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The Ghetto’s Travel Diary

Friday, 03 Aug 2001

Location: San Sebastian, Spain

MapHola folks. Its been a while - we've been roughing it in remote Spain so of course no internet. Well we did go to Barcelona as well, but we were lazy there. The Ghetto tour went into outdoor overdrive of late with us first visiting Olot to go walking in a National Park that contained dormant volcanoes. We went for a nice 30km walk. The walk was pretty spectacular through nice forests and villages and even into the crater of an extinct volcano. Next Ghetto challenge is the crater of a live one, but that will be another tour. We got some really nice blisters from that one, just in time to hit Barcelona. Barcelona proved to be a bit difficult accomodation-wise, with everywhere being completely booked out for days. What the heck we thought and got on the bus anyway. We arrived to find that the best we could get was a four star hotel. Not quite within the Ghetto budget, but gees it was nice. For two nights we had aircon, yes aircon - total bliss. Since our accomodation costs were sky high, Barcelona was done in true toursit style. Early morning, walk all day (on blistered feet) and get more sights in at night. Barcelona was pretty cool. We went down La Ramblas, as we heard an Aussie tour guide explain to his flock of munters - 'Thats the main drag of Barcelona'. It was quite bizzare (pronounced bitharre in Spain), full of buskers and crowd pleasers and the like. We also saw a Cathedral designed by Spanish freak Gaudi, kind of like Dali doing architecture. Its still not fully built after one hundred years or so, but is quite a marvel to see. We liked it so much we thought we'd go and see some appartments that he designed as well. They were out there. Next we walked to a huge cable car that goes over Barcelona and looks decidedly unsafe. We survived and enjoyed the views. After dinner we went to Placa Espagne to see the bestest fountain we'd ever seen. That baby rocked. Now we're not usually big fans of your sound and light shows at the Ghetto, but this one was very good, better than a fireworks display (except your Sydney Harbour type displays but there are limits to everything).
After Barcelona, we travelled for two days to get to a place called Torla in Aragon. It was worth the travel. It's this picturesque town near the Pyrenees mountain range. We went into the most incredible national park we'd laid eyes on, well it was good anyway. Huge rocky cliffs and forest were the first thing we climbed, at one stage we had to use these pegs that were bolted into the side of a cliff a long way up. 'If you have an unshakeable head for heights' was the Lonely Planet description. Don't worry Ghetto folk we managed. At the top of the cliffs - low and behold a whole mountain range. In true form we decided we had to climb one, so we did. The ibex (deer like things) joined us for part of the way. We ate lunch and returned to Torla very tired.
After Torla we went to Huesca, a bit of a country town. Not much there to see, but we were more interested in getting bikes and riding out through the plains to this thousand year old castle. The ride was gruelling with the temps above thirty. There literally were vultures circling above us, thankfully we only felt dead. The castle was of course built on top of a hill that nearly killed us, but it was well worth the effort. It was an amazing castle in very good condition built to defend against Muslim invaders. The views from it were spectacular also. After a welcome lunch from a friendly Spanish guy we got on the bikes for the slog back to Torla which was much easier going down and with the wind. 65km ride left us tired, but happily the night before we'd found the best value restaurant in the world in Huesca so we ate there again and stuffed our faces.
Today we travelled to San Sebastian on the North Coast of Spain. There's a beach here. After all this exercise its time for some R&R again. Cool.