Evening starts to draw in, but the city continues to radiate the heat that has been beating down on it during the day. The
“It’s a little town, called Colac. I always say I’m from
“I know of Colac,” I nonchalantly mention.
“You’ve heard of Colac!? How come?”
“Yeah. The Timmons. You know, Neighbours.”
“The Timmons! Alright! I’ve been on the road for 5 months, and not a single person has known Colac.”
And so, we chat into the night and stay out drinking beer and eating crisps and bread until dawn. That’s when good Neighbours knowledge makes good friends.
The next morning, I meet Alex – for that is the Victorian’s name – over some breakfast, and we discuss what our respective days potentially involve. I mention I’d fancied that I might hire a bike, which he seems keen on too, so we decide to double up.
An hour later, we are winding our way through
We then climb up through the winding streets of Albaicín, pausing more often now that the sun is getting hotter, beating down relentlessly.
“42°C!” exclaims one signpost I pass. I begin to wonder whose bright idea all of this was. We then sail back down into the city, enjoying the breeze as we pick up speed.
We’re thirsty by now, and have both easily chugged down our respective litres of water, and plaintively complain to one another about our dehydration. At that point we notice we are riding down an avenue which is lined by trees sporting bulging oranges. A plan hatches.
A few moments later, I am heaving Alex up into a tree, from which he can pluck us a hopefully juicy orange. He drops to the floor and tears in to the fruit, and we each bite into a sizeable segment. The orange is indeed juicy, and sends juice splashing down my shirt as I bite into it. But something isn’t quite right.
“Gross!” Alex retches, tossing the remaining orange to the ground and spitting the contents from his mouth. We hadn’t realised these were Seville Oranges, only good for making marmalade with. I really am thirsty though, so suck away on my piece regardless of how acidic and bitter it is.
We give up on going back to nature, and park up at a café and order lunch. They add 5 euros onto your bill if you choose to sit outside on the terrace, rather than in the air-conditioned interior, which seems a bit of a no brainer. Inside, Leona Lewis sings of her ongoing menstruation problems and I eat anchovies to get my salt levels back up.
We mull where to next, and find ourselves glancing eastwards.
“Mountains,” we agree.
A few hours later, we drop the bikes off, and, somewhat unsteady on our feet, agree we should retire to our respective beds:
Güiza is denied, but so is Di Natale, and then Fàbregas tucks away the final penalty, and the city goes ever so slightly crazy for the next six hours or so. As the sun sets, car horns blare, Chris Columbus is scaled, and flags are everywhere.
We meet some girls from Houston, who insist we have to see a bar they are going to, where ladies get given free drinks for dancing on the bar.
“The sluttier your dancing, the larger the shot!” they excitedly tell us, and we are bemused by their unconcealed willingness to be part of such exploitation. I mean, how expensive is a shot? The bar is predictably horrific, and the girls glory in the unwholesome attention they are getting. As we watch them gyrate, Alex ventures that it is probably best, for their welfare, that we stay and look after them, as soon enough they will be extremely drunk and won’t know what they are doing, or with whom. He says something along those lines, anyway.