Wednesday, 27 July 2011

East Side Yo

hello! So, its been a lot of Kilometres, a lot of petrol (and more oil than id have liked) and we've seen some wonderful things- I'm writing this from our first day in the Pyrenees, at an incredible wild camp spot high up, but more of that in the next blog when it comes. I pull you in don't I.

We headed out for a long drive from Cabo de Gata, the south east tip of spain, up to Valencia, which took the best part of the day. Our friend Mario lives there, so it was great to have a local to show us around. 

Our camp site there was bang next to a nuddy beach. Anyway, we needed to recharge a bit, and so of course booked in for a few days. There was a pool n a shop selling cheap booze and very nice bread, so was perfect really. We hired bikes, which we should have known earlier would be a great idea, cause as we all know there's no better way to travel than on 2 wheels. Although our 2 wheels were heavy, uncomfortable and slow, and had me dreaming of my beautiful fixed wheel back home in storage waiting for me. Not to worry! 

It was great fun and a bike friendly place. We rode around the new science park, full of space age buck rodgers buildings and watery pools (and curiously, completely and absolutely deserted at 4am on our ill advised but enjoyable and successful ride home later that night). 

Mario took us to a lovely nature park south of town (no nuddies there though) and we had a great picnic under some cool shady trees. I saw one of the coolest men I've ever seen, who was about 60 with a cowboy hat and grizzly chin, smoking a cigar and riding the dodgem cars at the fun fair. Awesome.

I really enjoyed Valencia- a great size, pretty old town, excellent food markets and lots of young folk and goings on. We made friends with our neighbours, which made the camping evenings fun. So we ended up staying 4 nights in all, feeding and watering well.  

Also we gave Laura a new haircut - I did some complex layering at the back.

Onwards! Barcelona was next on the map, and as we headed north the temperatures cooled off a bit, and suddenly 26 degrees was a chilly day and something to savour! Our first bit of rain in 6 or 7 weeks was a lovely sight, and living in Manchester as we did, we should not speak in these tones! We had a bit of trouble finding our camp spot in the city, but when we got a tip off it was just round the corner actually, I think our spirits lifted and we rolled into probably the crappiest Aire (organised campervan sleeping spots) yet. which was a shame as its your first impression of the place - guess they don't have to try though, with Barcelona being such a draw by itself (It was a truck stop with flooded porta-cabin toilets). 

Anyway anyway- we walked miles and miles pottering through the streets making the best of the 3 maps we got hold of, and took a lot of pit stops for rests, drinks and snacks. Think we got a bit carried away, since we burned through our wallets fast (its a purse as it happens, and shared. Laura is luckily the banker, and a good one!) Shops, parks, cathedrals, even a bar called Manchester, which we made good use of and ate a lot of their peanuts. 

We stumbled into a secret band playing opposite from a 2nd floor apartment balcony, and from that into a pied piper lead walk to another outside venue to watch a full band play, very fun and spontaneous.

 Basically all the fun of the city, and I fully enjoy being in cities for these kinds of things. Our final day was spent trying to slow things down a bit, and we had a nice lunch at a vegan place and then went to the Picasso museum which was free on Sundays.

Obviously as happens with such big places, they kick your arse and leave you feeling broken and broke- and this did happen, but of course we enjoyed ourselves tonnes, and it will still be there to explore further when we next visit some day.

So right now as I mentioned firstly, we are inside the van and it is dark now high up in the Aaragonese pyranees. Laura cooked a tasty meal and is now crotcheting something that looks complicated and it is about bed time. Good night!

1 comment:

  1. Manchester Bar! I remember it well. We were going to say you should go there, we stayed around the corner from it a couple of times we were in Barca. Sounds like you are having fun. Summer is here too at the moment. We've had 20c+ for week - very nice temperature!

    Enjoying reading your posts; enjoy France. (If that is where you re going next?) No baby yet btw!