Back on My Feet and Up the Hills of Toledo

Third post of the day, here we go! I think we're almost to Granada now lol. Okay, so Friday came and I felt much better, so I woke Leo at 10 a.m. when I wobbled out of bed. We were cleaned up and headed out for the Metro to the bus station by 11:00 a.m. as we planned. I figured since Toledo was only a 45-minute bus ride away and I was feeling better, it was “kind of” like staying put in Madrid.

By the way, although the train is faster (only 15 minutes), at €5 and less crowding, the buses are the way to go. This was also a good intro for me on the buses in Spain, as I'll be using them a lot in the next few days. Anywho, we arrived at 12:30 p.m., grabbed a map and walked up into the city center. EVERYWHERE you look, tourists and buses, my God! I guess Rick Steves wasn't kidding when he said that Toledo is mobbed with tourists during the day and more fun at night. Well, I only had a day now, plus the cold weather kept the city still fairly quiet.

Sarah had reached Toledo the night before, but unfortunately the lack of free Wi-Fi made it too hard to meet. Have fun in Sevilla Sarah, I'm sorry we missed each other, you were such a great buddy to have on this trip! Leo and I wandered from one side of Toledo to the other (not hard to do), stopping at the Cathedral, one of the synagogues and several other sites along the way. We made a point of checking out the jewelry shops, which are known for their thread-woven silver and gold that is pounded into earrings and necklaces by hand. So many cool pieces, especially from the one shop owner who barely spoke English and whom we debated various pieces and styles with; always a treat to hang with a local!

As we headed back, I realized that my minor aches and tinges were not really going down. That, along with the fever overnight made me suspect a possible minor infection still from the previous day. Now, I didn't want to go back to ER just to get meds (which the doc said I could do) and everybody was wondering why they didn't just given them to me, so I took matters into my own hands. I walked into a pharmacy in Toledo and explained as best I could with my ER papers that I might have an infection and needed some “antibióticos”. Luckily, the pharmacist had Amoxicillin and was willing to give me an 8-day supply for €2.50 so I jumped at it. Better safe than sorry, right?

We skipped the Santa Cruz and Military Museum, which I originally wanted to see, but oh well. I'll be back. We took the 6:30 p.m. bus back to Madrid, Leo nodding off from being dead tired. After getting back to Madrid, I grabbed my bags from the hostel and headed to my hotel.

I admit, the hotel was a nice mid-trip treat, even for such a short time. It makes me wonder how long I'll be doing the noise/discomfort of the hostels, but we'll see. I repacked all my bags, called the parents to check in, planned the trip to Granada and settled a bunch of my itinerary snafus. After 10 p.m., Leo and I met up to head to the Mercado de San Miguel once more (honestly, it's the best price and the only busy place) to grab more tapas. Feeling great, I decided to toss my eating restrictions and try a variety of tapas I hadn't had yet, including more sangria from me and Sarah's guy; the stuff's great, man! He even added some extra port for my €1 tip (the first I've given) lol.

I parted ways with Leo where we met, wishing him well. Maybe we'll see each other in Morocco, man! I lounged at the hotel, working on pictures and emails before crashing for my morning train.

Which brings me to now...whew! That said, my 48 hours were up this morning and I'm feeling pretty good, just some minor aches and a little sleepy, so in 20 minutes I'll be in beautiful Granada! Check back in soon, with the smaller towns, I might have more time to catch up and write. Until then, hasta luego!

- Mateo  

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