ok, let me bring you up to speed with my latest adventures.
i finally left my house yesterday at 16.30. the sun was beginning to sink in the sky and casting long shadows in front of the car. I was driving east but put my shades on just for the effect. dropped out of the bottom of the driveway and hit the tunes – queen and david bowie – under pressure (1981), started to chime as i crested the hill and looked down on a sun bathed vila do bispo.
for some reason, it seemed as perfect as the chemical brothers did in my last trip to the alentejo.
the shadows were long in front of the car but always visible as i drove east along the coast. the shadow dancing from left to right as the road twisted and turned, but never going out of sight.
i was amazed at the detail in the shadows. my wing mirrors, long board fin, mal fins, my head and even the different shade from the tinted glass were all visible. i seemed to spend more time watching my shadow than i did the road.
still nervous about the trip, the car, what layed ahead i kept to the speed limit all the way to lagos where i joined the motorway. hell, even on the motorway, i stuck to the speed limit – that must be a first ever. i wasnt in a rush.
I left mase in the house for a few days with the cats, after he leaves, franzi and kati will take the cats to sagres and look after them in their new house until i return.
this was the first time i had driven further east than Faro. along the same route that i had taken twice in the other direction when driving from england. I had to keep remindinig myself that i was heading for mallorca and not returning to england, like my 15 month dream had ended.
before i got to faro, i lost the shadow of the car, the sun low in the sky , just pushing a little dusk light for me to see the countryside on the far side of faro – i had never seen this before, it was all new, but still eerie.
within an hour and a half i was at the spanish border, the traffic on the motorway was nearly nothing as it was no mans land, no-one passing through.
i cracked open my first of four red bulls – seemed like a good idea to stay awake. kept the car ‘nailled’ at 70mph and took it easy.
next tune that struck me was ‘ nillson’ , everybodys talking at me. a line in there said í´m going where the weather suits my clothes´wierd what you listen to really. kept skipping tracks until i finally settled on Dido of course and kept going.
at 200 miles i decided i needed a pee and a coffee, the red bull was slow to kick in and i had already drank two.
i was in spain, saying obrigado to a spanish man who i am sure wouldnt appreciate it – have to remember – gracias……..keep practicing. i scoffed my food and necked the coffee and hit the road again.
the next stop would be for fuel in albacete.
as i was getting close, teh road was a scratchers heaven, glorious black stuff, good open visible bends, crash bandicoote would love this road.
i gathered the ´hood´ was getting rougher though, all of the houses had bars on the windows. when i finall found a garage that was open, it was – pay first- then fill up- the fuel pump cutting off automatically when it reached 50 euros.
as i tried to find my way back to the motorway i got pulled by the filth!!. he dropped his starsky and hutch light on the roof and flashed me over. the town was desolate at 1am, i guess anything moving was a target. but the good old boy, i showed him my passport, then in my best spanglish – asked him which way to valencia. the good old boy said – ´follow me – i´ll show you´and led me onto the motorway. i didnt have the heart to tell him he had a tail light out!
still had 180kms to valencia and it was getting late, i was getting tired so another coffee break was needed but nearly all were closed. i found a great little truckstop. naturally the girl serving was very talented. coffee´d myself up to the eyeballs and headed out on my last leg, valencia.
what a swizz. hit the town at around four in the morning and thank god! the place was deserted and i had to find the port. as i looked at the roundabouts and traffic lights i wondered what chaos would ensure come rush hour. thankfully for me, they were still all in bed. the ferry port was of course closed so i tried to get a few hours sleep.
valencia is to ports as heathrow is to air travel. no chance, the place came alive with cargo ships and trucks about 30 minutes after my eyes closed.
the place finally opened at 8am and i went to see if i could buy a ticket. not yet, they open at 9.30. more coffee , a poo, and a quick read.
then, i get my ticket………ship doesnt sail until11.30 tonight so i get teh whole day in valencia, just me and all of the hot spanish chicks……….this could just turn out to be a perfect day – or at least an excellent adventure.
Have a moan - the beers are on me !!