Day 156, 10311 km
New country, new language and loads of new oppurtunities. I really should throw myself straight into the heat and let myself go all in flames by all the new and exciting, but first up I want to spread my little movie about the grapepicking down below. The music may sound a bit depressing but that is of course not the case. Alex, the guitarplayer, is in fact a pianist and this is his “back-up” instrument. Cool dude!
The video will also be featured in the post “Tarare, France” which is about my 3 weeks of grapepicking.
My friends, you who read this and my newfound ones back in those days among in “Grapeland”. The group we were and with that experience, makes it a little hard to just leave everything behind and move on. I try to see and look forward to everything happening in the future, but the some thoughts and feelings stay empty for a while. Slow basterds:) Hard days are just a laugh of good memories now, such when our rented tractordude (who was suppose to be the best among 20) showed up stinking of alcohol, already in a distance of 2 cows away. He had the brilliant idea of try to reverse his little tiny tractor, full of 600 kg grapes in the wood trailer, down a supersteep and muddy hill. Result: trailer broke and all grapes goes straight down in the mud, which he also reverse over to totally squezze them. This day was superwindy and cold which made 3 people stay in the car…Worst day at least to say, but warm and funny now when I think back at it:) What doesn´t kill you make you stronger, or creates a good sharable memory.
My first day back on the road felt stiff and maybe my mind was still in “grapeland”, when I wrote last post. But after that my body felt better and better as I came in the whole cycling rhythm again. A lesson learned is that I maybe should have stayed just a day longer to rest for real, and not just move on directly. I thought my legs should be up for it, and they were, but my back was of course tired. It took some extra time but I got back on the sadle for real a little while longer than usual.
“Grapeland” turned into “NationalParkLand” through “Parc naturel régional du Haut-Languedoc” and “Réserve Naturelle des Gorges de l’Ardèche”. Autumn was really here which I saw, smelled and felt.
I got through some rain in the hilly country which was all covered with fog in the morning. The moist made it also a bit chilly and cold. The wind also joined the boardgame, sadly most often not the same team as I. Some days were just only a big fight, which you can see in onje of the photos in the gallery, tired Sven:) My thoughts were to go forward, or more clearly south. I knew that when I just passed that little hill of Pyreneés, everything will be warm and sunny again. A good spirit that kept me going in the hardest moments. I Felt that for real after the town of carcassone, from where I leapt all the way to the foot of the mountains. The last 5 km to Aux Les Thermes was a bit of a rollercoaster; up to 1200 m, down to 700, up to 1400, down to 1100, stay flat there for a while and then down to particilur village at 800 m. That resulted in leaving 1600 m climbing over 30 km next day, to reach Port d´Envalira. In my tent, which this night was warm and comfortable, I felt asleep fast.
During the morning I gave myself a selffive before my porridgebreakfast and hoping that my windfriends is with me all the way. Sun was up so no windbreaker was needed “Lucky#1). The climbing was not hard at all with the weather on my side, although of course a bit more chilly at the altitudes over 1100 m. That is when I took out my best friend, hot chocolate and enjoyed a nice break.
Now “Ashley” (which my bike now has returned her originalname) got pistoff and a bit grumpy. Ok, SHE is my best friend after all….
The last 300 metres was introduced by the town of Pas de la casa, which felt a bit like a mini Las Vegas. This is the first town in Andorra and lays just behinf the entering customs. Here were hotels, shopping centers and what I believe one of the worlds most highest positioned Mcdonalds:) At over 2000 metres I need to double check o that. I now faced the last 4 km with 7% of inclanation, crossed all the fingers I had for a nice wind. And yes, there were basically no wind at all even on the top. That was not normal as the guys at the top confirmed to me. I enjoyed a pack of Oreo cookies when looking south at the horizon, very far away over there lays next challenge, the Atlas Mountains of Morocko. Unlikely myself I saved some cookies for the ride down and got to it..
Down for a very long run, first 30 km to Andorra La Villa, the capital of this country and then almost as many to the spanish boarder. But lets hold it in Andorra La Villa for a while, just as I did. A little cold after the ride down I needed to stretch my legs of the sadle for a while. So took a walk in town hoping to find 2 things, a spanish map and a lenspen. Later one is to clean te camera lens with. Didn´t do jackpot but found the map at least. Thanks to my superherocostume I found a swedish friend in Henrik. A very nice guy who I spent a couple of days with. He lives in a really nice apartment and works here as a decorater/designer, currently for a danish client. Henrik has down several projcets for this client and now is a 4 stories high house. Henrik offered me the chance to help out a bit, raising some money for my charity project. So I helped with putting together some Ikea furniture and carrying some stuff. That got 30 euro extra to the Airbourne project. Thank you very much for that Henrik!
Before I left we also went out to experience the publife of Andorra, which I felt had winter/ski resort stamp on it. We had fun anyway although lack of snow. I was just impressed by having a conversation in English with people, Wow! Then I said goodbye to Henrik and started the downhill session to spanish boarder, and as intended the warmth came forward from its hideout. My plan was to go a bit inland through the moutnains, but the longing for the coast kept me going east instead:) I found some great roads thanks to my michelinmap, who nicely paints the scenic roads green. Here I am now and smiling at the ocean next to me. A couple of more days going south and in Torreviejja I meet up with family and relatives, longing so much! Then just a week after their hometravel, Linda with daughter and parents are coming to Malaga for a visit:) So a month of November incuding warmth in many perspectives, just the way I like it <3
In my read books/ watch movies world, Harry Potter has now reached the Halfblood prince. I have seen a lot of movies but are now following “Criminal Minds” from season 1. A bit scary in the pitch black tent sometimes, but try to remind myself that I am badass:) Hahahahah..
A big highfive to all of you back home with your own adventures, challenges, partynights or cozy home/movienights.
Hope we hear from eachother again:)