Sunday, October 17, 2010

The search goes on....

This morning (10/15) we met for breakfast about 9 AM.  We have three goals today.  #1 Find a laundry.  #2 Find the Picasso Museum.  #3 Find the geocache that Lori has coordinates for.  We left the hotel about 9:30 as nothing in Spain seems to open prior to 10 AM.  We drove directly to the address for the laundry, thanks to the GPS.  However it is now an attorney’s office.  We did not think that he’d be willing to do our laundry.  Lori asked at the newsstand and the guy working there said yes, the laundry used to be there but was now closed.  No, he didn’t know of a laundry anywhere near here.  
Lori had a Plan B, so we went back to where Danielle was double parked (along with dozens of other people who were double parked) and initiated the backup plan.  Kristina entered those coordinates into the GPS and away we went.  The GPS lady (Danielle has not named her, poor thing) announced that we had arrived at our destination.  Danielle parked and the rest of us jumped out and went in search of the laundry.  We walked several block with no luck. 
On the way back to the car, we went into a hotel and asked at the desk.  Yes, there is a laundry farther down the street.  We asked what their street number was and they said 40 something.  The address we had for the laundry was 84.  We went back to the car and told Danielle to “drive on”.  Hurrah!!  After days of searching, we finally found a real, honest to goodness Spanish laundry!!  Of course, we had to leave our laundry for them to wash, but after 3 days of searching, we were happy to do that.  The laundry lady said it would be ready between 6-7:30 PM today.
Four happy ladies climbed back into the car and headed for the Picasso Museum in downtown Malaga.  The GPS lady pulled a couple of fast ones on us, and we were sure she was giggling as she told us to drive down pedestrian walkways!!  [We refused.] Danielle found a parking space (not easy in this area of town) and we parked the car and continued the search on foot. 
After a short walk we located the museum.  They told us that 4 galleries were closed, but they did have an exhibit of avant gard children’s toys and books along with the Picasso exhibit.  Who knew that Alexander Calder designed toys?   None of us are artists and we are all baffled by Picasso but it was nice to see some of his original artwork. 
Upon leaving the museum we happened to read something that said that Napoleon’s troops camped here.  Someone wondered aloud, if Napoleon was with them.  The reply by another member of the group was. “No, he was probably back in his office!”
We wandered through some of the narrow streets lined with gift shops and other small establishments like tobacco shops, vegetable vendors and such.  We decided to stop for lunch.  Now, you have to understand that service in a Spanish restaurant is not like the normal service in a US restaurant.  It is a lot sloooower than we are used to.  However, service in this restaurant is even slower than normal for Spain.   Danielle had garlic soup and ham croquettes and was almost finished eating by the time that Lori and Kristina received their fried eggplant with sugar cane honey (molasses).  We had to flag down a waiter to ask where my shrimp fritters were.  He came back a few minutes later with them.  We had planned to have dessert, but gave up after sitting and sitting and sitting and none of the wait staff bothered to come back.  Lori waved at one and then asked for our bill.  When we finally managed to get the change, we left and headed for the car.
Next on the agenda was to find Lori’s geocache.  Kristina entered the coordinates in the GPS and the chase was on.  After a few “recalculating” maneuvers, we were close.  Danielle parked the car and decided to stay with it.  The rest of us were hot on the trail.  Lori was very close, but it was about 80 meters up a rocky gully with a billboard of a large bull at the top of the hill.   We looked for another way up but couldn’t see one.  There was a hotel, so we asked the friendly desk clerk.  He said that he wasn’t sure if there was a way to get there, but to try the next street up and look for a path leading that way. 
OH MY GOSH!!  Talk about uphill!!  I struggled along and the others would periodically stop and wait for me to catch up.  Sure enough, at the top of the hill, there was a dirt path leading on up towards the bull.  [pant, pant]  Once we managed to get up to the bull, I must say that the view was absolutely awesome!  Lori found the cache fairly quickly now that she didn’t have to scrabble up the gully. 
I started down a bit ahead of the other ladies, as I knew it would take me longer.  They caught up part way down the hill and we walked back to the car with a sense of accomplishment.  Finding the cache for Lori & Kristina, managing the hill for me!  We arrived back at the car to find that the gate to the parking lot was now closed.  Oh no!!  :-o
Just as we entered the pedestrian gate, a guy came running in after us, jumped into a car and started it.   Danielle was able to drive out the gate right behind him.  God was looking out for us today!!  The GPS lady led us directly back to our local laundry and we found it all done and waiting for us.  Four happy ladies loaded the laundry into the car and we headed back to our hotel. 
As we were doing the cross over (drive past the hotel, go off at the next exit, cross over the highway, re-enter going the opposite direction) we spotted a restaurant right there beside the cross over.  Danielle whipped into the parking lot and we went inside for dinner.  The restaurant was right on the sea, with doors open to a patio.   We had a lovely view of the setting sun.  Kristina and Danielle shared seafood paella; Lori had avocados stuffed with prawns , and I had sole, which came with head and tail.  Luckily it was lightly breaded so eye was NOT staring at me!!  It was all very good.  I had lemon sorbet for dessert and it was frozen, unlike Danielle’s lemon sorbet of a few nights ago.  Danielle had chocolate cake, and Lori had Muscatel ice cream.  The waiter brought each of us a shot of Pacharan  Casero Navarro, on the house.  Lori and Kristina really liked it, so they asked the name and wrote it down. 
We drove back to the hotel.  Lori and I went to the lobby for wireless access, but the laptop battery died after a few minutes, which is why this was not posted before now.  Lori and I headed back to the room and sat on the balcony for a bit and enjoyed the sea breeze before going to bed.
[Written on a sunny morning while sitting on the patio of the hotel, near the pool and in view of the sea, while the other ladies wandered the beach looking for shells.  :-D]

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