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Running Around Andalusia

Well today was a day.

The past week has been a little off for me, but that’s all my own doing. No planning and no guidebook, though exciting, does make things a little more challenging.

I left Seville last week and headed for Granada. I absolutely love Granada. I was only there 3 nights and that was my first mistake. I should have stayed longer. It’s a bit city—lots to do and people to see. Brandy from Live Vicuriously was in town and we finally got to meet up for tapas & some drinks. I also went to a CouchSurfing meetup where I met Nellie from Wild Junket. That was a random and unexpected surprise. Travel bloggers are everywhere, lest you forget.

Why did I pick up and leave Granada so quickly? Well, I was anxious to get further down the Spanish coast so I could finally get into Morocco. I’d intended to get to Morocco almost 5 days before, but Andalusia was just too good.

Why was I rushing to get to Morocco when I’ve got a whole year of travel ahead? Well, I’m really just rushing to get to Egypt. I’ve already got a flight booked out of Casablanca and since I’ve already got a departure date, I wanted to make sure I got a decent amount of time to tour Morocco.

So anyways… I left Granada and planned to hit up the beaches of Malaga (sounded nice and relaxing). Malaga, in the end, turned out to be better than my first impression (windy and kind of empty), but two days there was just fine. Then, without any planning, research or thinking, I left Malaga with the goal of getting to another city to just leave my stuff while I spent a day in Gibraltar.

And that’s how I ended up in Algeciras. It’s a port city, very industrial (the beach and turistic stuff was a ways from the bus station). After quickly realizing what kind of place this was, and that there were no dormitory-style hostels, I quickly left. No more than a few hours and I caught the first available bus to Cadiz.

Cadiz is really nice.

My iPod battery now dying (remember, I started the day in Malaga), I had to quickly find some wifi so I could look up a place to stay here. After some frantic searching (and only getting lost twice) I found a place to stay. As luck would have it they had a bed and I quickly made friends with a dorm-mate. Plus I got the chance to call my parents for the first time so far on my trip. That day ended well.

The next day I spent on the beach. The day ended with just a mild sunburn—no big deal.

And that brings us to today.

By every measure today should have been way more stressful and anxiety-inducing than it actually was. I guess the fact that I got through it without any breakdown is proof of how far I’ve come.

Here’s the scoop:

I woke up early to catch a bus from Cadiz to Gibraltar. They’re on opposite sides of southern Spain but I really wanted to go there and, because of poor planning, I had to do it from Cadiz. No biggie, though it would’ve been smarter to do the day trip from Malaga. Oh well.

Gibraltar is pretty cool. As far as the hiccups that I encountered while there, they were: (1) it was too hot and I wore jeans; (2) I got lost coming down the rock; (3) my eye swelled up to the size of a lemon. A LEMON.

Ugh. And of course my little eye problem happened at that critical time right after the doctor’s clinic was closed and just before my bus was leaving to go back to Cadiz. The pharmacist didn’t want to give me eye drops because it looked too serious. And though I wasn’t in pain and could see just fine, it was freaking annoying.

I was sure it was just an allergy (they’ve been terrible in southern Spain), so I hopped on my bus and 3 hours later landed in front of the Cadiz hospital. Whew! It’s 10:30pm so I run in, fumble with my Spanish, get chided a few times for not knowing Spanish and then eventually learn I’ve got Conjunctivitis. Not that big of a deal. By now it’s almost midnight and I have to rush back to my hostel to get my new dorm key (I had to change rooms and left too early in the morning to figure it out) before the staff leaves for the night.

Everything’s okay now. I’m just going to have to push Morocco back another day. I’ll have to run out in the morning for eye drops and the timing just doesn’t work out to catch the last bus I need to leave for Morocco from Tarifa. I don’t need another day of running around Andalusia, so I’ll take it easy and spend the night in Tarifa. Which is supposed to be nice.

Plus I can finally do some laundry. If I’m lucky.


So all these little frustrations of mine that have added up the past few days really don’t seem so bad in hindsight. I got to see some weird monkeys, hang out on the beach, meet some new friends and more. What’s some pinkeye compared to a few days running around Andalusia? No biggie. Maybe that’s why I didn’t freak out about this as much as I normally would’ve. Life’s gotten easier like that.

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  1. I'm surprised you were even able to leave Sevilla mate! I spend a week there when my plan was only a couple days. I loved just wandering the streets, eating jamon, and drinking tinto de verano! I want to go back!

    Enjoy Morocco!

  2. Adam says:

    I stayed there four days and that was enough for me—it got to be too hot. Granada, on the other hand, I should have spent more than just the three. That place is even better for wandering. And they've got cheaper tapas, more delicious kebab and tea!

  3. Molly says:

    I've been reading your blog since just before you quit your job. I figure it's high time to leave a comment. Your blog is good stuff — I look forward to your posts. Hope the eye clears up.

  4. flexeble says:

    WOW. The things that travelers go trough in foreign lands, Hope the yes problem clears up soon and that no other medical problems delay or keep you for enjoying the trip to the fullest. We’ll have to talk about Cadiz as that was the one place that I definitely wanted to get to in Spain but my plans never worked with the tour I would have taken from Seville. Keep moving…

  5. adventurouskate says:

    Feel better, dude. Even a bit less time in Morocco could turn out to work out for the best.

  6. Life has gotten easier. I had to get all my shots for Rwanda and I got sick after, and instead of freaking out a little, I just took it in stride. I think it is a travel thing. When do you head for Egypt? I am trying to get to Morocco around June 15 or so and will be there thru the 23rd.

  7. Adam says:

    Thanks very much for commenting, Molly. Much appreciated :)

  8. Adam says:

    Hey Al, if/when you come back to Spain, you should definitely get to Cadiz. It was a really nice mix of old and new…

  9. Adam says:

    Thanks Kate!

    It's true – I'm learning to roll with the punches.

  10. Adam says:

    Life HAS gotten easier—despite all the challenges. Funny how that all works out.

    I get to Egypt on June 13 — I'm meeting @LizKoch there and we'll run around the country for 2 or 3 weeks probably.

  11. Adam says:

    Hi Susan, yep I wear contacts. But I haven't been wearing them lately just because of my allergies so I was annoyed when I got conjuctivitis despite my best efforts.

    You're going to go to Tunis on your honeymoon, too, right? I wanted to get there on this trip but I don't think it's going to happen. What cities in Spain are you going to hit up?

  12. Adam says:

    Haha thanks Monica!

    My eye is already heaps better.

  13. Susan says:

    I hope your eye is better! Do you wear contacts? Eye issues are really tripled when you do.

    So far your trip is my honeymoon and you've got me really excited, I keep sending your posts to Mike.

    I've done so many trips where I looked back and realize I could have made things more efficient, but sometimes it's just too hard too see that far out.

    I can't wait to read your posts about Morocco and Egypt!

  14. monica530 says:

    Aww…I hope your eye de-lemonizes dude. Lol Can't wait to hear about your adventures in Morocco!

  15. Raam Dev says:

    The size of a lemon, wow! I hope it gets better man!

    I can't wait to hear about Egypt! That's one place I definitely need to visit.

  16. […] I was running around Andalusia on buses from Malaga to Cadiz, Cadiz to Gibraltar, through & back again to Tarifa, I passed by […]

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