It feels as though I have been put through the spin cycle…twice, but we made it to Colmenar in one piece. The flights here were pretty horrific, I grossly underestimated the amount of food we would need/want and overestimated the amount of hours of sleep I thought we would get. Also, it didn’t help that our long flight from PDX to JFK was not-so–conveniently broken up into two flights on the same plane…a.k.a no in flight meal (not even pretzels!!). Needless to say I was quite unhappy getting off the plane in NYC with what felt to be the beginning of a migraine and the realization we would have to pay for airport food. Nothing makes me more annoyed than overpaying for crap food. Anyway, the flight to Madrid was quite pleasant in comparison. The plane wasn’t full so I took advantage of the amenities (3 pillows, 2 blankets, a neck pillow, eye mask, and 2 seats, to be exact). Mikel chugged two complimentary screwdrivers and it was lights out for a few hours.
The other two flights I’d like to block out of memory, but I will say the finale consisted of a passenger a couple rows up scrambling to find his barf bag…I’ll let you fill in the rest.
Once we arrived in Malaga we were eager to get on the bus. As we were walking out of the airport the thought finally dawned on me that perhaps the bus schedule we had been given by our hosts wasn’t an airport schedule but a city bus. Turns out that hunch was correct, and off to the train station we went to get to the bus station. By some divine miracle we were always just in time. Every single hurdle felt like a huge accomplishment. And I mean little things, like choosing the right train destination, putting the credit card in the machine right (seriously, the guy in line behind us had to show us), standing at the right platform, getting off at the right stop. If we had done any of these things wrong we wouldn’t have made it to Colmenar on time and had no way to contact our hosts. At the bus station the bus nearly drove off without us…we had been told to stand in the wrong platform and when a bus pulled up to the stop next to us I thought hmm, I wonder if that is our bus and he just pulled into the next spot. There were no signs or bus numbers so we just ran up to it to ask, and sure enough it was, and the next bus didn’t come for another hour. Mikel and I exchanged quite a few glances that day that can be described as a mixture of exhaustion and relief.
We rode the bus up into the mountains of Malaga for about 45 minutes and Mikel stared out the window naming every car on the street. When we drove into Colmenar the atmosphere changed completely, in a good way.Our host, Denise, greeted us at the bus stop, and we were right on time! (I’ll talk more about our hosts in another post). We met up for a drink with her partner Gabriel and some of their friends from London at Hotel Balcon de Los Montes. We chatted for awhile over wine and café con leche and Dee looked at me and said (in her adorable english accent) “Abigail you look absolutely shattered, lets get you two home.”