The next few days passed quickly. I didn’t see much of Lucy and her crowd nor of Ray and his. I stayed in my room, up on deck or in the library.
I didn’t actively avoid them however and what I saw of Harry was quietly gratifying. Apparently Liz had got a cabin to herself and was much more lively than before, flirting and joking with all the men. It was quite disgusting actually. She slid up to me on deck one night and said something about me being a nice young man. I backed off a little too obviously and she told me laughingly not to flatter myself, whatever that meant, but then she slid closer again and whispered in my ear about our ‘little conversation’ of some while back. I nodded conspiratorially, going along with her. ‘Don’t tell anyone will you’ she said without moving her lips. ‘It’ll be our little secret. Hmm?’ and without waiting for a reply, minced off to accost some apprehensive looking men who I knew to be Spanish – expired in a house fire whilst visiting family in Maidstone poor buggers.
And so the coast draws nearer. I can see houses with red roofs and white walls and some very surreal looking trees. Some are completely vertical, like black candles. Others are flat topped - like black mushrooms. Purple mountains provide a backdrop. I make some colour sketches. I love the light here, the warmth, and I can smell something new. One of the Spaniards – I can’t remember his name, tells me it looks a bit like Almeria and I tell him I’d like to go there next time in that case. He grins and slaps my back.
I know I have a very long way still to travel but I want to get going now. I understand that we’ll be in mule carts and apparently the scenery going up from the coast into the mountains is magnificent. It certainly doesn’t sound very arduous. And the guide we’ll be travelling with, Kevin, I’m told is a really nice guy. I’m looking forward to it. It’ll be great to get away from everything that’s happened here anyway. It can’t possibly be worse.
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