Africa that far, dark, distant continent. Will we ever get to it? Well if we can sort out Jenny´s clunk then yes.
Spain, Barcelona and more sunshine than you know what to do with. We leave the cool shores of southern France early Monday morning and head out. After passing two rather large, touristy border towns, one on each side with bus loads of tourists, we are on the road to Barcelona and did I mention the sunshine.
All the jackets find themselves in the back of the car and the short sleeves come out. Now what is missing, oh yes, hay fever! Poor Simon was suffering and so was I but not from hay fever. And where were the antihistamine tablets? Packed away in the back. In the end we abandoned Barcelona for another day and found a camp 20min (by train) away on the outskirts.
Great little campsite, sea view (until a big camper van arrived, they did however apologise), friendly neighbors and much grinning, nodding and laughing since Simon and I (having managed French & Italian so far) do not speak much German. Yes half of Germany decamps to Spain to avoid the winter, clever people the Germans.
Tuesday and off to Barcelona on the train, it travels along the coast line and you get a great view. So after doing the walk down La Rambla (big pedestrianised street with bird and flower sellers) we went in search of some Gaudi. No I did not know who he was either, turns out to be a famous Spanish architect. Amongst other things we visited a cathedral building site that he had some influence in. They just carry on building while the tourists mill around, it is going to be one impressive building when it is done.
As if that was not enough we spend Wednesday in a park designed by Gaudi, the man had some imagination and there a loads of sculptures but not much green grass. That night we are off to our local restaurant armed with phrase book, we visited it on our first night in Spain. What a mix up, us not knowing a word of Spanish and our waiter no English, then we kept wanting to speak to him in French. We did however manage to order to delicious pizzas. So this time we were prepared, the waiter arrived and yes you guessed it, he spoke English. We thought it very funny.
Thursday long long day, we had our first flat tyre in the middle of 4 lane mid-town Barcelona traffic. I have the photo´s to prove it, there was nothing else to do but pull over and change it, I dropped the spare on my foot and we both managed to get extremely dirty. Note to self: put the wheel brace (loosens nuts on wheel) somewhere accessible. Drove to Madrid, could not find the campsites, both tired grumpy and not impressed with the lack of signs. After giving up searching for the second campsite and heading for the third, we find the second at 11:30pm. We were not happy bunnies. The day was saved by the non stick frying pan we bought earlier which delivered perfect eggs and sausage.
Campsite like a truck stop with the local disco at night, so to say noisy. Then the bus drivers were striking so no bus into Madrid, caught cab with German couple. Spent day looking for places to do some welding on Jenny, got a few leads. Also found 1st campsite we were looking for, on metro line and quieter.
Saturday moved to better campsite, once again no signs, when we mentioned the lack of signs we found out that the Madrid council does not let anyone put up signs (other than road signs) and that is why we cannot find places. Met lovely English couple from Manchester called Leister and Joy. Many fascinating stories to be told, showed us around their Winnebago, now that is traveling in style.
Sunday and the big clean up, car checks and generally being responsible. Managed to de-clutter somewhat but not completely. Had lovely walk in local park and realised why the Spanish have a siesta at 2-4pm.
tiding up till late at night, gave up at 10pm and decided on bed. Jenny is off to the 4×4 chaps in the morning.