by Chet Fiedler
Day 5 was Carmelo’s last day in the South of Spain, and he had the entire day to enjoy as he wanted. Unfortunately, his desires of going deep sea fishing and taking a boat across the Mediterranean to Africa weren’t going to happen due to time limitations (he really did try to fit it all in). But he did say numerous times over the past five days, “I’m definitely coming back.”
He fulfilled his wish of attending a bullfight, though, as there happened to be one taking place in a small town nearby and the Mayor of Malaga was happy to host him to the whole experience. Although a fairly primitive “sport,” there is a certain amount of culture and history to bullfighting in Spain and Carmelo—wanting to soak in all things local—was excited to check it out.
Before the bullfight began, Carmelo was taken “backstage” to meet the Mayor and the matadors. During some of the bouts inside the ring, some of the matadors even called his name to honor and acknowledge his presence.
Following the bullfight, Carmelo headed to Le Meridiana Restaurant for his very last meal of his trip. This was the same restaurant that hosted him during his first night in Spain and the husband-wife owners Emilio and Joanna wanted to properly host him for his last night in their country. The dinner took place in an outdoor terrace where Carmelo and 14 other guests sat around a large communal table and enjoyed a fancy six-course meal and artistic desserts. In Spain, dinner usually starts very late (as late as 11 p.m.) and can last hours (as long as four hours). It would be 2:30 a.m. by the time dinner was over.
Carmelo exhausted himself on his very last night in order to sleep the entire trans-Atlantic trip back home, to prepare for yet another basketball camp in Denver taking place the following week.