Sudden southern hospitality

I began a bit unsatisfactory, but I left Spain with a much lighter heart. Before Barcelona I found an orchard or two where I could pitch my tent. After the capitol of Catalunya the olive and orange trees gave way for green fields. It was still really looking where I could camp (which wildcamping always is), but I managed.

Although camping is part of such an adventure, another part is to get in contact with local people. To get to know the country and its culture. Unfortunately I have to say that finding a Warmshower-host was really difficult in Spain. A usual honk or a waving hand was actually all the interaction I had with passersby.  I thought that people from Spain would be more extrovert, so to speak, but I found out that they keep quite to themselves.
But there was one Warmshower-host in Barcelona with a positive answer. A very friendly German guy offered me a bed, although he and his girlfriend were very busy. That didn’t matter, I was most grateful I could stay there and not having to leave Barcelona the same day. We could have a little chat while making and having dinner.
The next day I met Sam, a fellow-WWOOF’er from Denmark. Before we had lunch I could enjoy the sunshine and dry my clothes and tent on some benches. We had a nice chat and good food. He inquired where I would sleep that day. In my tent, but where I would put it, I didn’t know at the moment. If I didn’t want to eat and sleep at his parents place. Just sixty kilometers north from Barcelona, a small village called Santa Susanna. Well, with the beautiful weather I could easily make it before dark. So, of course I kindly accepted the offer. While calling his mother he askes me if I speak a bit Spanish. No more than ‘gracias’, ‘cerveza’ and ‘adios’. I concluded that his parents didn’t speak English all too well. That would be interesting.

And interesting it was! With hands and feet and Google Translate we came really far in communicating with each other. They were lovely people who did all the effort to make me comfortable, give me tons of food and all the southern hospitality you can imagine.
That chance meeting was a real pleasure. I could finally talk with local people and have a little insight in their lifes. I even experienced a little squabble when I asked if they felt more Catalan or Spanish. He wanted independency, but she thought Catalonia is just a part of Spain. He ended the argument by saying to me ‘it’s a problem, it’s a problem.’

I left their home quite early and the weather turned from bad to worse. But when I ate the sandwhich from a big lunchpack they gave me for on the road, it made up for the hard rain.
And than my last day in Spain with the grand finale, called the Pyrenees! It was a hell of a fun ride! The climbing, the views, the fact that there was less traffic, going downhill and what not. Really great fun. Next time a bit higher up to Andorra. What helped was that the weather was much better. Quite some fog in the morning but it got better at the beginning of the afternoon. Having to camp with a bit of sunshine makes just all the difference.

So I hope I find the same friendly people while crossing France to get to know more of the inhabitants, culture, habits and so on and that I find the some nice weather and lovely roads to ride on.


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