Blog Repost from June 19th, 2005

I’ve started and stopped a blog many times over the past 15+ years. I found an old trove of posts in a backup from 2004-2006. This is one of them recounting my last minute decision to fly to Malaga, Spain for a salsa congress.

Malaga Salsa - June 19th, 2005

Made a last minute decision to go to a salsa congress in Spain over the weekend. Took an EasyJet flight from Gatwick to Malaga to surprise some friends from Madrid–was great to see and dance with them all again.

The hotel I stayed at was terrible. Got checked in ok but the way the guy at the desk described where the room was seemed kinda odd. “First floor, take a left, go through the dining room and you’ll find it on the other side.” Through the dining room?? Something doesn’t sound right. Well, I go up the stairs and look for it but I don’t see any door marked 106. I find the dining room but there’s only people there eating and no way leading out of the dining room on the other side. I ask the waitress where the room was and she leads me to the other end of the dining room to an unmarked door, which is literally connected to the dining room with people eating just a metre away from it.

I have a hard time to contain myself, I’m ready to burst out laughing. I put my key in and “click”. Sure enough, I open the room and it’s right there! Connected to the dining room! I couldn’t beleive it. I shut the door and go back downstairs to ask for another room.

Once that gets sorted out I go up to my new room. Nothing special. But I’ll take anything at this point just not to be in that room connected to the dining room. What in the hell were they thinking?

After that episode I go back to the rental car and drive to look for the salsa place. I wasn’t sure exactly where it was but didn’t think it would be hard to find–I was wrong. Drove around a bit, asked for directions, but nobody in town seemed to know about it. I eventually called my friends, who were surprised to hear from me, “What are you doing here? Aren’t you in England?” I meet up with them at their hotel and we headed off to the salsa clubs.

Felt good to be dancing with my old parejas from Madrid. But the clubs were insanely hot with little or no air conditioning. It was almost unbearable. After 15 minutes everyone was drenched in sweat.

I arrived back at the hotel at 4am after a quick stop for a burger on the way.

Woke up the next day at 11am to the noise of the paper-thin hotel walls. The night before I left England I had about 3 hours of sleep. So I’m pretty tired now. I get ready and slowly make my way back to the “Plaza Mayor” in Torremolinos where the salsa congress is taking place. I get a bite to eat then head to one of the classes.

I get back to the hotel a little after 8pm after dancing most of the day. Rest a bit. Can’t sleep. Watch a bit of TV in spanish, eat, then head out again around midnight for more salsa.

Watched the salsa performances tonight then headed back to the boiling hot and sweaty salsa clubs. At 3am they kicked us out of one club and over into another smaller one, which was a bit crowded at first but 30-40 minutes later it was perfect for dancing. Much cooler too. Danced for a while longer and headed back to the hotel. My head hit the pillow at 6am.

Then at 9am I hear hammering underneath the room on the floor below. Sounds like somebody is hitting a hammer against a tile floor–sounds awful and it lasts for 30 minutes. I get back to sleep but I’m up again at 11am after another horrible nights sleep in the noisy and uncomfortable hotel. I check-out and head back to the congress for some more salsa classes.

I take in one last class before heading to the beach for a quick jog, a couple of photos, a perspective picture of Torremolinos (La Costa del Concrete), then I’m off to catch my flight at the Malaga airport.

Back in Hove, England at 9pm, passed out in bed by 9:30pm…wake-up call coming at 7am for the morning run but I’ll be dead to the world until then.


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