Friday, September 30, 2011

Adventura a Las Tres Carabelas

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"Beep, beep, beep, beep," the alarm clock began ringing at 8:30 a.m.

"Just 10 more minutes..." Then its 9:30. "I've got to get up. The bus leaves at 11!" A quick breakfast, some morning chores, facebook, and it was out the door. Fifteen minutes before the bus departs for Palos de la Frontera should be enough time to buy a ticket and get on the bus. After a long wait in line and 1.05 Euros the ticket says 11:30 for La Rabida and the rushing for terminal 18 begins.
The bus stop for La Rabida is at the University of Huelva campus.
La Rabida isn't much like the city center of Huelva. There are no tall buildinsgs nor a lot of people. There appears to be no sidewalk along the main road but there is what looks to be a park accross the road; it is probably safer. Dirt trail it is, and then theres a road but no sign. "Which way is it to the ships?" Right seems like a good option, there is the river on the left. An hour later a sign: Palos de la Frontera. Wrong way, the ships are much closer to la Rabida but a walk through the city to be sure wouldn't hurt. 
In the foreground is part of Palos de la Frontera; Huelva is accross the river in the background.
Its hot outside and the last drink was before leaving for the bus station. Unlike Huelva, there are not bars and restaraunts on every street corner. Finally the sidewalk runs out but a gas station is open accross the highway. After buying a drink and getting directions, which were not much help for a pedestrian, it was back to the start. The long hike back to La Rabida didn't seem as long as the hike to Palos, but it was long enough. The burn was setting in. "There is the school from earlier, and there is a sign. How could I have missed it earlier. If I had only taken a left in the first place!"
After a long walk on a hot day, these sprinklers were a huge temptation.
A long long walk later, there were the ships. Obviously they are replicas of the originals, La NiƱa, Pinta and Santa Maria. The museum only cost about five euros for an adult. It included some indoor exhibits about Christopher Columbus' life and journey along with the replica of the three ships as they were anchored in the new world. If it were a museum in the United States, visitors probably couldn't go in half of the places available here. The ladders/stairs were steep and sometimes almost straight up, but still open to the paying public. 
The first ship I visited was La Pinta.
Below deck was pretty dark and as a guess, probably lit by lantern or candle back in 1492. The floors were a little soft, the ceiling was low. The space was small. But these were the three ships that Christopher and his men first came to America on. It is interesting to think that this is the are where he sailed from so many years ago to "discover" my country. 
This was a view of the Santa Maria from the indigenous perspective.
 After a walk through of the ships and museum it was back to the bus stop from earlier in the morning. All in all it was about a seven mile walk, but it was something to do and there were no real problems with Spanish in those five hours of being out... Not a perfect understanding but even after walking half way to Moguer, I was able to get back to Huelva.
It was about 5 p.m. when I got back to the appartment. What an adventure.

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