Today we part ways with our amigo, Botz,
Spanish Rail Map: Black line is the route from Cádiz to Barcelona.
Clean clothes remain in the underground car park:
No showers or primping this morning.
Check out from the hostel and begin the search
for an affordable bite to eat and a cafe con leche.
We sit and watch the people we saw last night over and over again.
Another small town under the guise of a big city.
Trudge back to the car park to arrange our bags.
Botz delivers us to the coastline where we exchange fond goodbyes.
“You guys are like my kids!” he endears, and so we were adopted!
He was tasty and we’ll miss him!
Never soon enough, we’ll see each another again-
the call of España is irresistible.
Alone together again, we hike to the train station
outside the walls of the Old Town to arrange travel to Barcelona.
Leaving in a few hours, our tickets assign us separate male/female sleeping cars.
The train station is modern and clean.
We enjoy sink showers and a change of clothes.
After stowing the bags in a gigantic locker,
we return to the heat of the day in search of sights and a bite to eat.
Classical style sculptures are scattered randomly throughout the old town.
Spanish hours again foil our attempts to find a dinner.
Train leaves after 8pm, the typical set-up time for the evening meal.
Accepting a cold beer, a thoughtful server offers a reduced selection of tapas from lunch.
We request his favorite, a raw slice of salmon wrapped around a dollop of creamed cheese.
Back to the train station to gather our packs and find our beds.
Both our rooms are empty as the train rolls to a start.
Celebration with the ron miel from Málaga: moving forward in luxury!
Perhaps we would be able to stay in the same room after all…
Through the narrow golden hallways to the bar car for a beer and some crisps
to take in the beautiful countryside from the panoramic windows.
After a few stops, back to the rooms to see if any roommates have arrived.
A mature Spanish woman arranges her personal effects upon checking in.
We engage a conversation in Spanish until two young Canadian women with packs join us.
They speak no Spanish, only English and a bit of French.
So translating for the Spanish woman.
Shortly, a very tall, lanky, black-haired, young faced
Canadian from Toronto joins the social atmosphere.
The Canadian women are interested until his age of 19 is spilled.
“You’re just a baby!” they exclaim.
We depart to the bar car again for energetic conversation and beers.
At the end of the bar car, a clean-cut but rough looking guy
standing alone catches our eye.
We move to include the Spanish speaker we pegged as military,
but he is actually a futbol fan.
Around 1am, a heavy, high-strung boss-man
gives us the boot to our rooms.
The guys share with two older Spanish men in suits,
and so retire to the female only room.
The door is locked!
A swift knock notifies a presence and the chain is dropped.
Step into the pitch room and the door slams and locks behind.
Nothing to see, so settle into bed and try to sleep.