Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Alicante: Saturday

[If you haven't read about our first two days in Alicante yet, read about them here before reading this post!]

On Friday night we changed our Saturday morning plans from visiting the Santa Barbara Castle to snorkeling.

So on Saturday morning we walked down to the port with two Australians and a German girl from our hostel for the snorkeling.  We went on a high-speed boat, and Chad and I both agreed that the boat ride itself is what made the outing worth its price.

There were two benches along the length of the boat that we were all straddling, with back rests in between each person (as pictured in the bottom middle of the snorkeling collage below).  We were instructed by the driver that as soon as he started going fast, we all needed to stand up!  The boat ride took about 30 minutes, and he went super fast.  Sometimes he'd do sharp turns, and when we'd hit the water just right the boat would jump and everyone screamed.  It was definitely fun, but a workout in itself holding on for dear life to the seat in front of you.  The legs got a good workout too, because they'd be bent for when you'd get thrown up and down going over waves super fast.

When we got to the snorkeling spot, the boat driver chucked an anchor down into the floor - right in the middle of the plants or whatever was growing on the seabed.  He handed out goggles/snorkels with a dot of glue on them, and instructed us to rinse them out over the side of the boat in the water.  Then people started jumping off the boat into the water.  He was giving out flippers to those that wanted them, so I tried to find my size.  I found one that fit and asked him where the other one was.  The guy said just use one for now, because he didn't know where the other one was.  Almost everyone was in the water at this point, but I wanted a life jacket!  After all, if the purpose is to be floating on the water while looking down, it would be a ton easier if you had something to make you float.  So I had to ask the boat driver if he had a life jacket (because no one had been given one when we departed for the boat ride -- Chad was really surprised by this, but I knew it was just Spain).

Life jacket zipped on, I jumped in!  It was really neat to be able to watch the fish and see another world taking place under water.  Chad said compared to the other snorkeling he's done, there really weren't many fish, nor much variety in the plants.  But it was still fun to observe for me.  I thought about how early people must have felt the first time they were able to watch and observe life underwater.  I felt a bit intrusive as I'd stare and watch some families of fish eat or swim about - like a spy that had gotten caught spying, but then continued to stare anyway.  

I got around just fine with the single flipper, despite what Chad may say (when he found out I only had one flipper on, he started making jokes that I was just propelling myself in a circle haha).

After swimming around and watching the happenings underwater for a good while, I realized I was pretty cold and that most of our group was back on the boat.  Also, all of a sudden I felt the need to put my head up and take out the mouthpiece to breath straight into my mouth.  Chad says normally it takes a while to get used to breathing through a snorkel, but I'd been so distracted by what I was seeing that I didn't notice until now.

Chad had had sunscreen in his left eye all morning, and it was driving him nuts.  So at this point we joined everyone else on the boat.  We wrapped our shivering selves in our towels as we were each handed a cup of sangría and offered some little pastry snacks.  Chad tried putting some drinking water in his eye to wash it out, meanwhile I tried to keep myself from puking over the side of the boat (ever since my breathing felt so restricted by the snorkel right before we got out of the water, then I felt like I could hurl).  I could feel it coming, and was accepting the fact that I was going to be that person - the one who puked off the boat when I got distracted by conversation and got my mind off of it.  Before I knew it, we were going to head back to the original beach -- time to prepare ourselves for the ride!

I'm glad Chad spoke up when people at the hostel had started talking about snorkeling, because it's not something I would have thought to do or try.  I would definitely like to snorkel again in the future in an area with even more going on underwater!

httOn the walk back to the hostel we made a brief stop at some exercise equipment...

And then we saw these massively huge trees, with branches being held up by beams.  This picture is for you Ahraaz:

We got some lunch, then beached and read for the rest of the day.  On our way back to the hostel that night, Chad and I stopped at 100 Montaditos (Cien montaditos) to eat.  100 Montaditos is a chain around Spain with a hundred different kinds of montaditos - tiny sandwiches - to choose from.  Prices for the montaditos are either 1 euro, 1.20, 1.50, 1.70, or 2 euros.  We each got about 3-4 different mini sandwiches.  Chad liked them and wants to go back this Wednesday, Euromania!  On Wednesdays (Euromania) everything on the menu is 1 euro (including jarras of beer...)

We stopped and sat on a bench around a fountain/plaza for a while before heading back to the hostel after eating.  As I was reaching for my hotel keys outside of the front door, all of a sudden we can hear a band in the background.  We followed the music down the street only to stumble upon a parade:

Chad couldn't believe this was going on at 1am, and that little kids were still awake.  This is Spain, I said.  I asked a nearby shopkeeper what the parade was for, and he said it was a neighborhood festival in Alicante, just for this area.

We stayed and watched for a while, then went back to the hostel a bit before two.  We fell asleep that night while listening the bands play on...

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