Slowly Settling In in Almería

My host is an early riser with a routine, so there was no pressure for me to get up this morning as that would have put me in her way. I slept pretty soundly until 7AM, when I was woken by a plane from the very nearby airport taking off. I then dozed for another hour or so. I think I will sleep well here once I get settled. I finally got up around 9AM and was able to make myself coffee, needing only hot water and a mug. I had time to enjoy my coffee and bond a bit with the cat before heading out.

I will have pictures next time I go exploring on my own. So please, no frustration at the lack of pics in this post! 🙂

We went to the nearby village (4KM away, so walking distance) to have a traditional Andalusian breakfast, get me orientated as to various services, and also pick up some groceries, especially heavy stuff to take advantage of the car today. Breakfast was toasted baguette with tomato pulp, olive oil, and salt. Very yummy! Two of those and two coffees were 3.20 euros. My coffee order in Spain is a “cafe cortado,” which is a shot of espresso with a bit of milk.

Next stop was a health food store where I was able to pick up sugar free almond milk (something I really missed in Bulgaria, where I could only find the kind with sugar), sugar free cereal, and chia seeds. Prices were a bit lower than in Canada for similar items. The cashier was a bit taken aback, but delighted, that I speak Spanish.

This is a very non-touristy part of Spain and so having a housesitter who speaks Spanish was a priority for my host. I was worried about the local accent, but I’ve so far had no problems worth mentioning with the language and am getting done what needs to be done. I’m a lot more relaxed than I was my first months in Mexico as I’ve definitely gained a lot of confidence that I can understand folks and them me.

The grocery store was a bit of a disappointment as to dairy and produce, but it’s not the only store available to me and I will have access to “hypermarkets” by bus (similar set up to when I’m in Mexico, where my Isla grocery store was good for basics, but I liked going to Mega, Soriana, and Ley for more selection). This grocery store was fine for me to get laundry detergent, toilet paper, washing up liquid, and other household things. Spaniards seem to universally buy drinking water in 6L containers (the most you can really carry comfortably) and with my fragile digestion, I decided to go that route. So I picked up four containers, which should last me a week to ten days.

I then went next door to the pharmacy to get ibuprofen as I’ve been battling headaches all week. Like in the Balkans, you can’t buy ibuprofen (and similar products) off the shelf, but rather have to ask for it at a counter. It’s ibuprofeno in Spain (ee-boo-pro-fen-oh). The dosage is higher than in North America, so you likely only need one tablet rather than two. I had one when I got in and it worked really fast, just like the Nurofen did in Bulgaria.

We came back to the neighbourhood where I’m staying and my host showed me a little shop I can walk to that has a bit of everything. It had better dairy and produce, a bit of a deli section, booze, and more. I got a few things there, including some veg that I had to ask for rather than select myself. The owner of that store is incredibly friendly! It will be so much easier to shop there than it was at my little village shop in Bulgaria. I just have to remember that the shop is closed Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and between about 2:30 and 5:30PM the rest of the week.

There is a nearby market on Sunday mornings for produce and other things, so I look forward to going there this weekend! My host is providing me with a wheelie cart for hauling groceries, so I’ll be able to carry things with ease and haul home more than I could in my backpack when I was in Bulgaria.

Where I am is a bit isolated, but it’s nothing like where I was in Bulgaria in that I can walk to a few bars and restaurants (there’s a Mexican place I need to check out!!!), the grocery shop, a pool (if I buy a bathing suit), and a bus stop in less than five minutes. The village is only 8KM round trip and I can get to Almería downtown in about 15 minutes on the bus. I think I will be very happy here once I’m orientated and settled. There is a little bit of touristy stuff to do, but I want to focus on work and getting to know my neighbourhood before I do any real exploring. I look forward to walking the beach!

I worked through most of the afternoon and got a tiny rush job around 7PM. I am going to try to adapt to the later Spanish lifestyle while I’m here since it will be good for me professionally as I’ll be up during more of my clients’ work day. It’s funny how I was a night owl for so long and now I’m struggling with not being up by 6AM! Also, if I want to have a meal out here every once in a while, I really need to get on the Spanish schedule.

Tomorrow will be my housekeeping set up day where I work on the kitchen to suit how I cook (I’ll be taking lots of before photos so I can put things back the way they were!), set up my office (a real desk and chair, yaaaaaay) because I’m booked through the end of the week, and just settle into knowing the house and the cat’s routine. I feel a bit like a traitor to all the cats I’ve had in my life, but my charge here may be the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen… And I’m not just saying that because my host will likely read this! *winks*

I’m still feeling very run down with a sore throat and a bit of congestion, so it will be a blessing tomorrow to be able to just stay in. Now, I’m thinking of a hot shower and an early night, which these days, has been about 11PM!

13 thoughts on “Slowly Settling In in Almería

    • Well, I’m only allowed 90 days in the Schengen area and this is not like Bulgaria where I’ll get breaks to go exploring. So seven weeks is good as I’ll have about three weeks left after to go to Portugal or France or even stay in Spain and explore another part of it.

  1. It’s always good to find where the local food & drinks are, & of course the grocery stores. Getting your house set up the way you want & need for work will make it feel homey for you.
    Glad you have a kitty to hug on & it on you.
    I hope you get over your cold, whatever you have, soon so you can enjoy your stay.

    • It’s VERY strange living in someone else’s house with their cat when they aren’t you. 😀

      I just need a good night of solid sleep…

  2. Rae, you certainly have covered a lot of territory which increases your odds of catching something like strep throat, especially when using a lot of public transportation. You might ask at a pharmacy where a clinic or even a doctor’s office would be near your home-stay in order that you may secure a prescription for a few antibiotics. Years ago, while visiting the U.K. I went to a clinic for an infection, and they gave me the actual antibiotics; so I did not have to fill a prescription at the pharmacy. The cost was dirt cheap; you may find medical in Spain the same way. Also, why not get a flu shot while you are there, especially if it is cheap. After all, you have a lot of money tied up in this trip; why not get rid of those aches and pains so that you can get the most joy out of the trip.


    • Dee, I never get properly sick and I don’t go to doctors or take much beyond the odd Ibuprofen. I’m just run down from not enough sleep. Now that I’m settled for a bit and will get back into my own routine and diet, I’ll be fine. Thanks for the concern!

  3. Pingback: In Which I Make It to Almería’s Mercado Central |

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