Due to minimal budgets I basically just find the cheapest transport and accommodation possible. On Saturday night I found a cheap hostel in Madrid and a super slow train through the mountains all day Monday. It was about double the time and half the price of most of the other journeys so naturally I took it.
I was waiting at my platform expecting a semi modern train to arrive when a glorified steam engine pulled up. The doors didn’t even open themselves, it was like something from Harry Potter. There were no plugs or wifi on the train and the only toilet smelt like balls and urine. Despite this it was actually a really nice journey.
The ticket inspector at the beginning of the trip told me something in Spanish, I panicked and just said “si”. When he said the same thing to the girls behind me they started asking questions about time and place names so I had to ask them what he said. Turned out I had to change trains towards the end of the journey. Thank fack I asked the girls otherwise I would probably be in some tiny town in the middle of Spain right now instead of sweaty Madrid.
The actually journey was so beautiful we went up into the mountains around Valencia and through all these tunnels and over valleys. It was definitely one of the most relaxing and picturesque journeys I’ve taken. We passed through tiny little farming towns that look like they are ten million miles away from everything else. It was definitely worth the 30 beans for the views alone.
I think after this I will definitely always be going the longer slower route. I didn’t get to take many photos but I’ve never seen country side like what I saw on the train and I definitely would have missed it on a faster train.
I took a blabla car to Almeria from Granada with a man who sells fruit packaging. This meant we stopped at every fruit farm in between the two cities. Considering this is the main industry in the region, it was a lot. The journey took about three or four hours and was only supposed to take one or two. This was compensated by the breakfast and snacks that were provided for free-sies. He was really nice and brought me directly to the campsite. Old man number one was cool. A good start.
Old man number two was the bain of my life for a brief period. On Saturday I had to wait in Almeria all day for my blablacar so I decided to do all the touristy things. This meant I had to carry my back pack around with me (12kg!!!!!) I walked up to the Alcazaba, which is basically just a shitter version of the Alhambra. On my hike up to the castle I was stopping to take breaks in the shaded areas, this is where old man number two entered my life. He was the typical chatty brit living the retirement dream in Spain, giving out free life advice to anyone who will listen. In the space of no more than fifteen minutes he had told me to stay away from “the two pricks in life ; herion and dicks”, eat more vitamin c, stop being a vegetarian, give up alcohol and not to vaccinate my future children. He just kept appearing at every corner there was no escaping him for a while. Old man number two was the fucking worst.
Things picked back up with old man number three. He was my blabla car out of Almeria. With no common language and a five hour journey ahead of us, I decided to do the mature thing and put my head phones in and pretend to sleep. I woke up twice, once for him to buy me food and the second time for me to get out at my hostel. Old man number restored my faith.
The campsite I was staying on in Almeria was pretty quiet and I wasn’t expecting to make many friends there but these two cutie Spanish girls took me under their wing. The fed me for pretty much the full two days, drove me around when I needed and even gave me some new socks! Their English wasn’t that good but they tried so hard to make me feel welcome and were so generous with everything they had. This trip is definitely showing me how kind and willing to help people are.