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Today we (I am backpacking with my mom) checked out of Triana Hostel in Seville around 11 and are off to Granada, about a four hour drive.  The land here is drastically different from the lush mountains we saw when first driving in northern Spain – it is incredibly arid with olive trees as far as the eye can see and a dust devil is not uncommon.  Every mountain peak seems to house a perfectly geometric aging fortress that must have at one time created a line of communication all throughout Spain.  We arrived in Granada in the early afternoon and faced yet another labyrinthine Spanish city grid with winding alleyways disguised as city streets (not even David Bowie could navigate his way around this place).  Finding the hostel to be impenetrable by car, we decide to park and go it alone.  We make the sorry tourist mistake of using the GPS for a whopping two seconds before the karma gods shame us and wipe out the battery supply.

After wandering for what seemed like hours, we find Funky, pronounced “pun-keh” by locals, sitting in its throne atop a rubble mound.  It’s a wonder we made it to the top of the astrocrag without a donkey or alpaca, not to mention a pooper-scooper to protect us from the battlefield pockmarked with (please let it be) dog poop on every slab.  Charming.

After navigating our way to the door, we are told we’re actually staying in another building “just cinco minutos away”. (What the s**t?)  Frustrated and sweating like whoa I say, “No beuno.”  But Mom accepts and off we trek into the hilly village, pack on, sun a-blazin’.

An hour and four amigo’s directions later, we find the street that most locals have never even known existed.  And this “apartment”, you ask?  Is it lovely?  No, my amigo, it is not.  And let me say, I am no princess.  I can get by with no air and bugs and all that.  But there are a few things that I do like to have in the places I stay.  Like, say, windows or a light or a bed or hey, even a locking door!  Once again, I say, “No bueno.”  Mom agrees this time.

So we pack up (this includes putting our packs back on our backs) and march back through town, up the rubble road and dripping with desperation-not to mention sweat- to have a conversation that goes a little something like this…

            It won’t do.

            Why not?

            No light, no bed, no lock…

            …(long pause) fine…we have room right here in hostel…

Say What??

We walk up four flights of stairs to a room that’s right off the kitchen, which we are also given a key to since it closes at 10.  The room is fun and brightly colored- we’re thinking, This is great! Finally!  And settle in for a nice siesta… only to be awoken by a grumbling old Spaniard who erupted into the kitchen around 11 (after hours!) rattling pots and pans for a few hours then settled down at the kitchen table with what must have been the three loudest women in Spain, then proceeded to have a four-hour-long discussion about love lost and having no money. 

Never marry!  She will take it all and leave you broken hearted!  Women are cowards and men are fools!  Wine is the only solace in life!  He was a poet, really.  He yelled and berated these women but they seemed really into it.  We would have asked them to be quiet if it wasn’t such a strange show to observe.  At one point a howling cat at our window even joined in.

This is hostel life.  Drunk people just spill their guts on the floor while other people are eating, while other people are pretending to sleep and then the next morning everybody gets up and leaves while other people pretend to be sleeping.

You can read more from Veronica Norton on her blog.