After a couple of days of Barcelonian madness, I met up with my good friend Ivan and together we caught the train north to the town of Figures; known for its Dali exhibit (which I never made it to) markets, which I never shopped at and Spanish bogans, whom I managed to avoid. We very quickly got out of there, via the local petrol station that sells farm fresh milk supplied by locals. I've seen snacks, soft drinks, even gas bottles in vending machines, but never serve-yourself milk! Love it!!
Next stop was Ivan's place. Unfortunately I never got any pics, probably because I was in hippy bliss and forgot about things like technology. It's not like they had electricity anyway! His place is a little place built in the 13th century and you could smell the history in the thick, thick walls. Their veggie garden was over flowing in abundance and their 24 fat chickens looking happy and healthy with no idea of their future as the household's latest money-making idea. Apparently I should have been disappointed that I was missing slaughtering season by two weeks! I faked regret. Anyway, the only connection to civilisation was the ancient village a couple of k's down the road called Maconet and I would wander down daily to connect with my Oz world and marvel repeatedly at how old, tiny and cute the place was. Here's me in the 'main street'!
And this is the sweet little village from a distance. Quaint eh!
Next Ivan took me to the place of his childhood: Colera. Apparently they named all their towns after scary, infectious things to deter pirates. This is Ivan sitting in front of his old home, the station master's cottage. No frills!
And at the top of the hill over looking 'beach of the dead'.
The hills behind his house.... Some know them as the Pyrenees...
After a few days in hippy heaven, we bid our fond farewells and I headed to the seaside town of Cadeques. Paradise by the sea and what I'd always imagined to be quintessentially Spain.
Local place of prayer...
Happy me in my ever-present floppy hat, over-sided sunnies and slight sun burn/tan
After two nights of hedonism in the form of backpacker fun with my two new Dutch mates Jean Pierre and Martin, I reluctantly bid farewell to the town that would end up being my favourite in Spain knowing that I had so much more to see before meeting Barks in a weeks time.
Next stop was the ancient town of Girona. I thought I could just arrive and fall into fabulous accommodation as I'd managed to do in Cadeques but the travel gods weren't so on my side this time and I dragged my damn strawberry suitcase all over town before settling in a place that was like a mix between Russian slums and Faulty Towers. By the time I found it though, I would have been happy with a sack in the corner of a hay shed! I didn't 'click' with the town as much as I had with Cadeques but still appreciated it's ancient beauty for what it was.
My Street! Someone should tell them they spelt it incorrectly though.. Perhaps I'll write a letter...
Construction. I figure the scaffolds are holding up the adjoining walls... I just liked the colours.
View from the outside looking in. The entire town is surrounded in a wall which makes it kind of cosy.
7/11 Catalan style!
Local talent. Would have loved to have seen what he had going on!
Before we move on from Girona, I must share a story of Catalan romance at its best. I was making my way to the train station with my bags etc and was stopped by three guys who'd popped their heads out of their apartment foyer to call me over. The speaker of the group asked if I'd like a coffee. I told him I don't drink coffee, so he asked if I'd like a beer. I replied that it was 9:30 in the morning and so he upped the anti with offering a whisky, when I shook my head, he said, 'how about sex? Good sex? I asked if he meant with all three of them at which point they all nodded enthusiastically. I smiled and declined but left amused and pleased to know 'I still had it'! Go Miss K!!
Next stop, a million train changes to desperately make my way to the nothing town of Matero where Ivan's flat mate was to perform in what I'd understood to be human pyramids; they call it Human Castles (pronounce the 't'.) I didn't think it sounded like a big deal but when I got there hot, late and in danger of sunstroke, I realised the mad journey had been worth it. This is what I found...
Check out this link for the spectical in action. I posted it on youtube for all to marvel at..
And this is what happens when things go wrong...
As soon as I'd finished been blown away by the castles, boofed by the sun and skyped the fella back home from a Turkish take-away joint, I high-tailed it out of that town ASAP. Lets just say it wasn't pretty and I was fairly certain my future did not lie there. I made it back to Barcelona then used the last scraps of my phone battery, nicked the wireless from a dodgy cafe at Barcelona Sants and decided very quickly that I was off to Benaccassan, a beachside town a few 100k's down the road and deep into the East Coast of Spain. I was about to enter the true unknown.... Ole!