Week 8, Shot at by hunters, 7 days of solitude and breaking the 3000 km mark! Total 3048 km
Leaving Tarragona and battling the persistent headwind that has been keeping me company since I crossed into Spain was again making herself apparent, swirling up like clockwork at nine o’clock every morning and letting me know just who was boss in this neck of the woods.
I would become well acquainted with the N 340 heading south and its tributaries off to quaint little towns dotted along the Mediterranean coastline, my home for the next seven days would fluctuate between orange trees and olive bushes both of which made adequate shelter from the N 340 but unfortunately unable to block out the incessant hum of trucks as they moved up and down this busy thoroughfare.
Long windy days of cycling would end with me scouring the countryside for a decent spot to pitch my tent, I woke at sunrise to gun shots as a crazy Spaniard was missioning trigger happy through the fields of Peniscola in search of a trophy for the pot or mantel piece. I gestured to my head as if to say “loco”, a clear case of mistaken identity as my green tent looks absolutely nothing like a deer, he smiled and went on his way.
A week of few words and a huge amount of introspection which served me well as I’m completely convinced I’ve come up with the cure for cancer and at least three ways to eradicate poverty…grin. The countryside is thick with fruit and getting back to budget after Barcelona has been quite easy considering you can practically live off the land if you’re content with artichokes and citrus fruit, thankfully I’m rather partial to both.
Thinking out loud has become my new favourite thing to do as I pass the hours on the road with one sided conversations at this stage, dreading the day I start to answer back. I broke the 3000 km mark one which I vowed not to celebrate with a bottle of wine for each 1000 km cycled and one I’ve stayed true to up until this point, but at 1 euro for a bottle of Spanish plonk, they’re making it difficult to resist the temptation.
European soil is quickly coming to an end as I reach close to the halfway point of my fifth and final country in Europe, Morocco looms in the ever nearing horizon, I can feel Mamma Africa’s pull growing ever stronger with each week. Currently in Valencia, a city with two faces, one of historical beauty and one of surreal modernism as the existing river bed that runs from the old quarter down to the port is littered with some of the most abstract modern architecture I’ve seen to date but the first city I’ve walked through in Europe where you can pick oranges in the city center, again something I’ve become quite fond of.
Adios for now, see you in a week