Thursday, 28 May 2009

San Sebastian.

I'm staying here for a while. I like it. I like it lots. Safe cheap bed with free option. Good food. Good money.

If someone had asked a very specific question just One week ago I would have answered "Spain is a very diverse country in many ways, but you always know you're in Spain". Today the answer would be "Spain is a very diverse country in many ways, but you always know you're in Spain unless you're in Donastia/San Sebastian". This is NOT Spain. It is so NOT Spain. Very unique for many reasons. I definitely feel as though I've gone abroad, but I'm not totally sure where!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Donastia/San Sebastian

From here on referred to as Donastia, or San Sebastian depending on how the mood takes me. It's good. Two beautiful beaches. One with half decent breakers for surfer dudes. Great food. Beautiful surroundings and stunning sunsets over the Cantabrian sea, or Atlantic. Not entirely sure exactly where I am, or what sea I'm looking at. Many people here seem to speak hungarian though. That's a problem. I can barely understand Spanish.

Left my mates behind in Granada once again. Travelling alone takes a bit of adjusting to. Things have changed a bit in Granada. There is no longer a self-service laundrette. According to a local journalist I spoke to all 'street art' will be banned from June 6th. No jugglers, no miming, no human sculptures, no clowns, no music, no nothing and me out of a job! No doubt that is the local councils solution to fighting the ever increasing number of muggings. Public spaces for the public. They're our streets. We pay for them. Why the fuck can't we play the way we want in them?

No such problems here. I am enjoying a great deal so far. May even pluck up the courage to dive in alone on the sand-sculpture front. It's a bit scary.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning.

Many people ask me if I've read Laurie Lee's book. I haven't. So, I've just ordered a copy. Someone yesterday past on a Laurie Lee tip about the number of coins to keep in your tips hat/box/mat. Apparently you can have to few, or to many. Not in my experience. Perhaps times have changed. To few certainly. People don't like to see a failure, they like to see a winner. I'm more of a 'success breeds success' theory believer. More coins means more drops. Bigger coins means bigger drops.

Back in Granada. Enjoying the city as ever. To many parties to avoid mind. Planning sand-sculptures in my mind. Three basic elements; sand, fire and water. A few basic principles also. Obviously, the sculpture has to be good. Bigger the better. I'm looking forward to finding a suitable beach on the north coast to build 'Island of a Thousand Wishes'. Plenty of things to go wrong. I'm a little apprehensive, but excited also. Still need a partner/assistant though.

Hoping to leave for San Sebastian on Monday. This is Granada mind. It is a people trap!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


I'm back from the mountains. A few days of beautiful solitude - just me and the animals and a hot bath under a cherry tree in a forest dominated by huge chestnuts. Bliss.

Someone I met in Valladolid asked me if I ever get lonely. I do. But, not in the way I expected, or the way you might imagine. I'm more than happy in my own company when I'm walking in the middle of nowhere. Being several Kilometers away from the next human being is a very nice thing. The times that I feel lonley are when I'm in a comfortable hotel room, in a stange city on a bust Friday night. Not knowing anyone, or where the most sociable bars are. Still struggling with my Spanish in a noisy, party environment. Plenty of people around, but no social contact. That's when the lonliness hits. However, this is Spain. One of the most open and sociable cultures I've ever known, so the lonliness is a rare thing.

A few days of beautiful solitude in the breathtaking mountains of Ancares national park. Bears, wolves, wild boar with baby wild boar boglets. Peregrin falcons! I've never wondered why so called before. The "wandering falcon".

A few days enjoying quality company also. A very nice break.

All change again. New plans. For logistical, work and officialdom reasons, I'm heading for Madrid to get a cheap bus back to Granada. A few days there to sort stuff out then I head to San Sebastian to start sand-sculpturing my way along the north coast to Santiago. Hopefully with someone to help me. May not always be possible to sand-sculpture so, I'll be sketching also at times. May recruit an assistant in Granada, or may meet someone on the road.

Granada bound. I'll be doing my best to avoid the very strange Granada magnet!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Leaving Leon.

I'm off for a break in the mountains tomorrow. I'll be 'off radar' for a few days at least. Some people may see this a bit of a long holiday, but it is work. Enjoyable work, but work with long hours. Physically hard and mentally tough at times. I need a break, so I'm going to take one.

Thank you Leon. That was better than last time (without the snow). Great weather for the last few days. Fab May Day fiesta on Friday. Many, many friendly people. Tonight I'm off to the birthday party of the owner of the hotel I'm staying in. A rare invite - hotels are usually desperate to see me leave! Fellow pilgrims wanting a short stay in Leon and a break from the albergue scene check out Hotel Reina on Calle Puerta de la Reina. Lovelly people. Clean, comfortable. Simple, but from just €17/night for a single room for a night. Very nice place for that price.

And, I may have collected some nice work close by for later in the summer. I may be back sooner than planned.

I love Leon.

Oh, and thanks to you again :) Friendly people make cities so much nicer to visit.