Wednesday, September 9, 2015

From Madrid to Santa Marta de Tormes

I had set the alarm for 10am when I finally fell asleep last night but my internal clock woke me up at 8am and I quietly slipped downstairs to use the internet while the family slept. I  peeked out into the street to make sure that the rental car was still there and it was, note still tucked under the windshield wiper. We left the apartment around 10am to go in search of rope to tie down the luggage securely for the two hour drive to Santa Marta and to get some food in our stomachs. I ducked into the first Chinese market and asked for "soga", Mexican Spanish for rope. She shook her head and we were back on the hunt. We stopped at a cafe in the Plaza to order some breakfast. Everyone here is smoking and we can't get away from the smoke. The girls managed to find a couple tables without ashtrays on them so we took that to mean the nonsmoking section off on one side. Jose ordered breakfast for us.
I was in search of the infamous Spanish tortilla that I have heard so much about for the last few years. I didn't know what it was called but there were a couple tortillas on the menu on the wall. José ordered the tortilla de bonito for me. It is a mistake that none of us will ever repeat again. It was served on a baguette with what appeared to be scrambled eggs with tuna mixed in. I ate it because I was hungry but I did not enjoy one bite of it. I hate fish and I only eat tuna under certain circumstances, this not being one. José and Mia were quite happy with their breakfasts. They love their ham and eggs and the french fries are just extra. Wasps were buzzing around and taking to partake in our bacon and tuna egg sandwich as well and I was all too happy to let them. The girls, on the other hand, were trying to hide under the table. Erika didn't order anything to eat, just her orange juice so they left her alone.
Aside from the cigarette smoke, I enjoyed sitting out in the plaza and people watching. Erika was a little chilly so we walked back to the apartment to grab her hoodie and boy, was that fun! The note was missing from the windshield of the SUV so I went to open the door and grab her hoodie. An older gentleman stepped out of the building in front of the vehicle and proceeded to give me an earful that I was unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, not able to understand due to the Castellano accent and he was not very happy at all. Erika grabbed her hoodie and we hopped in the car to move it down to the street until we were ready to leave. I don't think they like tourists in this neck of the woods, especially ones that park their rental cars 3 feet into your driveway. Who in the heck wakes up early on a Sunday morning and drives somewhere anyway?
Ms. Erika on the other hand is still very emotional and upset about moving here and leaving her family. It has made this journey very hard for me because no mother wants to see her child unhappy but I know that it is going to get better. She can't see beyond the here and now and it's like her world has come to an end. This isn't the end of my travels and at some point, she will have to make the choice if she wants to stay behind and be without her mother and sister or if she wants to come. Personally, my mother moved us so often that I never had the chance to develop strong emotional attachments to anyone so moving was never this emotional breakdown. Erika wasn't quite this bad when we moved to Mexico last year and by month 3, she was quite happy and having a great time. Let's hope it doesn't take that long this trip!
We walked over to the fountain in the plaza to explore a little while Jose was waiting to pay the tab. Erika was able to smile through her tears thankfully. This has been a long journey to get here so far and I'm sure the stress is adding to her emotions as well. After José paid the tab, we wandered into another Chinese store and we decided to look for rope instead of asking for it. We finally located two bunches of cord that they use for clotheslines. Here it is called "cuerda" like a cord so the first gal probably had no idea what I was talking about when I asked for a "soga", oops, live and learn. Then it was back to the house to repack all of our suitcases and rearrange them so we could make the ride as comfortable as possible for the next leg of our journey. We must have looked a sight carefully laying out a blanket on top of the SUV to protect it from scratches and loading up all of our bags.
We managed to get the two largest suitcases and my old Army duffel strapped onto the top and everything else stuffed inside. The girls have their carry on suitcases on their floorboards and the back is stuffed to the roof with a small space for me to view through. Thankfully it was pretty easy to find our way out of town and onto the highway to Salamanca. I didn't realize that they have toll roads here, similar to Mexico. It costs around 15 Euros from Madrid to Salamanca and I'm not sure if there are free routes as well. We went through a long tunnel 3km long so we didn't bother trying to hold our breath through that one.
We found our next AirBnB rental fairly quickly and the owner met us within a matter of minutes. It was a small two bedroom apartment located on the 3rd floor. We used the very small elevator to haul all of our luggage upstairs and settle in. The view out the living room window is the rooftops of all the surrounding chalets. I've reserved the place for a week to give us a chance to get to know the area and find a long term rental for the family.

1 comment:

  1. I am just now getting to read about your journey. Your journeys are a good read I look forward to reading everything you write. I would have loved to have gone on this journey with you.



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