August 7, 2013.
The one with the Magic Garden.
So, we arrived in Granada. And as usual getting here went a little bit different than we expected.
Yesterday we put up our tent very close to a gas station, where we would start hitchhiking the next day. We thought it would probably take a while before we would get lucky and catch a ride, but after about half an hour two cars drove up the station and I asked if they spoke English. Immediately I heard they were from Belgium and I thought to myself well this must be our lucky day. For some strange reason you feel an instant connection to most people you meet from your own country abroad. As humans we tend to hold on to what we know and this goes for a lot of things, especially when you are away from home. It is always nice to speak your mother tongue and chances of actually getting a ride increase dramatically. An hour or so later we were dropped on the outskirts of Granada, still 11 km away from the city centre. Hitchhiking into the city was a bit tricky, but we managed to get into the car of a very friendly local engineer. He dropped us in the city centre, not far from a squat we had found a few days ago on Couchsurfing. When we arrived in the Magic Garden, there was no one there, it was more than messy and there wasn’t a good space to put up our tent. We rested for a bit, when someone came up to us and introduced himself as Guido. He started talking about the squat and although it seemed like a nice place, a few things concerned me: in the last few weeks people had walked in nine times to steel stuff (there wasn’t really a door), the other people who were currently living here snorted coke all night long and a few nights ago they were attacked by the Senegalese squat on the other side of the street. He proudly said they had won the fight with only 12 people against 18. Somehow I thought this might be an experience to skip. So we left.
It was getting dark and finding a spot for our tent in this touristic paradise wasn’t going to be easy. Walking down the road I saw a sign saying Camino Sacromonte and remembered from our second ride of the day that this was the road that led to the infamous caves of Granada, where a hippy community has been residing for years. I thought to myself why not try to find them and ask if we could spend the night there. We didn’t quite find them, maybe it was too dark, but along the 2,5 km walk we met a guy who told us in a very Southern Spanish accent that there was a perfect spot near the river where we could easily camp for a few days.
Well he didn’t exaggerate. This is the second best spot we have camped so far: a nice piece of beach on a riverbank close to a few small dams, a lot of shade provided by the trees and a perfect flat part to put up our tent (It misses fresh mussels to beat the number one spot). We finished putting up the tent at midnight and were very tired, but happy knowing where we would wake up tomorrow.