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Spain, Andalucia, Almeria

Roquetas de Mar - Thursday 5th April 2007

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Boat trip. Sea sick (not us). Saw tornado.

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Diary - Top

Thursday

We caught a bus from Aguadulce to Roquetas de Mar. There were hundreds of local people at the stop waiting to go to the comercial centre at Roquetas. We think they were going to be rejuviated.

At Roquetas, we got the 12 noon boat trip. It was windy and rough and lots of people were sick but not us British! After winning at Trafalgar not far west of here we could not let the side down.

We saw a tornado. There are some photos in the gallery with enhanced versions with higher contrast to make the clouds show up more clearly.

We had an expensive but very nice fish lunch at about 1:45 pm local time. Many might consider EUR 20 each a bargain.

After our bus trip home we popped into the Locutorio to book a hire-car from Centauro. We hope this works. Up to now we have used public transport and rarely a taxi. The Cabo de Gata is so unpopulated that the bus service is minimal. San Jose is an exception with, according to the timetable, three buses arriving and four departing. We failed to find the bus factory.


Today we are having a rest day as things close in the afternoon and there will be fewer buses. We are going to Roquetas to go on SS Bottom. It is a bright clear morning as we set off for the bus stop.

When we get there, it is heaving with people waiting to be rejuviated. Buses take a long time to come and we realise that the festivo timetable has already started.

An Alsina Graells comes in but we want a Sur bus. I thought it would be all right but I was confused. There is only one an hour but with two bus routes we should be lucky. A quick look at the timetable shows that a number 1 and a number 2 leave Almeria once an hour on the hour. As the ride takes about 20 minutes we should get a bus at about 20 past.
When it eventually arrives, everyone surges to get on.

Luckily the second one comes and the people being rejuviated continue to get into the first bus while we go round the back and get into the second. The fare is different by 3 cents so I have the wrong money out and have to fish for more.

When we get to Roquetas, Mini remembers to post her post cards. Neil says she is not as gaga as she looks. Mini laughs a lot and says this is the best compliment she has had had for years.

When we get to the port, we get out and make our way back along the marine parade to get to it. Neil switches on his GPS to check that the port is actually there.

We meet the German lady once again. As we were not wearing our Tilleys, she spoke to us in Spanish first and she is much nicer in Spanish. In English she came over as very aggressive which can happen to Germans whose English is only moderate. Hence the need to teach culture and behaviour with a foreign language so that you behave appropriately in each. I've forgotten the name of the Finsk who gave a lecture on this in Nordwejkehout many years ago but I've never forgotten the massage.

We got three tickets - two for pensionistas which was good. The boat might not go if the weather deteriorated. She seemed surprised that we were not surprised by this proviso. We had an hour to wait so we found a warm chair in the lea of some bushes and looked for an ice-cream shop. We ordered our ice-creams and asked for the toilets. The lady said we could use the toilets - no need to buy anything but we said we wanted ice-creams in any case. We got three caramelos. The cornets were not crushed. While were having the ice creams the 9 o'clock boat came back in.

When we returned to the jetty the wind had dropped and the trip was on. There was a stiff breeze force 4 going on 5 and it was cool. Eventually I put on my cagoule against wind and spray. The sun went in, the wind got up and people started to be sick. In the end Neil and I were the only ones left outside and we had a private trip.

One of the crew came over to chat and was a mine of information on the weather and sea conditions. On the last stretch he came round with some sangria which was just the thing to ward off winter chills.

On the boat we passed the fish farm north east of Aguadulce. A fairly large converted fishing boat was shooting fish food out of a long yellow pipe through the air into the fish pens. The boat seemed to spend most of the day doing this. There were a lot of tanks. The tanks were surrounded on all four corners by marine bouys that flashed four warning lights simultaneously. A good way to warn off ships at night.

While our boat was returning to Roquetas de Mar, Neil saw a tornado. He managed to take some fairly good pictures. By increasing the contrast, it shows up the tornado very well. There was a storm over the land to our north and east but we had only a few splashes of rain.

As it was too cool for a picnic we decided to look for a restaurante to have lunch. We passed several where you could choose a fish. The waiters were hovering outside trying to lure us in. This puts us off.

We like to make a decision in peace. We choose one where there is no one outside. A waiter comes to help us. We make the mistake of admitting to being English and he tries to speak English to us. I flatter myself that I am good at understanding virtually anything beginners can throw at me but this waiter was almost impossible to understand.

He said he learned English 15 year ago and was obviously keen to practise. I like practising Spanish too so we each stuck to our chosen language and the conversation was quite dysfunctional.

We wanted a salad and two lenguados we had chosen from the front of the shop, He approved of the choice of he lenguados but then asked what Neil was having. I said one of these lenguados and then he asked what Mini was having and we said the salad. We couldn't talk him out of bringing a salad for two but we managed to get it all down us.

The sole was delicious and the accompanying mushrooms and boiled potatoes equally good. It was pricey but choose a fish invariably is.

As we are not eating out very often, it matters less any way. Before leaving the waiter (I call him Manuel) asked if we wanted a little drink. We didn't.

As we left the restaurante I stopped to sort out my mustang. A waiter rushed out - was it to make sure I didn't nick the fish?

After the fish we came home. Mini sat next to a very cheerful man who tried to chat her up. She didn't understand what he was saying but his intent was obvious. As soon as there was a free seat elsewhere she moved away. She asked what guapa meant, so he was being quite complimentary. He had been making the most of his holiday. Some years ago in Cyprus, Mini had another admirer who invited her into his bed! If my memory serves me right he was the local Greek Orthodox Priest who was a real character and charming too.

We had seen a cyber cafe at the bus stop and decided to go in to book our car for Saturday. It cost 25 cents for the time we spent. How can that pay for the computers? We have reserved a Ford Ka for Saturday. Then we came home and I did these worms and fell asleep.

For supper we had soup, tomato and cheese on toast and tiramisu ice-cream.

Espere verde Monteverdi

Criteria for choosing a restaurante Giusseppe Verdi

Expedition Statistics

More Downloadable GPS Files

KML Files open in Google Earth.

2007-04-05-Boat-Trip-Tornado.kml

GDB Files open in Garmin MapSource

2007-04-05-Roquetas-Boat-Trip.gdb

GPX Files are in XML format and may be portable between different GPS receiver manufacturers

GPS Babel

GPS Babel is a really useful tool for translating between GPS file formats.