Tuesday, May 12, 2009

oh mi cabo de gata!

I'm almost up to date on all my posts, no way!

Last weekend we went on our last IES scheduled field trip of the semester (what!?) to Cabo de Gata, a national park of mountains, desert, and some of Spain's most gorgeous beaches. It's only about two hours from Granada, so we left around 8:30 and go there at 12:00 after we stopped for one last chance to use bathrooms and buy food. The weather was a little overcast and breezy, which was very lucky considering we had an 8 hour hike ahead of us. We split into three groups, the hard hike, medium hike, and easy hike. Most of us were unaware of these divisions, I ended up in the medium hike which was fine with me!

Our tour guide knew no English and led us all over the place. The park was absolutely gorgeous, we walked up huge hills, and eventually scaled mountains while beach hopping in between. When I say scaled mountains, I'm not exaggerating. We all went into "monkey mode," there were multiple points where I had two hands on different rocks, almost on all fours, to keep my balance and hoist my LL Bean-backpack laden self up the rocks. The views were unlike anything I have ever seen, crystal blue Mediterranean water encased by rocky mountains and volcanic rock, with diverse arrays of flowers scattered all over the place. There were no cars anywhere, the beaches had no trace of modern technology anywhere, it was amazing. Nothing feels better than jumping into the Mediterranean after successfully climbing up and down super steep, terrifying mountains. I can't even imagine what that would have been like in the extreme heat! Even two of our three program directors who came with us were getting grouchy by the end, but after 9 miles of hiking we finally made it to San Jose where we were staying overnight.

We went straight to a little pizzeria in all our dirty and mountain-y glory and enjoyed pizza, pasta, bruchetta (nothing like Rome, but what can ya do?)and lots of sangria, cerveza, y shots of this lemon liqour that is supposed to cleanse your pallet, that our director of student activities, Jose, decided my table needed multiple rounds of. We were all pretty dehydrated, so all got pretty tipsy rather quickly, including the directors. All in all dinner was delicious and a lot of fun, minus the 45 min bathroom line since we're about 60 girls and 10 guys (I don't understand how girls take so long in the bathroom, I really don't).

me, jessie and jackie on our lunch break, and then pictures of the mountains and beaches!!

After dinner we picked up the rest of our stuff from the buses and made our way over to our hostel (normally IES stays in a nice hotel, but after a skinny dipping incident a few semesters ago we haven't been welcome back there ...) which was a couple blocks away from a pretty beach and lots of restaurants. I stayed in a six person room with Jessie, Jackie, Lydia, Stephanie, and Joya. We had so much fun, all of IES went out to a little pub and we all hung out, at some point the entire program used Lydia and my arms as a limbo stick which turned into a congo line, and by the end of the night I ended up on the beach with some friends along with Jose and Javier. It was a gorgeous night so we just sat around and talked til three-ish and then headed back to the hostel since breakfast was around 10am.

Saturday sadly was cloudy and a little chilly, it was actually raining when we first got up, but we trooped out to the beach anyways where I slept, read, and played some futbol. We headed back to Granada around 630 and I didn't end up going out that night due to exhaustion from so much traveling!

Sunday was beautiful here so Amanda and I laid out in the park all morning (I got rid of my pesky shorts tan, which now thanks to this gorgeous weather, and my affinity to running outdoors during peak sun time, is making a strong come back) and worked during the afternoon.

I have a TON of work to do this week. Not just by studying abroad standards, like legitimatly a lot of work. 10 page Islamic Civ paper (in Spanish obvio) on Iraq's Sunni and Shia relations due tomorrow (yikes), presentation for my grammer class on Thursday (part of the final exam, we've been "working" on it all semester) and then my first final on Friday in Sexologia, which is accompanied by the due date of my final paper for that class too. I also need to turn in a few papers that I consider busy work but do effect my grade in my Cine class as well. And of course the weather from here on out is going to be beautiful, mid 80s and sunny all the time!! Oh well, I'll get through it, plus one of the baristas in the cafe I work in has decided he likes me and gave me free coffee last night. could be worse ;)

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