First Ever Charter Holiday

I’ve been living ny whole life saying that I will never go on chartered package holidays, but when my parents invited the whole family to celebrate my fathers 60th birthday I was glad to join.

They had booked a five star resort called Lopesan Beobab for a full week, meals included. I was now a charter tourist, and believe it or not but life there wasn’t all that bad either! The hotel was in Meloneras, a quiet area in the south and lots of pools, a good gym and workout sessions for the guests. Instead of just sleeping in a sunchair me and my brothers treated ourself as we were in a bootcamp. We were up before the sun every morning to do yoga, swam a few rounds in the pool, then hit the gym and maybe did a HIT (high intensity training) session or went for a jog in the evening when the air was cooler. Right next to the hotel was the Madpalomad Desert where you could hike the dunes and see lots of nudists walking around with their junk out.

I also had a rental car for five days, costing me only 5euros a day. On one of the days I took my parents and the car tofor the top of the island visiting a bodega for wine tasting and hiking up the famous Rocke Nublo at almost 1700meters.

The landscape around Roque Nublo was quite amazing!

All in all it was quite alright, and even though I will not prioritize going on chartered trips instead of backpacking I will not say that I am never going on another charter package holiday again.

Meeting the People and the Truck in Malaga

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After a week of waiting in Malaga our truck finally arrived with out tents meaning that we could move into the campsites. Seeing the truck for the first time I was surprised of how big it was and how easily it fit all sixteen of us:
Jonatan– A 26 year old IT engineer from Uppsala, Sweden. He is proudly wearing his ice breaker T-shirt for over a week without washing it now. (His blog is on this link)
Jussi– A 33year old logistics specialist (for a factory) from Kotka, Finland. Noone had so far volunteered to be his tent mate as he snores too loud.
Tomas V A 22 year old constrictor worker from Montreal, Canada. He has got about five hundred bucks total to spend on these six months through Africa.
Martina A 22 year old baker and art school graduate from Chicago, US. She just did a DNA test showing that she is 22 per cent Asian, even though her family tree shows only American European (Her blog is on this link)
Gudbjörk is a 20 year old waiter, wine specialist, and social care taker from Kópavogur Iceland. No one can pronounce her name so people call her gold bear, Guttbjørk etc.
Thomas H is a 27 year old cyber security specialist from Auckland, NZ. Since there was two Toms he got the nickname “Princess” on the first day and has stuck with him ever since.
Travis is a 32 year old waste manager in Antarctica. As if his hometown Milwaukee, US was not cold enough he decided to move to the South Pole and has been working there for eight years now. That’s pretty bad ass.
Elisabeth is a 34, client executive for a travel agency in her hometown Edinburgh, Scotland. She is probably the only Scottish I know who do not drink whiskey (Her blog is on this link)
Maria is a 21 year old waitress from Husavik, Iceland. She has chronic hiccups and a sweet laughter that ensures that it is never a hundred percent quiet.
Shani is a 20 year old waitress from Hogsback, South Afric but has been living most her life in the UK. As the youngest in the group we sometimes treat her as our baby. (her blog is on this link)
Lukas is a 20,year old who just graduated from a media high school. He is from Munich, Germany and will try to make a documentary from our trip together with me.
Frazer is our 55 year old tour leader who was born in Zimbabwe but consider himself Scottish. He has driven from Europe to South Africa eight times where his stories include being shot at, fighting child soldiers etc. He speaks all African languages and will be able to get us out of any situation that we can encounter.
Ryan is our 21 year old driver and Mechanic from Noosa, Australia. I would have guessed he was 35.
Gloria is a 61 year old retired secondary school teacher from Barcelona, Spain. She reads a lot and is studying middle age European history.
Christian is a 31 year old social worker from Hamburg, Germany. He has been working as a volunteer for one year in Ghana and will be our guide once we hit the Ghanaian beach towns.

Our truck weighs four and a half tonnes and has a ten liter engine that will make it possible to climb a tree if we have to. It’s back is separated from driving cabin and is almost like a house with space enough for all the stuff we will need along the way:
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Barcelona – The perfect weekend city

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The first thing that happened when we came to the train station in Barcelona, was that I went to go buy some water, and during the few minutes I was away, my friend had all her important things stolen: camera, interrail ticket, passport, money and credit cards, which of course created a lot of problems. First thing we did was to spend a few hours at the police station to get it reported, and then we went to the American Embassy to get a new passport. Her father had arranged it so that she got to fly out of Barcelona the next day with an emergency passport. During the few hours we spent at the police station, we saw maybe 30 others who had the same problem, some of them were people we had been on the same train with earlier that day. Theft seemed to be a huge thing in Barca, and I would therefore advice everyone to keep their valuables a little closer than usual when visiting the city.

 

Except from that, Barcelona was a wonderful city, with fountain shows Thursdays to Sundays between 8.30 and 11. This was a beautiful event that everyone ought to see, where they played music, shone light on the fountains and great variations of the fountain shower shapes. With that and the unfinished basilica “Sagrada Familia” which has been built for almost a hundred years, I would say that Barcelona is my favorite weekend city in Europe so far:)
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With bus through South-Spain

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As one of the few Norwegians who has not been in Spain, I decided to go there with some cheap tickets booked through finn.no. The search engine makes sure that there will be enough transfer time between the different flights, but in the search of the cheapest tickets, it sometimes picks departures that are far from each other. With a direct flight, the trip would take less than four hours. In my case, I had to travel for 14,5hrs.
When I got to Spain I went straight to the bus going to Granada, where I was going to meet a friend who I studied with in Costa Rica. He showed me around in the city and the castle Alhambra during the day and the nightlife in the evening.
On the third day we took another bus going to Sevilla, where he went skydiving, and we tried to meet up with another of the students from Costa Rica without having much success. In the city with around 700 000 inhabitants it was hard to find her, and I ended up going back to Màlaga where I will fly out from tomorrow.

For the time being here, I must say that it was not hard getting used to “siestas” between 12 and 2 every day and a temperature around 15 degrees even at the beginning of March. It will be harder to get used to the stressful life with work and internship and 4 degrees that are awaiting me in Bergen tomorrow.

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Malaga