Day 11 – In Granada

26 Mar

Breakfast in the Garden Cafe, Canopy tour, howler monkey, great instructors, touring Granada, cathedral, museum, lake, ice cream, woman in room during shower,  burger and fries, sunburnt, horse and cart, boat trip around islands, bird spotting, chicken versus osprey, air conditioner, prostitute proposition, great evening meal, keys in a bowl, bed.

That’s the short version over.

Took Lou’s advice and joined her and Maurisio (the painter lodger) for breakfast at the Garden Cafe. Went for the “Grand Slam”, just to maintain the stereotype you understand. Ended up being late, but when you are with the tour leader, she kind of understands!

Departed in a bus for our canopy tour. Eleven of us were brave enough. Met our instructors in the cloud forest on the slopes of the volcano, and got the equipment on – harness, hat and gloves, which all proved to be essential.

We had about five instructors for our group, and Bitte wanted to go in tandem with one of them. We were shown how to work the brakes (gloves required) and his English was very good. This didn’t stop a couple members of the group nearly slamming into trees later on.

We were led up one by one and clipped in – and jump “power”. The gradients started off gently, and progressed to a bit faster. We also had an option to do a “superman” which involved wrapping your legs around an instructor and hoping he would brake for you before you slammed into a tree. Other than that several people were too quick  on the brake, and some didn’t understand the concept at all.

We also heard a howler monkey, and saw one sleeping in the trees. The instructors also started making monkey calls for no apparent reason. We also had the chance to swing like a monkey – upside down, with no opportunity to brake – heading straight for a concrete paving slab and tree. Thankfully we all survived the experience, although we didn’t all manage to do it upside down. I did, and tasted my breakfast again.

Surviving that we were faced with a golden orb spider – a deadly variety, but managed to move on to the last slide which involved a bit of a shove and a bouncy bouncy effect. One of the instructors was carrying my camera and taking the photos, but he almost dropped it when he decided to go upside down. Several gasps later, and he quickly recovered it.  All very enjoyable but only for the tourist market. A minibus took us back to Granada.

I then had a few hours to explore the city, and visited the cathedral during a service, as well as the museum next to the church of St Francis which was very interesting. Then I wandered through the more traditional part of town, down to the lake and stuck my fingers in it. At midday, it was a tad hot, and I was perspiring somewhat. On the way back, I stopped for an ice cream and then met Phil sitting in the hotel foyer looking over the square. Ordered a cheeseburger for lunch and had several drinks to replace fluids.

After a shower, which was interrupted by a cleaner entering the room, we reconvened for a boat trip around the islands. We took a horse and carriage, and I somehow ended up in the pink one, with the new horse. Several stops later, which with a new horse and a one way system might have made it quicker to walk, we got to the lake shore. Lots of locals in the water fully clothed and then having barbecues on the beach with their families.

We all boarded the boat after a slight delay and wiped the seats from the previous occupants – a fishing trip – if the blood and fish. No seat for Lou, as we had a full compliment of 14.

Predictably, Susan asked if she could buy an island, and there were some for sale “Se Vende” signs on display. Got quite addicted to spotting the birds, and we saw an OSPREY, as well a lots of others that I can’t remember. Lots of the islands had posh houses on them already and one was surrounded by barbed wire. One of the islands was also inhabited by 4 monkeys that had been stranded there by a vet. The only real bird photo I managed was of a chicken on dry land.

Arriving back on dry land, we headed back to the hotel in a bus and met in the foyer for an evening meal in Restaurante Mediterraneo.

I was slightly later crossing the square, and was asked by a group of woman if I was their “friend”. Considering that Werner had already established the going rate was $20, I quickly passed by.

Lots of sangria – 2 litres between two of us, and we had a great meal for less than £15 each, including a shared tapas starter.

Staggered back to the hotel, after suggesting to Lou that we rearranged the rooms on a random “keys in the bowl” type arrangement. David also invited the three of us to his house in North Yorkshire at the same time next year.

Had a shower and am currently trying to get the head and the sangria separated.

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