Ten and a half months is now up. It's time to move on from Antequera, and Spain.
It had to happen. It has been a fantastic experience. But new things await.
As much as I have written about the sights of Antequera, its the small things that count. The regular cafes and bars, favourite newsagent and stationery store, the supermarket, the neighbours, the sitting in the Plaza Portachuelo outside Shithole Arriba aka Cafe La Soccorrio, watching football at Cafe Diego's, I'll never get over the view form Plaza Coso Viejo, the bike club, the rides through Andalucían countryside, the Moors history, the Catholic Kings reconquest. The list goes on.
I never thought I'd write this after years of New Zealand weather, but the weather here is unrelenting. We get out just in time apparently. August is just way too hot. Already local businesses, they are nearly all family run affairs, are closing as they head to la playa, the beach, for the month.
But I've braced myself for this. Nothing too emotional. We have loved Antequera and to return would be very easy. But we think that maybe when we do come back, in a year or so, we should try somewhere else for a change. Probably somewhere where Castillian is spoken a bit more regularly, not like the crazy Andalucíans. That would help our language skills somewhat. We'll see.
We also have a small group of Brit ex-pats to say goodbye to. They have provided a bit of 'normality'.
Anyway. We're off, Thursday 31st. We fly to Berlin, then train overland via Hamburg and onto Denmark. A quick visit into Sweden on the way to Norway, and back to Sweden. Then its across to Finland, and then onto the Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania before heading into Poland. The original plan had been to go from Helsinki on the famous train route to St. Petersberg, Russia and onto Moscow. But, that was problematic. We would have had to send our passports home for visas. You can get them in London if you can prove you have lived 'legally' in the UK for three months, which we have not done. Or apply in Madrid, if you can prove you have lived 'legally' in Spain for three months - which creates one small problem.
But no worries. We will end up in London later in September, to find a flat, and find jobs!!! So that's another whole exciting prospect ahead. Earn some pounds. Head back to Spain, probably, and some more travelling.
The boxes and bags are packed - the computer is about the last thing. So I better get off and ...