Madrid

Cronopios language school

Oh yes. Cronipios is a good school. My teachers were great, enthusiastic and helpful. None of the usual language school crap in which class members spend ages describing their life. Boorrrriinnggg. No, teachers in Cronopios are very aware we are adults and the class materials are very impressive. Beats Don Quijote schools hands down.

My only gripe is how late most students arrive. The problem was my fellow students, not the school. Truly. And today I was the only one of 6 who arrived. Worked well for me, 3 hours of individual tuition on a complex topic with Mario, a great teacher.

I am planning what to do later in the year as I really want to continue with Spanish. My plan today, after 3 weeks in the school, is to return for 4 more when I’m next in spain. That should make such a difference.

To get another apartment in Barrio de Las Lettras would be perfect. This suburb is great: south of Gran Via, bordered by el Paseo Del Prado and with the lovely Calle de Huertas passing through it. That street has lots of places to eat in and, like this area, is virtually pedestrian only.

For some reason the local businesses had up a poster today exhorting people to enjoy their street, Calle San Pedro. As you can see, it gives you a good idea of just how many businesses, of all types, are in just the one street in this suburb.

Apartment life can be instructive. You see what others really wear as it hangs on lines on pulleys outside your ‘courtyard’ windows. The thought of peg failure wasn’t nice for us higher up dwellers.

And no, that wasn’t my washing.

Blame

This time I’ve discovered some interesting differences between Spanish and english: for a start Spanish doesn’t ascribe blame as we do in english. You lose your keys in english, you say ‘I lost my keys’. In Spanish you just say something like ‘the keys of mine they are lost’. Nah, not me who lost them! Keys have lost themselves. I love it.

So, if you know anyone needing a good school in Madrid, tell them Cronopios.

Dog

‘Dear’ little ‘white’ poodle in my currently favourite breakfast cafe this morning. Irresistible. Sure. Until I tried to pat it. Yup, it started to growl and bark at me.

Its owner gave it half a takeaway cup of white coffee. Once the coffee cooled the poodle scoffed it. Owner smelt, and looked, like a street person. Bar owner/manager clearly didn’t want her there, not because of the dog as others come in every morning. Just her.

Thinking of dogs and breakfast: one day I just caught the last of two dog trains as they passed. I lost count too. 😆

Locker

I have left two small bags in a locker in the centre of town for the next month. €77.50 was cheap compared to the risk of theft of its contents. What’s so valuable? My jeans, runners, notebooks, textbooks and spare underwear etc. etc. Not forgetting my new mug. 😁 Lots of stuff.

Lost the plot

All went wrong one day earlier this week, in a first world way. And no, I’m not blaming Fitbit for everything. But, it started the day by withholding my data. How else would I know how well I slept? The resetting tricks didn’t work. Nothing made it give me my sleep data. Nothing. Sigh. So I contacted Fitbit.

I now wonder if my Spanish is as appalling as the answer they sent, purportedly in ‘english’. Thankfully my numbers had magically appeared by then and I didn’t have to figure out what Fitbit said to do.

There’s more….

Dozed off at about 8pm in front of tv the night before so, headed to bed to read for a bit and for an early night. Woke me up properly then of course. So I read a blogger who is between Almeria and Granada at present. Big mistake. They stayed somewhere different in the first town. In the town, not a km before in the albergue like I did last time when you had to walk in, walk back out with the key and walk in again for anything. And why isn’t the option in my copy of the notes?

And then I focussed on a couple of sections before Granada I’d like to forget, one on the second day. Steep hills. Scree.

And the third day, my first 30km day will be a very hilly one. Nasty hills starting early and in the dark. On and on so I wondered what I was doing, leaving a school I’m enjoying.

My self doubts were no longer little molehills, not just thoughts about the challenges but full blown doubts as to whether I could do it. So, still WIDE awake and it’s after midnight.

I turned the radio on to soothe my twisted mind a little. But, it forecast doom and gloom for the world with voices that supported that possibility. Round and round in ever decreasing circles. Sort of felt like the ‘goat’ that graces Plaza Mayor on a break looked. A bit confused and odd.

And, should I be worried?

Well, I have the latest (Feb 2018) version of the very good information the Almeria camino group wrote including info on 2 options in the first town, my walking shoes are better than the runners I wore last time and, I did walked it alone last time without really knowing what was coming. Yes, I met the Spanish boys on day 1 but, we walked separately for the first x days. Over days we gradually spent more and more time together.

And I’m doing it because I enjoyed the section from Almería last time and want to see it again. Thankfully today I’m back to remembering it’s an adventure, I’ll again be doing something I enjoy and, if for any reason I don’t want to continue I can stop.

Almeria

Train early tomorrow to Almeria, the coastal city settled very early and with one of the best castles around. Even better, I’m going to the Almería museum before I start walking this time. Thanks to Benedo and Manolo! Again…

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