ciento volando

travel, stories, and other flights of fancy

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Where am I ?

The last (first) post dealt with who I am and what I’m doing… more or less. But I’ve been getting a few enquiries from friends about whether or not I’ve started work yet in Segovia, and if not, just exactly where am I?

The answer to the first question is no, I still haven’t started work yet! It’s getting kind of ridiculous.  But whilst I (dearly) miss having an income, I’m quite content enjoying the longest chunk of time off I’ve had since, I don’t know, hitting puberty. It really has been an endless summer, and the ever distant prospect of going ‘back to school’ makes me feel like a kid again. Except that this time round I’m drinking tinto de verano instead of banana smoothies, and in Spain there’s no such thing as a cool change at the end of a 40° day (I keep waiting, it never comes).

As for where I am, well my current home base (axe murderers and cyber stalkers look away now please), is a town called Martos, just south of Jaén. I’m pretty sure I mentioned it in my last (ever) travel email, but I can forgive you for overlooking that detail! If you’re not familiar with Spain, then apparently Martos can be confused with Malaga or Marbella… but those places may as well be the Maldives for all they have in common with this town. Martos is dry, dusty, not-particularly-exciting, and miles from the coast. But it’s got a great local pool (with an air conditioned bar and heaps of shady palm trees), some nice (cheap!) cafes, and a library with speedy internet. Perfect for me right now.

It’s also quite pretty, at least I think so. Because it’s built at the foot of a peña (big rocky hill thing), the streets wind up and down, and the different levels nicely show off the ancient Arab buildings. Over the past couple of weeks, in between tearing my hair out over this blog, watching the Olympics, and reading a very long novel (very slowly) in Spanish, I’ve done a fair bit of wandering around the town and its outskirts. Usually I take my camera… you can check out the photos here. There are two albums there, the first is of the town, and the second is of a little adventure I had one cloudy day…

So that’s Martos, and it’s no longer where I am, but more like where I was. As I’m writing, my bag is packed and ready to go. This weekend I’m heading back to Hinojosa (my ‘ex-village’), for the feria of her* patron saint**. The feria (big party) runs for several days, and I think I might need a few more to recover.  Then the rough plan is to hang out a bit longer and do some visiting in Andalucía, before relocating up north, where my endless summer will actually come to an end.

That’s it for now.

*yes, Hinojosa is feminine. (But the word for ‘village’ is masculine. But Spanish possessive adjectives agree with the object and not the subject like in English, which is why I’ve never had to say ‘her’ in Spanish… and an English villages is neither ‘he’ nor ‘she’… maybe that’s why I felt so weird about that sentence… maybe I shouldn’t think so much… maybe this is really boring for you… hello?)

**Unfortunately Hinojosa and Martos both have the same patron (San Bartolomé), which means their ferias fall on the same dates. Given the number of saints and the number of villages in Spain, this really is an unlucky coincidence, I would love to have gone to both parties (it’s a hard life). But considering the fact that Mum’s Spanish-Australian friend’s house (where I’m staying), happens to be in Martos, which just so happens to be the hometown of a colleague from Hinojosa who I get along well with (and whos’s family are lovely and welcoming and have a pool)… I think I’m still doing pretty well in the ‘lucky coincidence’ stakes!