Monday, 23 November 2009

Me at work...

... In La Coruña.
Thanks to Monte for sending this photo. I like it.

I am still 'stuck' in Granada. Plenty of work - making hay whilst the sun shines. The weather has been fantastic here since I returned.

Planning my next route. A change of plan after learning about a little known route that begins in Cuenca. I'm going to find my own way from Valencia to Cuenca and then follow the existing path (if there is one) from there. Not sure on time scale. An open plan, but I am looking forward to meeting up with people in Santiago again. Oh, and I think I promised someone a sketch in return for a bit of time and a coffee :)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Walk Out to Winter...

...swear I'll be there.

Not often I wonder what Roddy Frame is doing these days, but today I thank him for a beautiful song and beautiful teenage memories!

All new winter togs :) With a budget of €200 I set out to buy my winter walking gear. If I had been offered a choice of a Million coats I would have chosen this one. And, it came my way for just €8 courtesy of my favourite second hand, Mr Ben shop. Brand new, snug as a glove, all weather proof and it is made from professional components - it says so on the label. Has to be good if it is the choice of professional coat wearers. Not a job my school careers adviser told me about, and I have to admit I had no idea that people got paid for wearing coats. Tough work in the Andalucian summer. I guess you would have to drink lots of water.

New boots also. They are seriously strong, no nonsense boots. Will last a year at least. All leather with tough rubber soles. They're called 'Worker' boots. I like that. I have always aspired to be a worker, but why bother going to all that trouble when you can buy into the 'worker lifestyle' for just €27?

A new cashmere sweater for just €3.

Leaves me lots to spend on printed corporate style T-shirts. Well, if you can't beat them - join them.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Final Destination.

All pilgrims will recognise this...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Granada, Granada, Granada!

I always get stuck here. Mostly, because I like it here. Granada remains my favourite Spanish city, and this time around, making cash is proving not to be a problem. Great weather (although I sense a change), good work, plenty of good friends and many parties and hiking expeditions.

On the downside, I have lost count of the number of times I've been 'controlled' by the police. Seems like every other day. Don't think I look particularly scruffy, or wrongun like. It gets to you after a while. I'm simply trying to save enough cash for my next walk to raise more money for charity by selling sketches and picking up commissions, but I'm made to feel like a criminal. It's me who gets stuff stolen - go find the real criminals you cowardly little fucks.

Yesterday evening I went shopping at Mercadona. Carrying 5 bags full of groceries I sat down on a bench in Jardins de Triunfo to pause for 5 minutes. Almost immediately Policia Nacional turn up and ask for my documentation. They then run a check whilst one of them looks for my non-existent discarded drugs. All is fine. I'm not a criminal on the run. No criminal record, but hey, they politely tell me to fuck off anyway. I'm not allowed to sit on a park bench for 5 minutes. They then wait just around the corner to see if I return to collect my non-existent discarded stash.

Worse than that, some police are also issuing bogus fines to people. If they don't like the look of you they make up a story about Guardia Civil searching you and finding an illegal knife. €301 to pay at the end of the month, or you go to jail. Nice street policing!

Those are the hazzards of working on the streets and being perceived as being poor. Or, perhaps looking poor, but with cash to spend on bags full of groceries from Mercadona is even more suspicious?

The other hazzards are disease. There seems to be a fair bit of TB around. A mate is recovering in hospital with secondary meningitis that has caused a few brain problems.

Not all sunshine and fun. However, I do like it here. Staying until I have saved enough for my next walk and new boots and togs.