the delightful Miss K

the delightful Miss K

Friday, September 14, 2012


The hustle and bustle of shopping in downtown Benacassan!
A train and two buses getting increasingly dodgy with distance to the city and altitude, I made my way up through the hills of Valencia country to the little town of Montenjos... This was a shot taken along the way...

I finally reached the town and was very proud of making it so far off the beaten track with nothing but Spanglish as my armour.  As I wheeled my little strawberry suitcase through the town smiling at the simplicity of it all, I realised I was slightly embarrassed by my modern luggage and city-chick look.. that was until I found my hotel that resembled something like the Hilton for oldies. You see; the appeal to the town, (apart from being somewhere I was fairly sure no one else I knew had been), was a thermal river. I found myself thinking I was on the set of that 80's movie Cocoon. I was the youngest guest by at least 30 years. Way to make one's self feel like the baby of the hotel; the baby that everyone thought quaint as she spoke a funny language that no-one understood. 'How cute, lets adopt her!'

View from my private balcony!

Montagnos by night..

One of the old codgers (who called me guapo, which I later found out to mean beautiful) invited me to a dance one evening. I got excited, thinking it was going to be some cool swing band in one of the art deco buildings tucked up the hill and even considered wearing my jazz dress to impress the oldies with my vintage appreciation. When I followed his mud map, I reached the plaza with a mobile karaoke unit and a singer screaming out the chicken dance and the square teaming with enthusiastic chickens! Not quite as classy as I'd previously anticipated!


Massive sunflowers, bigger than my head!


The chrystal clear waters of the thermal springs. Unfortunately 25 degrees Celsius doesn't feel that warm when the outside temperature is around 30 but it was still 'guapo' and worth the trek!


Sign on the door to my room... I couldn't help wonder, what does the other side say.. Do me?!


Ahhhh those hot springs... magic!

Dinner for one... again. I wonder who the beer sponsor is...?! Turns out I didn't get to spend that meal alone in the end, some guy circa 50-something tried to chat me up, with not a word of English and in the end, I realised, he was inviting me back for a coffee at his house, in his village 6k's away! What is it with these people and coffee meaning sex??!! The best I could reply with was 'mi gusta signore in Australia'.. it was close enough to saying 'I'm taken!'

And after leaving Montagnos on the only bus out of town per day, at 6.30am.... I made my way via many modes of PT again to a town just south of Barcelona called Tarragonnan. I liked the sound of the Roman Amphitheatre right on the beach.
Hated the town, loved the Amphitheatre. I've never seen anything so old before, except maybe some trees in Tassie. It was extremely humbling to think of the many people that had been there before me. I felt very small...

Good street art and an end-of-the-day celebration. 50cent Corona, or Coronita as they call it. Ole!

Spy photo of a man with dreads to his knees.. why not!!

Well that marked my final night alone, the following day I was off to meet my mate Barks and his girlfriend in Barcelona for a true party experience. I was done being alone, its not the same when you're not single; great for a while but in the end, what's travel without people to laugh with??!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012


After a couple of days of Barcelonian madness, I met up with my good friend Ivan and together we caught the train north to the town of Figures; known for its Dali exhibit (which I never made it to) markets, which I never shopped at and Spanish bogans, whom I managed to avoid. We very quickly got out of there, via the local petrol station that sells farm fresh milk supplied by locals. I've seen snacks, soft drinks, even gas bottles in vending machines, but never serve-yourself milk! Love it!!

Next stop was Ivan's place. Unfortunately I never got any pics, probably because I was in hippy bliss and forgot about things like technology. It's not like they had electricity anyway! His place is a little place built in the 13th century and you could smell the history in the thick, thick walls. Their veggie garden was over flowing in abundance and their 24 fat chickens looking happy and healthy with no idea of their future as the household's latest money-making idea. Apparently I should have been disappointed that I was missing slaughtering season by two weeks! I faked regret. Anyway, the only connection to civilisation was the ancient village a couple of k's down the road called Maconet and I would wander down daily to connect with my Oz world and marvel repeatedly at how old, tiny and cute the place was. Here's me in the 'main street'!

And this is the sweet little village from a distance. Quaint eh!

Next Ivan took me to the place of his childhood: Colera. Apparently they named all their towns after scary, infectious things to deter pirates. This is Ivan sitting in front of his old home, the station master's cottage. No frills!

And at the top of the hill over looking 'beach of the dead'.

The hills behind his house.... Some know them as the Pyrenees...

After a few days in hippy heaven, we bid our fond farewells and I headed to the seaside town of Cadeques. Paradise by the sea and what I'd always imagined to be quintessentially Spain.

By night...

Local place of prayer...

Happy me in my ever-present floppy hat, over-sided sunnies and slight sun burn/tan

Innovative gardening..

After two nights of hedonism in the form of backpacker fun with my two new Dutch mates Jean Pierre and Martin, I reluctantly bid farewell to the town that would end up being my favourite in Spain knowing that I had so much more to see before meeting Barks in a weeks time. 
Next stop was the ancient town of Girona. I thought I could just arrive and fall into fabulous accommodation as I'd managed to do in Cadeques but the travel gods weren't so on my side this time and I dragged my damn strawberry suitcase all over town before settling in a place that was like a mix between Russian slums and Faulty Towers. By the time I found it though, I would have been happy with a sack in the corner of a hay shed! I didn't 'click' with the town as much as I had with Cadeques but still appreciated it's ancient beauty for what it was.

My Street! Someone should tell them they spelt it incorrectly though.. Perhaps I'll write a letter...

Construction. I figure the scaffolds are holding up the adjoining walls... I just liked the colours.

View from the outside looking in. The entire town is surrounded in a wall which makes it kind of cosy.


7/11 Catalan style!

The bakery!!

Local talent. Would have loved to have seen what he had going on!

Before we move on from Girona, I must share a story of Catalan romance at its best. I was making my way to the train station with my bags etc and was stopped by three guys who'd popped their heads out of their apartment foyer to call me over. The speaker of the group asked if I'd like a coffee. I told him I don't drink coffee, so he asked if I'd like a beer. I replied that it was 9:30 in the morning and so he upped the anti with offering a whisky, when I shook my head, he said, 'how about sex? Good sex? I asked if he meant with all three of them at which point they all nodded enthusiastically. I smiled and declined but left amused and pleased to know 'I still had it'! Go Miss K!!

Next stop, a million train changes to desperately make my way to the nothing town of Matero where Ivan's flat mate was to perform in what I'd understood to be human pyramids; they call it Human Castles (pronounce the 't'.) I didn't think it sounded like a big deal but when I got there hot, late and in danger of sunstroke, I realised the mad journey had been worth it. This is what I found...

Check out this link for the spectical in action. I posted it on youtube for all to marvel at..

And this is what happens when things go wrong...

As soon as I'd finished been blown away by the castles, boofed by the sun and skyped the fella back home from a Turkish take-away joint, I high-tailed it out of that town ASAP. Lets just say it wasn't pretty and I was fairly certain my future did not lie there. I made it back to Barcelona then used the last scraps of my phone battery, nicked the wireless from a dodgy cafe at Barcelona Sants and decided very quickly that I was off to Benaccassan, a beachside town a few 100k's down the road and deep into the East Coast of Spain. I was about to enter the true unknown.... Ole!