Current Anxiety Rating: 3 (aka Midterm denial)
25.10.2014 - 26.10.2014 80 °F
As some of you may know, I have been looking high and low for signs of Fall ever since October rolled around. Fall is a beautiful thing! Crunchy leaves; the smell of wet grass; that breezy, crisp fresh air in the morning; delicious McIntosh apples! It is the best! Don't fight me on this. Granada, on the other hand, has been stalwartly ignoring the changing the changing season like a 29 year old on the eve of their 30th birthday. Mother nature seems to be taking the just ignore it and it might go away approach. And with a good deal of success. The past few weeks have been a mix of (don't shoot!) mid-70's to mid-80's, with no rain in sight. This is all very well and good, but I. Want. Fall.
And, lucky for me, I did manage to find it. In the upper Sierra Nevadas of all places. (Which usually, this time of year are covered in snow, so go figure). This past weekend my program hauled about sixty of us up an hour's worth of switch backs to Los Alpujarras, and it was absolutely breathtaking. We arrived in the morning to our hotel and dropped off our stuff before promptly heading off on a hike that lasted about 5 and a half hours (plus a half an hour for lunch). I am not usually the type of person who is like "5 hour hike? Yes. That is my jam." As a general rule, if something requires 5 plus hours of walking, I am out the door before you finish asking me to do it. But when in the Alpujarras...
It was so worth it. I saw grass, I tell you! Actual grass! Whole patches of it! I stepped on more crunchy leaves than I have seen in the last month! It smelled outdoorsy!!! (Side note: Downtown Granada has a tendency to smell like a combination of a gas station and chain-smoker, so pristine, non-polluted air felt heavenly on my lungs). I was a happy camper.
See Evidence of Said Grass, Leaves, and Alpujarras in all its glory:
After we returned to the hotel, we all basically collapsed into our respective beds and showers, though not necessarily in that order. The next seemingly insurmountable task was trying to get myself to remain conscious for the next three hours until dinner. Also, on a different note, our hotel room was outrageously amazing! The view was absolutely incredible.
Take a peak:
After the three hours of putzing around and generally griping about being hungry, we all descended on the hotel buffet with the mania of a bunch of wild animals. There was so much food. And I was so hungry. And I had only one face to eat it with. The dilemma of it all. We all ate ourselves nearly to bursting and then waddled back to our room for some well earned sleep.
The next morning we said goodbye to our Fall mountain paradise and were whisked off to Nerja, a town situated right on the Mediterranean Sea. And when I say whisked, I do mean whisked. The bus driver seemed to have some sort of personal vendetta against his breaks or our stomachs because he was hauling and taking those switchbacks like he meant business. We somehow made it there all in one piece, not too worse for wear. Our program directors walked us to the center of town and told us all to meet back there at five before promptly disappearing to have their own fun.
A big mob of us decided to go track down one of the nicer beaches that was a little ways away, and boy was it worth it. It was the perfect beach day. At the end of October no less. The water was calm, it was 80 degrees, and the beach was full of Spaniards and tourists alike out for on last summer hurrah. Though it took me some time to muster up my courage, I gave the ocean another shot. And obviously, I have lived to tell the tale. The waves died down almost completely once you were more than five feat from shore, so I really didn't have to fight much to get out there. The water was a wee bit chilly but so clear and calm. It was wonderful. We made our way out quite a ways from shore and just goofed around and swam until we got waterlogged.
We dragged ourselves back to the beach, egged on by the fact that someone though they saw a jellyfish (it might have been a plastic bag, but without my glasses, I wasn't going to argue) and I just relaxed on the beach for the next few hours. It was a really, a pretty darn perfect day.
I'm off to study for midterms now, but I will be back with another post next week! And, I know I say it every week, but I mean it, thanks so much for taking the time to read
Thank you to the Helen Barr Rudin Grant for making this blog and my adventures abroad possible*