Welcome to Andelucia
When my sister commented on my blog “sounds like Spain” in response to my post on the woeful lack of water gushing out of our faucets in the Greek house, little did I realise that she was serious. Visions of a relaxing time, floating around the pool with a cocktail in my hand went down the pan not long after we landed.
It was 11.30pm at night when the plane touched down in Madrid. After several heart stopping minutes, when baggage control spat out 5 suitcases, ground to a halt and just before the luggage-less occupants of the plane started to look for someone to lynch, the rotund cranked up again. Bloodletting averted we breezed through customs and found my sister and partner waiting for us. Despite a few delays on the way up from Almeria and having to guess which terminal we were landing at (none of us knew) they were on time.
Things seemed to be on track again until, with welcomes over, they admitted that they’d forgotten where the car was parked. After circumnavigating the terminal a few times, riding a up and down several lifts and wandering along empty corridors we found the right exit and headed towards the car which, it turns out, was parked in a “VIP only” spot. No parking ticket evident and no policeman around to check just how unworthy we were of the privilege we piled in and drove off before someone challenged us.
It should have been a 6-7 hour drive but Tom Tom, the sat nav, had other ideas. Three quarters of an hour later having seen most of the city sights and after circulating the same fountain in the middle of Madrid for the third time, my sister chose to mention that it was not only the sat nav that was playing up but there was no water in the house. It had dried up that morning.
It was a long drive back; Tom Tom directed us off motorways, into towns and developed a liking for small roundabouts. . Unfortunately, highway services in Spain are not like the UK where there are 24 hour service stations en route every so many miles and 30 ft high signs exhorting you to stop and have a rest because, as all UK drivers well know, “Sleep Kills”. In fact the only thing at got regular breaks throughout the night was Tom Tom who was shut down by our frustrated driver on several occasions Cranking up the music we attempted to stay awake to keep him company and make sure that he didn’t slump into a coma induced by lack of sleep and boredom.
At about 5.30 we finally found a place that was open and pulled in. It was obviously a stop for tour buses as the paraphernalia of tourist souvenirs littered the cafe area. Cans of olive oil, buckets of honey, hundreds of small clay pigs, china dolls, tacky silverware with photos on, boxed local delicacies – all at exorbitant prices – were some of the items on display. Still it was a welcome break and after drinking a bucket load of stand your spoon up in coffee we headed out again for the final haul.
It was 8.30 when we finally arrived home. I have never wanted anything more at that moment than to fall into a soft bed but the gods had one more trick up their sleeves to ensure that we remained sleep deprived for a little longer. The water had been turned back on again at some stage during our absence. Something had overflowed and flooded the floors. We got the mops out put the kettle on and started to work. Ah well at least I got to see the sunrise