The beach looking south at Playa Troncones, north of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico. Photo taken January 7, 2012.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Where are they going next? We're here at the park until late September!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Well, the day didn't exactly go as planned.

We were wanting to go for a hike in the hills overlooking Badalona. First, we slept in. It never occurred to us to set the alarm. But there is a room darkening blind on the window, and even at 8:30am it was black as can be inside the room. That, combined with a lack of sleep on the plane the night before, meant that it would be easy to lose track of time.

So it was close to 9am when we actually got out of bed.

Then to write the blog post and have some breakfast, So it was 11:00am by the time we left the apartment.

Ruth went to charge her laptop, but she couldn't find the charger. The last time she used it was at Toronto airport. We think it was left behind. She's not feeling very good about that. So we needed to find her a new charger.

The building where we are staying is the white one in the center. We're on the first and second floor. The one without a balcony, but our room is actually at the back of the building.

The walkway directly in front of our building.

So we set out walking to the shopping area. Found a couple of electronics type shops, but nobody had the one she needed. Eventually, we came across a computer specialty chain store and the guy looked it up and said he would have to order it in and it would take two to four days. Hmm. two days would be fine, but four would not. Fortunately, we'll be coming across this store in other towns further south.

In the meantime, we're sharing the one laptop.

Next stop was the Orange cellular store for a SIM card. Simple procedure, but you need your passport to register the SIM. I chose the 4 GB data package with 30 minutes of calling for 20 euros ($28.50 CAD, $21 USD). It's normally only 2GB of data, but they have a special that expires at the end of the month. That should be all we will need for this month.

We stopped in and did some more grocery shopping. We found a chain grocer called Dia whose prices seemed reasonable, plus they have their own store brand on many items, including lager beer. I bought one can just to try it out because it seemed unreasonably inexpensive. It turns out that it's perfectly drinkable beer, so I'll be buying more of that in the future. It was only 0.42 euros (6o cents CAD, 45 cents USD) for a half liter can!

It was 2:00pm by the time we made it back to the apartment and had some lunch. I guess there was no hike to the hills happening! Instead, we had lunch and then walked about 5 kms (3 miles) in the opposite direction on the malecon.

I had installed the new SIM card during lunch, and everything happened the way it was supposed to. I got the text messages saying how much I had paid, as well as the ones saying the data package I had activated.

So when I went to test it during our walk, I was surprised that I got messages coming up saying "Could not activate cellular data network" and I could not connect.

Hmm. That'll teach me not to test it while in the store. I know better than that, but the girl guaranteed that it would work. "But if it doesn't just come back and see me". So much for the confidence that it will work!

Looking back at Barcelona. It looks stormy, but it never did rain.

We walked back through town. Found a dollar store (they call them China Shops here, because everything is made in China, and they all have Chinese owners) and looked for a power supply for Ruth, but they only had big bulky ones. Great for an emergency, but we're not about to carry that around.

It was getting close to dusk when we got to the main section of town again. There was something going on, so we went to have a look...


January 6th is Dia de Los Tres Reyes (Three Kings Day) and as in Mexico, it is the day when the children might receive gifts. So there was a lineup of parents and their kids waiting to see the three kings. Or in this case, one king and two queens!

Lining up to see the three kings.

Really good manger scene.

Fantastic detail!

Looking down the pedestrian walkway.

Went back to the Orange store to check the SIM card. Took it out of my phone and put it in hers, and it worked perfectly. Put her's in my phone, and that same error message came up again. She said it's not the SIM card, it's my phone!

We went back home and I got on the laptop. Sure enough, I came across an article detailing a problem with the iPhone that generally only shows up with travelers. I had to delete some registry profiles and reset the network settings. Bingo! It worked perfectly.

And so that was our day. Not what we planned, but it was still interesting. Oh, funny thing that we have noticed. So far, there are not that many people who speak English. In fact, there were more people who could at least speak some English in Romania than we have found so far here in Spain. It's okay though, because we can do most things in Spanish. I did the entire transaction for the SIM card in Spanish. Although it was sometimes difficult to understand what the girl was saying. We muddled through it though.

Today, we're off to downtown and the Sagrada Familia Basilica. I think we'll probably only spend enough for the basic entrance fee, but we'll see when we get there.

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29 comments:

  1. We don't plan our days, they just evolve, just the way we like it.
    Good luck with Ruth's charging cord.

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    1. We don't do much planning either but we usually have a vague idea of what we would like to do each day but things happen and plans change and we just go with it! :-)

      No luck yet with the charging cord!

      Delete
  2. Sucks about that charger. And typically, when you need to find one, there's none to be had, or at least not right away. Enjoy the warm weather of Barcelona.

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    1. Yep, it does but we are dealing with it and it isn't the end of the world!

      We are loving the weather, just a little be warmer than Ottawa! ;-)

      Delete
  3. I read a blog from a guy who has lived in Barcelona for the better part of the last few years. He has mentioned the store "Dia" often, as well as the Orange store, so it's fun to see them in your blog as well. Your Barcelona photos are so much better than his, though, that I am seeing it through different eyes. Enjoy your time and hopefully there will be no more minor mishaps!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We know there are better stores in Spain but they aren't quite in these built up areas but more on the outskirts we will get to them when we have the motorhome.

      Yes, it is funny how people can see the same things but see them so differently.

      Today was a much better day and we saw tons but unfortunately didn't see a new charging cable.

      Delete
  4. Ain't technology grand? It's enough to make you cry sometimes. ;c)

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    1. Yep, somethings you just want to cry! No worries though, it will work out eventually.

      Delete
  5. Your observations of Spain are exactly what we thought - surprised not more English speakers (although they seemed to speak French/German). I loved DIA, we ended up getting most of our groceries there. Could walk in, walk out with a bottle of wine and beer and croissants and cheese/ham for under $10 CAD

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    1. Actually we are quite happy that there aren't more English speakers because it gives us more time to practice our Spanish and we are finding it easier here than when we were in Colombia last year. The accent is definitely different but not as noticeable as we found in Colombia.

      We again are loving the prices of the wine and beer! :-)

      Delete
  6. Check out the red and blue hop on hop off buses in Barcelona, they are great!

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    1. I am sure they are are but we are going to forego them for our feet. We love walking and find that we see so much more this way and it is much cheaper. ;-)

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  7. Hi, With regards to finding a charger, many large hotels often has a variety of chargers that clients leave behind. You may try that route. Hope this helps. Neil from Medellin, Colombia.

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    1. We may look at that option, it is something that we hadn't thought of but not sure how they would look at a non-guests coming in asking if they have any old chargers that have been left behind. They not be as welcoming to the idea as they might, if we were guests.

      We have many fond memories of Medellin and have said that we need to go back to Colombia to see what we missed the first time around. :-)

      Delete
  8. Do you carry health insurance when you travel? I was wondering how that works.

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    1. We do not carry *extra* health insurance when we travel. We are partially covered through our own Provincial health care in Canada. For more info, I refer you to this article that I wrote a couple of years ago...

      http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2015/09/travel-medical-insurance-stuff-you.html

      Delete
  9. Bummer that Ruth lost the charger but I am sure you will find one. Sometimes plans do not always work out but more interesting things can happen then like finding neat stores and having the time to reset your phone and watching the three kings tradition! Looking forward to when you pick up your Motorhome and start traveling again!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Eventually I am sure that we will but in the meantime it is a bit of a pain although we are dealing with it. :-)

      You are right and we still did see and do a lot just not what we were planning but we have no regrets. We are also looking forward to picking up the motorhome and getting on the road again.

      Delete
  10. Sounds like a perfect day. You were doing business in a foreign country and learning new things. Have fun!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep, it wasn't a bad day just not quite what we had planned but we still had a good time.

      Delete
  11. I was surprised at how few people in Italy spoke English. But between a phrasebook, gestures, and my poor Spanish, we got along. The Italians were invariably patient and gracious with my efforts to communicate.

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    1. I am not sure why we were surprised really as we are in their country and we should learn to speak their language and lucky for us our Spanish is passable. It is always fun trying to communicate with people when you can't speak their language as you said, lots of gestures and a ton of smiles can go a long way. :-)

      Delete
  12. Another great grocery store is Lidl. Lots of good products and cheap. Excellent meat and cheese selection along with vegetables. Stores are all over. I have only used Vodaphone and it was excellent- I have a iphone 4😁. In Portugal Vodaphone has a deal 10€ for 30GB!! But have to be used within 2 weeks I think. I just got another topup after 2 weeks. But dont get to much because credit does not carry over when you go back to Spain. .

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    1. Yes, we know about Lidl, Carrefour and I think they may also have Billa and Aldi but I think in the big cities they are a little more away from the real built up parts, seeing that we haven't seen any since arriving in Barcelona. I am sure we will have better access to them when we have the motorhome.

      I hope Portugal has that same sale on when we get there at the end of the month, it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

      Delete
  13. BTW here is our blog site. Travelpod.com/members/lydanddwayne

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    1. Thank you for your blog address. We will have a closer look at it as we travel along and maybe find some helpful hints too. :-) Have fun in Morocco!

      Delete
  14. Electronics make me crazy. I always expect "things" to work, and half the time I'm disappointed -- oh well, you know what they say about people who expect things! (Doomed to Disappointment) You answered my question about getting by in Barcelona on marginal (or less) Spanish. I "expect" I could use my phone translator, huh? tee-hee

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    1. They drive us crazy too! This problem was totally my fault though and I have only myself to blame and trust me, I have told myself off many times because of this! :-(

      You can get by without Spanish but we would highly recommend trying to learn at least the basics and yes, google translate would be a big help.

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    2. Good. We can do the translation on our phones.

      Delete

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