After leaving Cologne I travelled all night and arrived in Alicante at about 9 am feeling very tired. I was a lot more confident in getting the bus this time after making quite a mess of the Berlin transfer.
I hopped on without knowing the route it was going to take, just that I was supposed to get off at Plaza de Los Luceros 17. I was watching on my sat nav on my phone as I got closer to the spot. But then instead of turning up the street like the directions said the drive carried on driving along the waterfront and started moving further and further away from where I wanted to be.
It was time to make a decision. In my sleep-deprived state, I was feeling quite exposed and it was tough to make the call. Despite every muscle in my body screaming “panic! panic! immediately panic!” I decided no, the bus would go around in some loop and not end up 5 miles up the coast leaving me with a taxi or long walk back. My faith was validated when a few minutes later we went in a big swooping motion around a corner and started heading back towards the roundabout on my map.
In the end, for some reason, I did bottle it a little bit. When the bus stopped at the stop before I leapt to my feet, grabbed my case and stumbled out into the morning sun. Squinting a bit (my sunglasses had remained packed away in my suitcase so far into this trip) I took in the sight around me. You can see what I saw actually in photo two in the gallery below. This was about 5 meters from where I got off the bus.
Why did I panic? Well, the voice was telling me to panic and it suggested to me that we were technically close enough and that what if, hear me out, this whole street was Plaza de Los Luceros and my sat nav wasn’t showing me the exact spot I would have got off. I wasn’t able to stand strong against a second thought of overshooting it and I decided I had been lucky enough so far that day.
It turned out that getting off the bus was a great idea. The weather was nice, the people were calm and in a morning mood.
It also later turned out that the bus would have dropped me off exactly where the spot on the map was flashing.
But this way I got to stretch my legs for a few streets and I spotted the cafe I would later have breakfast in.
I quickly found my way up to the hostel but I was not granted permission to check in until 2pm that afternoon. It was still about 10am at the time. They took my luggage into relative safety and I set off back out into Alicante to go grab some breakfast at one of the cafes next to the roundabout with the idyllic view. I just wanted to keep it simple at this point.
I ordered a bocadillo de tortilla de patatas and a cerveza. That’s a Spanish omelette baguette and a beer in English. I took great pleasure in saying “una cerveza por favor” when he asked me about drinks, even though it was before 11am in the morning, just because it was one of those phrases I had batted around for years but never thought about actually using it to communicate with a local. I guess it felt like I was delivering a punchline in my head but to the waiter I was just saying something totally pedestrian.
While I was scoffing I was busy tagging and photo sharing and taking great pleasure that my phone was now working with data straight from the plane – a luxury I most certainly was not afforded in Germany (now, to be fair this was my phone settings fault but it was of no relief to discover that after battling my way around Germany for several weeks with only Wi-Fi).
After that, I was well and truly ready to sleep but still homeless until 2. I returned to the hostel and passed out hard on their sofas until they woke me up at check-in time. It was a risky move as there was nowhere secure for my laptop bag. I had it tucked into the left of me and I was kind of leaning on it.
I had to take the chance as there was no way I was staying awake any longer. Hostels are pretty safe places. People leave electronics around all the time and they are there when they come back. Personally, I stay on full watch all the time. I take my keys and phone into the shower with me. I keep everything locked up. At worst case, I ask a friend I have made to watch my stuff while I duck off to the toilet quickly. So far there hasn’t really been any trouble but the problem is that if it does happen just once then it’s my whole world is gone and I have nobody to blame but myself.
This time I was lucky and I got the tour and shown to my bed at 2pm where I promptly got my head down for a few more hours. That evening I managed to drag myself to the supermarket and get the pizza and beers you see in the gallery below and then I spent the evening chatting to people on Skype before being the first in my dorm to turn in for the night (a rare occasion).
I was tired but I had also been invited on a walking tour that morning which I was too tired to take up but the same tour was heading out the next day on Saturday at 10:15am so I wanted to be up. That journey is described in the next Daily Life post.