Spain is very crowded in August. That's the conclusion we have come to from our travels in Spain in the last few days. San Sebastian was nice, however the first day it rained. Not to be put off we went to the aquarium which was lots of fun. Have you ever seen a moonfish? They're quite silly looking. The next day the sun came out and we joined the bazillion other people that headed for the beach. We'd never seen anything like it. So many people. The water was awash with sunscreen. Still, we stayed the day and even rose to the challenge of the incoming tide that decreased the sand space to one tenth of its original size. The crush was phenominal. We decided not to be beaten by the tide and managed to extend our dry position by building large sand dams. We were assisted by a young Spanish kid who thought the idea was fantastico. The craze took off and soon there were dams popping up all over the place. Once again the trend is set by the Ghetto.
The next day we decided to leave San Sebastian for the town of Ribadessella on the North Coast of Spain. The plan was to canoe down this big river (Rio Sella). Its renowned canoe ride of about 20km. After a harrowing coach ride we arrived there to be told by the tourist office that there was no chance of accomodation anywhere on the coast or inland. Not ones to be scared by such a challenge we set out to remedy the situation. Okay, so you can't buy a tent in Ribadesella, and there is only one more bus after 6pm to a place called Oviedo. So we rang a hotel in Oviedo (80km away) and yes they had a room. So we got on the bus and arrived at 9pm. Of course the bastard hotelier had given our room away. He was not of course there to tell us this. For the next couple of hours we rang every hotel there and they were all full. Heading to MacDonalds for a night there we ran into a couple we'd seen at the first hotel. They spoke no English but managed to communicate to us that they knew a secret little Hostal that had a vacancy. It looked bad on the outside but was fantastic in. Lucky! so the next day we caught a bus into the top of the canoe ride and everything turned out okay!
The canoe ride was quite alot of fun. There were some minor rapids the whole way down and the scenery was fairly good. There were also at least a hundred thousand other people doing the same thing. We've decided that Spain has got to get over this idea that every one should go on holiday in August. We didn't see why the river was so popular, it was only average really, but avoiding hopelessly amateur tourists in canoes was kind of fun and the scenery and canoeing was well worth all the hassle of getting there.
Today we made the trek to Madrid, another chapter in the Ghetto tour book. We've heard from Paul Brenner, apparently he's livin it up in the US. We're all hoping just like you that he'll leave an update on the site.