The next few days—Granada and the Albaicín
I entered Granada hot and tired after a full day of riding the Sierra Nevada Range. The temperatures were rising to a dull 39C / 102F and the traffic of the city made for some confusion and chaos as I tried to negotiate the way to the hotel. Gary had booked it for me, with chief criteria being wifi and a pool and he found one that was located near the Alhambra where I planned the next day of touring, especially since my moto-friend Orson recommended that I not miss it! It was after about 40 minutes of perusing one way cobblestone streets, filled with buses, scooters and small cars that I threw in the towel and decided to make a cell phone call home.
Day 3–Motorbiking in Spain
Well, it played out oddly, in that prior to getting the bikes, our rental car’s transmission went out with less than 3k on the vehicle and my traveling partner, Ken, had to push it off the roadway as he was alone. In doing so, he injured his back. He came to the revelation after gathering the bikes that he could NOT ride for any length and that riding up the dirt track was utterly painful. Suddenly, as fate will have it, I was once again a solo rider, only this time in a foreign country. Talk about a stranger in a strange land! My biggest fear was not being able to communicate, however this proved less of a barrier than I originally anticipated. An unending smile and a hearty language attempt took me where I needed to go and always with assistance in kind.
The most difficult part of my trip to Spain was coming home, though I had missed my husband and looked forward to seeing him and my family. The return flight felt like a blood bank extracting my vital life blood sending it to flow upon the dusty arid plains and mountains of Spain, feeding the exotic and soon to be distant world. The farther the distance grew, the less settled I became and upon landing in Chicago, I felt listless and drained. Many would say the feeling was the result of “jet lag”, but I felt it more akin to being given something precious then, after a moment’s jubilation, having it snatched away and being left with an empty palm. It is with this in mind that I write my Spanish impressions and share the amazing experience I encountered in a country whose language I didn’t know and whose history I could barely fathom. I feel fortunate having the ability to make this trip, one that many people can only dream of.