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Spain, Andalucia, Almeria

Stansted to Almeria - 0 km - Saturday 31st March 2007

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Flew from Stansted. Arrived late evening.

Diary - Top

At last a useful map! But don't rely on the walk time estimates. Cabo de Gata Níjar - www.editorialalpina.com - alpina@jet.es. With the rough mountain paths, we took about 3.5 hours longer than their estimate for the route from Las Negras to Agua Amarga. On other routes we were faster than their estimate.

We had a mid-day start which was just as well in some ways as I had had a Beccles Singers concert the previous evening and had prepared most of the food for over 50 people as well as having been off colour all week with a virus. The proceeds of the concert were for the school for peace in Congo.

We went to Stansted by taxi and Mini was up this time - previously when we left at 3am we found her asleep in her snug.

The chicken desk was open even though it was only 2pm so we joined the queue. Stansted had been on the news the night before with horrible queues for the Easter break so everyone must have come early. We are always in group A but this time we were group D, the last group!

We were behind two Spanish women accompanying three intolerably behaved boys. They would need a good excuse to explain their total lack of cooperation and, as Mini said, they avoided all eye contact to prevent having to face a death look.

Once we had checked in I posted my letters, got some money from the cash machine (I was expecting Joy to give me the proceeds of the concert and I was going to use this for my holiday emergency money (having written a cheque for the Congo Fund of course. In the event we raised £400 and decided in both our interests that we should put the money through the Beccles Singers account and the Congo account. Neil then changed some money and then we went to security. It was quite quick and we got on the little vlak to our departure gate.

We sat in an area from which no flights were due to depart. This worked well for a while but gradually people came there and it became intolerable. Neil left first. The people behind were doing an East Enders simulation all abuot calcium and eventually Neil scarpered. Then someone came and sat in his old seat and Mini and I scarpered as well. Our departure gate had been changed from 13 to 18 and this is why people had begun congregating in our private waiting area.

We sat in three different places in the plane. Mini was sad because she likes company. Neil and I didn't mind because we like to have a window seat and we got one. The Pyrenees were most spectacular and I got a good view of the Cape of the Pussy before landing.

We took a taxi to Aguadulce. It was 40 euros. The driver found the street on his navegador. It would have been good if Fernando had said it was on the corner because we went straight past it. Once at our torre, Torre Tanzania with the stress on the second syllable we wondered how to get in. Luckily a nice man was coming out and he said he was waiting for Miguel as well.

Miguel is the concierge. When he didn't appear the nice man telephoned Miguel for us. He would be there in five minutes. he came in about ten all apologetic. Fernando had said he would be waiting for us in our apartment so we had thought all we would need to do was ring our own doorbell. We had tried this but it produced no result.

When Miguel appeared he was all apologetic. It was his son's ninth birthday and they were celebrating. We didn't mind at all. He showed us round, we paid our balance and our deposit and Miguel went back to his party.

We fiddled about a bit, ate some of our made-up sandwiches and went to bed as it was past 10 o'clock by now. Mini's bed had to be moved so she didn't have to climb over the flex of her electric blanket. Then because the bed was moved she could no longer switch the light off and on from the bed. Luckily I always bring my little bedside light that we bought in a ferret shop on another holiday where there were no bedside lights at all. I find I can switch my light on and off with a stick.

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