at one of the stops all these people get on. Having read that this city is notorious for pick-pockets I have one hand firmly planted across my bag that I have on the front of me with me other smaller bag underneath it. When we pulled into one of the stops I had to steady myself like everyone else. Well as it turned out not everyone else because in those 3-4 seconds my bag that is right next to my body has had some ass…… bloody fingers in it. My camera, world-wide roaming phone and some cash are gone. Thankfully I still have my credit card and passport. Boy are they good. They are quick and they had to go under my other bag and undo the zip from the side then slide it up and over. Because of the size of my camera and its being in a case and the small size of my bag that it’s in, they had to open it fully to get it out. As was pointed out to my later, at least they didn’t beat me up for it, and although I am missing close to 4000 photos it’s the phone numbers that I will never be able to get again that gets up my  nose more.

So I get booked into my hostel, find out where the Police station is and head off for there. This involves getting back on the underground again, and heading back to more or less where I had come from. I find it after a bit of hunting around and go in. The place is full of tourists that have been robbed. I sit and wait my turn and have these 2 Finnish girls tell me how they got one of their wallets. She was paying the lady for her purchases and her friend was standing beside her. She had her hand over the top of her purse, but not resting on it and when she went to place her change in her wallet it was gone. So a hard lesson to learn. I had all my bags padlocked and even with my small bag under another and they still got in. My advice would be to wear a money belt and tuck your shirt into your pants. Might be uncomfortable and look hideous but beats losing money, phones, credit cards….etc. Or have it round your neck and down your front, under your clothing. Girls have the advantage of being able to put money in their bra. I say ‘do it’. I didn’t sleep that night I was so pissed at myself.




Cont…..89

I warn a French girl the next morning about how good they are and tell her to lock her small backpack that she is taking with her that day. She follows my advice and just puts some tissue paper in the outside pocket which cannot be locked. On her return that evening she tells me how she is walking down the street and had this feeling that someone is behind her. She turns around to a guy that is right up behind her. He takes off and on looking at her bag finds there is no tissue paper left in it. She was a bit shaken at the fact she hadn’t even known he had come up behind her. Welcome to the Barcelona pick-pockets. And no, not a damned thing can be done about it. The thought crosses my mind that I would love to fill it with s___ and let them go for it!!

Next morning I am into the centre of the city to meet my friend. She is enjoying her first time in Europe. We set off down the street and decided that where we ended up is where we end up. No rush to go anywhere. Barcelona is full of some majestic old historic buildings. I must get some photos from her. And where we ended up was right down at the waterfront and wharf. Nice area down here. Barcelona is of course packed with people from all over the world. Well that’s what makes it a pick-pockets heaven. As, like in all major cities of the world, the centre has so much for you to look at and it’s hard not to shop.

The hostel I am staying in is only a short walk to the beach so Cynthia and Michelle come and join me for an afternoon in the sun. As we put our towels out and get set to relax Michelle notices that it’s a topless beach. On having a better look around we realise that over to our right is nude bathing. We are on the topless side of a narrow ditch in the sand. Now I’m not a prude but I don’t want anyone else but the man in my life seeing what’s under the covers – so to speak, so my bikini stayed on. Oh the random places and situations I find myself. The thingy’s in Argentina that hopped on the bus in the middle of nowhere popped into my mind. I have some wicked memories in this head of mine.

Another day then I am on the train to Valencia. I will meet Cyn and Michelle there. They are on one of those ‘hop-on-hop-off’ bus tours. They go from city to city and can decide how long to stay in each city before catching the next bus on. I am not sure which company they were with but here is a link to one of the many sites that specialize in this; http://www.busabout.com/

I didn’t get into Valencia till evening so leave it till the next day before catching up with Cyn and Michelle. We walk to the Oceangrafico. We take the long way which is by walking an old riverbed that now has been turned into a huge park like area. People walk their dogs, there was a group doing dog obedience, tai chi, Mums and Dads with their children, etc. It took 2 hours or more. But you have a ‘wow’ moment when you get to the Oceangrafico.  The Oceanogràfic of the City of Arts and Sciences is the largest aquarium in Europe and is one great place to spend the day. We stayed all afternoon and caught the Orca Whale show. I am not particularly in favour of the oceans whales and dolphins being in captivity but at the same time did enjoy watching it. Call me a hypocrite if you like. I look at it this way – it won’t be until everyone in the world just stops going to these aquariums that they will close down. So while they are there I will go. To date I have only been to this one. The oceangrafico is not the only building of interest here. Have a look at this website. The architecture of these buildings are spectacular, let alone what’s inside.  http://www.cac.es/oceanografic/

Next day it’s shopping and looking about in the original old city of Valencia. I am cursing again about not having my camera and have made the decision to purchase a new one when I get to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. I am hoping it will be cheaper there. Cyn and Michelle are staying at a hotel so the afternoon was spent lazing at the rooftop pool. It’s late June and as hot as hell.







Cont…..90

Cynthia and Michelle are on the bus to Madrid so I am on the train. I haven’t even bothered to find out the cost of going by bus to Madrid. I don’t want to sit for hours and the trains are so fast and comfortable. The scenery in Spain tends to be the same everywhere unless you are going down the coast. After getting into Madrid I book my flight and hostel to Tenerife. Then it’s out the door and meet Cyn and Michelle and go to Al Centro and show them what is where. I have been here so many times that I know all the places – sort of – I usually discover more.  The next day I leave Cyn and Michelle to go through the palace while I lie out on the grass opposite and people watch.

Cynthia and Michelle are here for a few days so we hang out together until the day they are leaving and moving onto Burgos. I hit the underground and head for the airport only to find my flight booking has not gone through. I have received my confirmation email and after a trip back to the hostel and on the net to check my credit card, the payment has not gone through. I rebook my flight and ring the hostel. Let’s hope all is well tomorrow.

I am on my way to Tenerife. I couldn’t rebook to fly into the southern airport so I am flying into the north. After a short wait I catch the right bus and go to the main bus station where I have a 4 hour wait for a bus to the south. Tenerife is the same as Gran Canaria but I don’t mind that. I’m here for some sun and relaxation. Being in Madrid is like being in an oven, and you can’t escape to a beach. Time in the heat tends to go slow so it’s a relief to get on an air-conditioned bus. It doesn’t seem to long and I am in Costa del Silencio. I had read the instructions on the hotel website on which bus stop to get off and have a short walk to my hotel. I like this hotel. They double as a place for backpackers and have a small supermarket on site and 3 swimming pools to choose from. There are plenty of families and backpackers here so being the talkative person I am this suits me down to the ground.

The first morning I go walking to the local shopping area. Had to do some shopping of course. I have room in my bag as I left a small bag at the hostel in Madrid. I check out all the shops that sell cameras and decide on getting the same I had before. I like the Sony Cybershot but this one has a different battery charger so have to get the whole works and purchase a battery.  I spend a day in Playa de las Americas.

The pool, sun, and conversation occupies most of my time, along with the hotel cat that has latched onto me. I get some reading done and think about where to next before I head to London to meet up with Cynthia again. That is going to be Morocco. Another three days in the sun and walking everywhere in Las Galletas and taking the bus to here and everywhere has let me charge the inner battery so I am on a flight back to Madrid. I only have to get a taxi to the airport as I am flying out of the south.

The south airport of Tenerife is Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur and the north is Norte. Tenerife is actually the most popular of the Canary Islands. Don’t forget that on the island of there are the Pyramids of Gumar, Teide Volcano and Loro Park which has a tropical garden and dolphinarium. This park has the largest parrot collection in the world and has a parrot show. http://www.abouttenerife.com/





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