Friday, July 06, 2012

Arrival at PI

I fell asleep very quickly last night, thanks in part to the black-out curtains in the hotel room, but woke suddenly and completely up at about 11:30. When I fell back asleep again I was thoroughly out until the wake-up call at 6:00.

I dressed for the day, ate the breakfast I had purchased the night before, and headed to the rendezvous point for Pueblo Ingles.

One of the smart aspects of this program is their use of locations. Because they want the Spaniards to be fully immersed for the week, PI partners with resorts that are as remote as possible. Thus it was a six-hour bus ride(made a bit longer by road construction) to our destination in the mountains of the southern Jaen province for the week.

The countryside was that irresistible mix of landscapes that seem so familiar and yet are just not the same as home. Here the rocky farmland with hills and quasi-mountains (Rockies snobbery ahoy!) reminded me so much of the parts of Colorado and southern Utah I drive through, and yet the colors were not quite right. The fields are more of a hazy yellow than the brilliant gold and green at home, and as we climbed in altitude and the vegetation changed to olive groves of khaki patch-work ground and sage-green polka-dot rows of such irregular-shaped trees, I realized that the colors of paintings like this are exactly right.

The drive had enough narrow switchbacks that Christine, the MC, passed out Dramamine as if it were candy and the driver received much applause as he squeezed the bus us through several perilous positions between trucks in the other lane and the cliff's edge. We arrived, though, at a lovely-looking hotel-resort and immediately headed into the restaurant for a multi-course lunch.

It's siesta time now, but I spent my time sorting out some rooming issues, unpacking, and, of course, blogging. I need to head out to activities soon, so I shall sign off for now and bring you more details later.

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