Eyes, Salou and Beach Rats
Hearing the diagnosis that I had a scratch 3mm by 1mm across my cornea didn’t really help. My eye stung and both were watering, bright lights or even daylight hurt, it felt as if I had a house brick in it and there was a pain whenever I moved the eye. It’s almost impossible to keep your eyes still even when closed. The drive to the Eye A&E at City Hospital was disorienting and I felt like passing out most of the time. I guess being driven through rush hour traffic without seeing is bound to make you feel a little queasy. The trip back was a little better thanks to some anaesthetic and an eye patch. But not a good start to the week. It also threw in a possibility I wouldn’t be able to go away to Salou as planned for the week.
But after a day resting, by the next morning it felt better, although removing the patch only revealed blurry vision along with a fear things wouldn’t get better. We decided to go anyway. East Midlands airport isn’t at its best at the moment due to some refurbishment works. It’s even more of a nightmare if you’re half-blind and having to navigate indoors with sunglasses. For the first time I understood how there may come a time when I won’t feel like travelling. The crowds, noise and confusion all made it hard to tolerate. Having just a minor loss of sight in one eye seemed to make everything so much harder to handle.
It was dark when we landed so I could dispense with the sunglasses for the time being. But our trip to the hotel fell at the first hurdle as no transfer was in sight for us (regardless of how many eyes were used). We asked everyone with a clipboard but our name wasn’t down so reluctantly we had to get a taxi. The tourist office suggested a rough price of €35, and this is what we were charged. A bit more than the €15 transfer charge but at least we got to the hotel, there to have our booking confirmed and a room waiting for us. There was even a snack bar open that did late night food so we were ok on our first night.
Salou wouldn’t have been my choice but as it turns out it is a fairly nice place, although somewhat commercialised and a typical seaside town with a bar-lined strip edging the beach. We were there visiting my wife’s niece who was working as an entertainer so it was to see her rather than the place. To be fair we didn’t explore much as we were only there for four nights and wanted to relax rather than rush around cramming in lots of sightseeing. A trip to Barcelona would have been possible, but with around an hour and a half train journey we decided not to use a day and save Barcelona for a separate trip. So this was purely relaxing in the sun towards the end of the season.
Life on the beach was fairly interesting. On both Salou and La Pineda beaches we had a regular assortment of sales people. At least once an hour we had a salesman for each of : sunglasses & baseball caps, sunglasses & headphones, perfume, hair braids in addition to several offers of massage. Then on our last day we watched a woman walk up to a local policeman who then followed her down the beach just from us, look down at the sand and then use his radio. Curious we also took a look. It was a dead rat. Beach rat or town rat that had been sunbathing? Just all part of life on the beach.