Coast to Country

5 June 2011

Puerto Banujs to Granada, España


The sound echoes around the vast ports and cliffs of Marbella. It’s the silence in-between the bangs that is most worrying. I wait for car alarms or people screaming, but I assume that they’ve all escaped while I was cosily asleep.


It can’t be anything else other than a cannon. Of course having my own little private room was too good to be true.

One more round of shots and it’s over.

To be honest I still don’t know what this actually was. At the time I was too tired (and stupid) to ask anyone or google it. Too stupid to remember even now.

Today I’m meeting the Swede for what might be the last time in a long time, so I briskly get walking in the summer heat, wondering why in Christ’s name my bag is so heavy when all I’ve been wearing is tshirt and shorts. After a small hiccup! I meet the Swede at the warehouse-turned-bus station, next to the ever present homeless guy passed out in the sun.

It’s a strange meeting and to be honest I don’t remember enough about it. Nonetheless, we went off to Puerto Banujs, which is the ‘mega rich’ port of the three ports in Marbella.

The port is gleaming white, from the white boats to the white buildings to the white clothing people proudly adorn, and looks over a deep blue water that isn’t really like what I’ve seen on the south coast. The only things that aren’t white or blue are the big, expensive cars. Audis, Mercs, Ferraris in awful, one-off coats of paint; the sparkling purple Audi Q7 or the golden yellow Maserati for example. The license plates are all from Russia, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. Organised crime and dirty money? No way…

I’ve got a couple of good stories about boats, but mine are trumped by the Swede’s: sailing around the Galapagos. Never mind your Sydney harbour nonsense. Yet, she is, as usual, withdrawn.’Yeah. That was pretty cool actually.’ We laugh at a sign that says’no diving into the water’, placed on a hidden door of an abandoned structure, and head back to the bus station.

‘So the next time we’ll meet is in, uh, at least one and three quarter years. So that’s –’’639 days’ she breaks in. I take a moment.’Yeah, that’s right’

Funny how these paths intersect all the way across the globe. Even just for a very short while.

The bus journey to Granada is not really memorable. I believe I have a bad habit of sleeping, while sitting upright, with my mouth open, so it must look like I’m dead and sound like I’m constantly exhaling and inhaling my final breaths. Little do they know my… uh… secret talent… is that I’m just snoring.

I assume I’m at the right place now because everyone’s getting off. I’ve never really felt this confident about stepping off a bus before because I’ve got well-written directions and a map, so I set off into the white and green city of Granada perched on the hills, and in a valley. I decide to take a turn left up a small street, leading up a tight street of stairs that just aren’t straight. It’s incredibly quiet and picturesque, with a sudden ascent you get an almost birds eye view of the valley. I can’t believe what I’m seeing, because it’s a name I recognise more than just ringing a bell. It’s staring right at me, and what a thing to be stared at by: Sierra Nevada.

Dragging my eyes away from the grandeur, I resume squinting at tiny street name signs (Christ my eyes have gotten rather useless). I end up at the abandoned hostel where my bed for the next couple of nights is, greeted by a gaping hole in the faded front doors, and windows boarded up tight. A Spanish lady tells me there’s the same hostel at another address, and she’s right; a few minutes later I walk into the open roofed hostel just one kilometre away. For just these moments I think that the Spanish are the best people in the world–and it’s not such a bad country they’ve got, either.