• Day12


    July 21, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    I am exhausted! It was a long and very tiring day. Javea is about 71 miles from Valencia. The area is known as a small seaside resort with many coves and rocky cliffs. We went there to paddle board.

    For those of you who don’t know us well, Georgia and I love paddle boarding. We frequently do it up at our family cabin on the Hood Canal. The bay our family cabin is on is quite sheltered and filled with sea life such a seals and porpoises. This paddle board trip was anything but sheltered. We should have known there was going to be problems when the tour we went on had so many people that some had to ride with the instructors. There were about 18 of us. When we got there they said it was windy so we were going to be in two different groups. Unfortunately, we were put in group number two. We needed to wait our turn to go on the boards.

    The wait turned out to be 2 1/2 hours. The beach was rocky but there was a pretty cove to swim in. Unfortunately it was cold and breezy. Georgia and I tried to snorkel to keep busy but Georgia was cold so she went to shore to wait. I swam around for a bit, snorkeled, and sat on a float out in the water. Eventually I went back in and asked Georgia to bring me my shoes. That’s when she lifted up her flipflops, the only shoes she had, and showed me one was broken. On a sandy beach, that’s not much of a problem but when it’s a rocky beach, it’s a problem. I asked the lifeguards if anyone sold shoes nearby and he said only in the village, which was quite a distance away, so no luck. Poor Georgia.

    Eventually, group one made it back. Nobody was smiling when they returned but I still had high hopes. We had to go through a mandatory training where one of the instructors got a bit snippy with me. Apparently he did not like my paddling technique. Too bad for him! I just ignored his ranting and paddled the way I feel most comfortable with. Then we set off. It was obvious that Georgia’s paddle board was too small for her so that made it difficult for her to paddle. My board was fine but once we got around the corner, all I could see was large swells heading in all directions and I had no idea where we were going or what we would be seeing. This was going to be a challenge. Georgia was really struggling and I felt so bad for her. We were paddling on our knees for a long time when the instructor who got snippy with me challenged me to stand up. Since I have paddle boarded many times, it wasn’t a problem. I did not stay up too long because I had my shoes, underwater camera, and 2 sets of masks and snorkels on my board. Though I wouldn’t have minded falling in, I didn’t want to lose anything. After a while, we made it to a cove. I had to laugh because at one point, one of the instructors tethered himself to Georgia and pulled her there. Thank goodness we made it since we had been paddling against the current the whole way.

    The cove was interesting. There were many large boards parked near it. There is also a small cave you can swim into which of course Georgia and I did. Fortunately, she enjoyed snorkeling around the cove. Unfortunately, there was nowhere comfortable to sit since it was rocky and big swells would throw you around if you sat in the shallows. When it was time to go back, I was really excited until I heard a girl from Great Britain say we were heading to another cave. Actually, getting there wasn’t a huge problem because it was more sheltered so I split my time standing and sitting. This new cave was very large and really cool to paddle into. Georgia hopped off her board and again snorkeled. She told me that the little fish inside the cave just swam right up to her. Very cool!

    The paddle back was not too bad. This time we had the current with us. We had to dodge boats, a person trolling, and jet skis but it was much easier than going out. As soon as we got back to shore, we had to hurry back because we were about 3 hours later than the usual time - probably due to taking us in two groups. We laughed because the bus driver didn’t want anyone with wet clothes on his bus but there was nowhere to change.

    I did meet some very interesting people on this tour. There was a guy from Boise and a girl from New York on the trip. They were part of a group of 4 people that are digital nomads. What this means is that they have jobs that can be done remotely so they travel the world. They pay a fee to a company. This company can make all or some of their travel arrangements for them. Apparently they also organize tours such as this. They said the most important thing this company does is to arrange a work space for them so they can continue to work. Wow! If this existed when I had gone to school, I would have definitely chosen a career that can be done remotely and then traveled the world.

    The bus ride back to Valencia was quick. Since we were so tired and Georgia had a broken shoe, I splurged on a taxi. We went back to our favorite restaurant, Escalones de la Lonja, for tapas and then back to our apartment for an early night. Tomorrow there are supposed to be thunderstorms so I’m not sure what we’re going to do.

    I do want to add that Georgia is an amazing problem solver. Fairly often, kids will break their flip-flops at school. As a teacher, I thought the only solution was to tape them to the shoe. Georgia was able to use a comb and some bobby pins to temporarily fix her flip-flops. They lasted long enough for us to get back to the apartment - even up the 66 steps. When I asked her how she knew what to do, she said it was due to being a stage manager for plays. Actors will have things like costumes or props break 2 minutes before they need to go on and it’s her job to make sure they are ready to go on. Wow!
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