Lost in Valencia

I moved out of the Purple Nest Hostel yesterday and am now crashing at Naty’s apartment. One of her roommates is out of town so she has a spare bedroom, which she graciously offered to me for the sake of reducing my lodging expenses. She herself is a veteran backpacker, and she understands that every little bit helps when you’re traveling on a budget.

The plan today was to rent a scooter in the morning, check out the Calatrava buildings in the City of Arts and Sciences, and then pick up Naty from work so she could take me around Valencia. I got out of bed too late though, and by the time I headed out of the apartment it was already around noon. I took the compass I picked up at a thrift store in Granada, consulted my map of Valencia, and headed southwest.

After an hour of walking, I knew for sure that I was lost. I found myself in a vast, tilled field with my access to the west blocked by a busy freeway that had no pedestrian crossings. I thought about turning back and starting over from the apartment, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve noticed this tendency in me before. I appear to have an almost overpowering aversion to turning back. Wherever I’m headed, it seems that I would prefer to continue moving forward and find a way there rather than turn around and start over. This attitude can get me in trouble or exacerbate a bad situation, as it did now.

I was literally walking through someone’s farmland. My feet sank into the tilled soil, and I caught sight of watermelons and squash growing in patches. A moment ago I had been in a bustling metropolis! I plowed on. A small canal now obstructed my way west, so I walked southwards in order to get around it. On and on I went. I didn’t know where I was on the map anymore. Without any landmarks to pinpoint my location, I was completely lost. Still I marched on, determined to find a way.

I finally came across a paved road. Exasperated, hungry, and tired, I stuck out my thumb to try hitchhiking. As before in Marseille, here, too, no one stopped. I plodded up the road until I came upon a little house where through the open front door I could see some people watching TV in the living room. I asked the grandmotherly señora how I could get to the Ciudad de Las Ciensas (City of Sciences). She pointed in the general direction I had been walking and drew me a little map. I thanked her and continued on. Again no luck with the hitchhiking. I finally arrived at a more commercial area and asked a man in a restaurant for directions. He confirmed that I was headed in the right direction and showed me where I was on the map. I had a long ways to go! I bought some junk food — I hadn’t eaten all morning! — and continued my now epic journey. Soon I resolved to take a taxi, and after another fifteen minutes of walking, I hailed the first one I saw.

  1. I can wait to see the epic. I just imagine. Taxi drove 1 mile turn right and the driver pointed the city of science. It has to happen. It always happens. Good to see you back writing.

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  2. Hey, i was thinking about you last weekend because i was in Ocala. I called to see if you were back from your trip. I thought you might have been since I hadnt seen a blog. Sounds like you got a lot of exercise in Valencia. Hopefully the cab successfully got you to your desired destination.

    Glad to see you are still enjoying your travels. Be safe and keep the blogs coming 🙂

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  3. You are definitely my hero man. And the LI people all read your blogs and emails, so continue with your updates. Good luck and continue to have fun. – Noman

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  4. pienso en ti…
    viajo en ti….
    estos caminos te regalan gente preciosa, pero temporal…
    espero que estes bien! y volver a verte!
    disfruta. por los dos.
    un fuerte abrazo y mucha energia!!!

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  5. hey man…lots to talk about. lets set a time to talk eh?

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  6. hey khalid bhai!
    i am still waiting for new posting on your blog..and an update on your pictures.hope you are having fun in pakistan…take care

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