Iceland is an ash-hole

Posted by jswt | Posted in General, Spain - Valencia | Posted on 19-04-2010

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So, shortly after my last post was written, our bus arrived in Allicante… cab to the airport… check-in… pass through security… lunch… Everything was going super smoothly, up to the point we walked to our gate and as we were supposed to start boarding, the info screen switched our flight to match everything else on the board – a big red blinking CANCELLED. Thought we’d be clear in the south of spain, but guess they weren’t kidding when they said all of Europe was grounded due to Iceland’s spewing volcanic ash cloud.

As we were flying Ryanair (aka: ghetto airlines), there was no one on hand to help us, so the guy I was travelling with and I looked at the confused throng of fellow passengers, and just exchanged a look that we had to get something together as we had 1100km to cover. A quick call to Chris, then thankfully J had a USB internet key: train schedule = 10h @ 275euro, bus schedule = 15h overnight @ 75euro… Expedia car rental? 100 euro, no one way dropoff fee, and zero km charge = bingo. 15 minutes after the cancellation, we walked past the angry mob at the Ryanair desk, out to the car rental area, and past the lineup with our freshly acquired reservation number.

Few minutes later we were packed tight into our Toyota IQ (smaller than a smartcar) and rollin out on our impromptu road trip! 1100km of impeccable spanish highways [seriously – unexpectedly better than any canadian/american hwys], junkfood, wonderfully lighthearted road chatter, castles perched along roadside bluffs, toll booths, small villages behind ancient walls, and bipolar weather that would switch from sun to wall of flash-flood waterfall rain and back to sun again every 10 minutes. Avg milage = 6.8L/100km, avg spd = 120km = vroom! Rolled in around 130am just in time to meet the rest of the tour who’s charter flight wasn’t cancelled…

Fingers crossed that the volcano chills out a bit before it’s time to roll home in a couple weeks, and in the meantime it’s a strange feeling to know that you’re stuck on a continent (albeit, t’is a rather fine place to be stuck)…

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