Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It was the BIRD POOP ~

How can my life in Spain be boring when every time I drive El Carro anywhere, I get lost?  This time, however, as big of an adventure as I keep creating, it wasn't my fault.  When I drove down Aveninda de España this morning with adventure in my soul, I knew exactly where I was going.  Estepona was only thirty minutes away.  I'd spent a week there and knew exactly where the roundabout was to take me past the H10 Estepona Palace Hotel.  I was definitely on a roll.  However, as often is the case when you are sure you have the world by the tail, something happens... Twenty-five minutes into my trip, I drove beneath an overpass and bam!  A very large bird pooped on my windshield.  Not only poop...but several very large pats of yuck filled my screen so badly, my first instinct was to turn on the windshield wipers.  So I did.  Oh no!  Where's the water spray to make it go away?  I had absolutely no idea.  None of the buttons gave me water.  So, the poop scraped back and forth in front of my eyes so badly that I had to squint to see between the shine of nothing.

And this happened when the speed limit was 120.  Now,  this is another very strange phenomena for an American.  In America, it is miles per hour.  Here in Spain it is kilometers per hour.  Truth be told, it's been driving me mad.  In America, our signs list 50, 60 or 75.  So, imagine me seeing 120 kph (never did it) and trying to figure out what that is?  (74.56 mph) And this mangled bird poop stripping my sight from the road?  I was frantic.  I wasn't panicking (yet) because I could still squint enough to see between the shiny *&^$^&*)) but I knew the roundabout was coming up! Yes, I was driving when I took this photo ever so carefully and you can see it is 108...

Off I went on the roundabout.  Exit 1? No.  Exit 2? No.  Exit 3?  Maybe, so I took it.  Uh-oh.  I needed Exit 4. Rats.  The dang bird poop...  I have driven around so many roundabouts that it's amazing here...Little signs with circles and arrows pointing to which way/which city.  This time my squinting through the shine didn't work.  I would turn around.  About a mile farther, I found another roundabout (really?) so I obviously drove around it and headed back the other way.  The first exit looked wrong, so I skipped it.  The next one had a roundabout.  Yes!  Wrong.  I knew it as soon as I saw the huge statue.  It shouldn't be there at all.

But I did see a gas I went.  I needed gas anyway.  Another silver lining?  After I filled the gas tank (glad I know how to pump my own gas) I found a water spigot.  It swallowed one of my euro coins but at this point, I would have paid more.  I sprayed my window...scrubbed it nicely and then turned around to find a man staring at me.

"That's for water in a radiator."
"Really?  Well, my radiator is fine.  It's bird poop I need to get rid of."
He looked at me, then at the car and burst out laughing.  "Okay," he said.
I raised an eyebrow, returned the hose and got in the car.
I'd seen a sign to the Estepona Palace Hotel as soon as I drove out of the gas station.  Yay!  I headed that way and saw a massive roundabout that I recognized with a huge boat...I was at the Estepona port... so I swung up into a lot by the grocery store, parked and got out.  I wasn't driving one inch farther.

I pulled out my map of Estepona (thank you, Cristina Romero) and started walking along the waterfront.  The main street took me past the bull ring, the cafés, shops and I recognized the entire area.  I was no longer lost!

I walked almost two miles before I found Calle Terraza, where I knew Loli's Flamenco Shoe Shop was near...on Calle Lozano.  And Loli was so happy to see me!  But my black, snake-skin shoes with the red cuban heels had not arrived yet.  Sad times.  Que lastima! What a shame.  She asked me to try on others and I did, but I want mine!  Maybe in another week, she promised.

Well, I was in this lovely oceanside town.  What to do?  Shop...not really.
I heard a woman with iron-gray hair hanging to her shoulders repeatedly scream one word over and over.  When I turned around, I saw a tiny, very scrawny, dog running between cars trying to get back to her.  Then I saw a middle-aged man walking down the pedestrian-stone walkway.  One hand held a cell phone (mobile) to his ear while the other hand was wildly manipulating his privates.  Then once I worked at getting that out of my head, I was standing in front of an elderly gentleman sitting in a wheel chair.  He winked at me and grinned.  A young woman in hot pink leggings held his hand and talked loudly in Spanish, while her hands danced a jig in front of his face.  And then I spied a child's shoe sale and the yellow Mary Jane-Grammy bait pulled me in.  My granddaughter's second birthday is very soon...

I found the large square where four restaurants share the area and sat myself down.  At the Heladaría Italiana in Gelatería Caffe Del Centro, a café con leche con vaso largo (large coffee) and a croissant was perfect.  And people watching was exactly what I planned to do.  There were families holding very large ice cream cones tightly in their hands with their tongues trying to lick them before any escaped.  There were couples holding hands, lingering to look into shop windows.  The air seemed festive, Spanish voices surrounded me and as I let the buttery croissant melt in my mouth, I'd nearly forgotten about bird poop, speeding trucks trying to force me to drive faster and my flamenco shoes.

Finally back home again, I took a big breath.  I'd missed the exit to Calahonda coming from that direction.  Really??? Yes.  So, I decided to celebrate by cooking myself a Spanish almuerzo (lunch) of chorizo.  No directions on the package.  Fry them whole?  That didn't look right.  So, I sliced them and fried them like we cook up Portuguese linguisa...with potatoes (of course) and tomatoes.  And it it even tasted like linguisa.  PERFECTO!

Tomorrow is a new day.  The Universidad of Huelva waits.  And thanks to my friend, Rina R., I have a man to call if I get lost and a woman willing to give me a bed for the night.  Life is sweet.

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