Saturday, April 18, 2009

Sun at last!

One doesn't realise how africanised one has become until the sun doesn't really come out for two or three weeks and then suddenly one morning, there it is again. I think that this is the first morning since we left england where we could be sure that there wouldn't be any rain for at least a few hours so we decided that we should dry everything as best we could so our campsite looked a bit like a gypseys camp for the morning. While everything was drying in the hot sun, we spent the time reading and generally relaxing until about midday when we really had to get going if we were to make Barcelona at a reasonable hour.

The drive to Barcelone was quite uneventful with the hilly terrain giving way to rolling hills and then eventually to pancake flat terrain which had a bit of a Karoo feel to it but wasn't quite as barren.

There were still loads of hilltop villages, some abandoned and some not so abandoned to be seen throughout most of the day.

Arriving in Barcelona, the sheer scale of the motorways from 60km out lets one know that this really is a big city and thank goodness for GPS. The roads here are quite a challenge with highways within highways (8 to 12 lanes with the inner 4 not able to change lanes to the outer 6 or 6) and over-ramps and under-ramps; we would never had made it, without a fight, without the GPS. We drove through a monster storm on the way into Barcelona which appeared to be following us. The catalans have a very interesting system for on-ramps; the lane joining the highway stays a full lane and the 'fast' lane peters out about 500m after the joing lane joins the highway. So, if you're travelling in the fast lane (which nobody does here; it's amazing!) you end up continuously changing lanes as each onramp is passed.

Arriving at the campsite, the one and only one open anywhere near Barcelona called le vedada, we pitched camp and got ourselves sorted out in record time because of the storm which was threatening only to have it miss us almost completely. We're getting really good at setting up camp, from arrival to finished I doubt it takes longer than 20 minutes.

We camped close to a german motobike tourist called Daniel who was visiting Barcelona on his own so we got talking and ended up having supper with him at the restaurant. While we were eating we saw two of the camp dogs put their heads into his tent and come away with a salami and a breadroll each. Daniel was not amused but the dogs seemed pretty pleased with themselves!

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