Day 117 11th November 2010
La Linea – Marbella – Malaga Airport – Birmingham Airport – Cardiff Central (Train station)
Chris brought me tea in bed and I got up to prepare for the journey. I had a packed lunch of yogurt, banana, dates, and tuna (all I needed was some bread) and he helped me to the bus station with my bags. We said our goodbyes till the next time and I began the next chapter of my life aboard Faraway.
The bus driver looked at me and said a lot of stuff in Spanish, so fast I didn’t get one single word of it as he thrust a book in my hand. It was called The end of the affair by Graham Greene ad it was in English. Inside the front cover was written the following hand written note in black ink;-
My holiday book for you.
I’m not sure if it’s the end of our affair. You don’t have to read this book, but Sarah, the woman in the novel feels alive only when she is with her lover, Maurice. I sometimes think I feel that strong a passion for you. However, I have to live my life without it possibly.
Your friend Claire
I put the book in my rucksack, deciding I should read it sometime soon.
At the bus depot in Marbella, I met a lady called Kelly Ann. She was having a smoke and was chased from outside the café, to go and smoke inside the café! Strange rule – NO SMOKING in public places, but it’s OK in private café it seemed. She was my mum’s age and extraordinarily beautiful. She had a daughter the same age as me and used to be a model and worked with the rock star set. She had spent many years travelling and asked me about my journey. I told her about Faraway John and she said he sounded like a very interesting man. She lived alone and said she liked it that way, preferring the company of her good female friends. We didn’t exchange any details, but parted company at the airport. As I waited about, I texted a few people including my pen pal Kelvin from Wales (who incidentally has a boat hauled out in Milford Haven) is currently living in Cardiff. He offered to break the journey up for me by meeting him in Cardiff. I asked if he could put me up for the night and better than that he offered to collect me from the train station and then drive over to Milford Haven in the morning. I couldn’t believe my luck! Especially when I found out I couldn’t get to Milford Haven that night anyway. My Ryanair flight was on time and despite the high winds, landed safely at Birmingham International airport. This time I sat on the starboard side (row 25 aisle) beside a lovely young lady who lived in Spain but was going back to Oxford to see her family for a few days. Her name was Sam and she was reading Cecilia Ahern’s PS I Love You!
I collected my bag and the zip looked damaged, so I opened the bag to check. Well I early died when I saw a black leather wash bag. I thought “Shit! I’ve lifted the wrong bag and someone is probably away with mine”. It’s a green sail bag, not very common on carousels and I hoked about further realising that it was indeed my bag. I opened the wash bag and it was full of gent’s toiletries. I quickly put it on the carousel and made a comment to the baggage man about what had happened. The tags were removed from my bag it was quite disconcerting to find a man’s property in there. On the train to Cardiff Central, John phoned and I told him I had a lift to the marina in the morning so he could get on with doing whatever jobs he needed to. He was already moaning about the cost of the phone card to call me. I said “John, You should get a mobile!”
Kelvin was at the train station and greeted me with a hug. We initially began our correspondence on the internet about a year earlier, and Kelvin became known as the guy from Wales, with a boat, who doesn’t sail but wants to go to New Zealand. Needless to say, we didn’t hook up romantically, but we kept up the contact and our common interest in boats cemented the friendship.
At the flat in Cardiff, we had tea and mince pies and chatted till after 1 in the morning. I slept alone in a big double bed, with two sleeping bags and dreamt about all sorts of unspeakable things!
Breakfast – Porridge with dates, banana, and tea
Lunch – Yogurt, dates, honey and an apple
Dinner – Cheese an bacon panini
Snacks – Apple, fruit cake, mince pies
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