Saint-Genie-des-Fontain – Figuerus
There’s one thing I found out on this journey, that I’m slightly inclination-blind. The difference between flat and slightly uphill, or downhill. Always seems to throw me when I’m rolling way further than I thought or not costing far enough. The uphill here was most certainly, uphill! Never too steep but never anything but uphill. I never realised there was such a thing. So when I reached the boarder at Le Perthus, soaked in sweat, eyes stinging from the salt, I was quite surprised that was it! Downhill all the way!!
This must be like the other thing I’ve found out, my judgement of distances… and sense of direction. And that, if you wear a Predator helmet for 40 days when you have thinning hair, you’ll end up with an arrow shaped bald patch in the top of you head.
I’d made it to the boarder. Hiking all the way with a hundred near misses. I’d made it through the heat and humidity. Past the cars and lorries trying not to crush me.
There was no physical “welcome to Spain” sign at the GPS boarder line. What it had was a lookie lookie guy trying to flog a variety of overpriced watches displayed between his fingers like some kind of in-accuwrist glove puppet. Welcome back Amigo! Couldn’t be a nicer one either in my opinion. A 30 second, ready mix, microwaveable culture explosion, in the face!
The other nice change was the price 😉 My ultra budget mackerel baguettes had just halved in price and morphed into tinned squid sarnies.
I must have been passing through a tax haven! Fags, fags, perfume, booze, perfume and really cheap espresso. God I’m so addicted to those little monsters that I can’t even turn one down even after I’ve immediately climbed a mountain.
A steadily descending expanse of baby smooth Tarmac that would let you pull 500m calves for 12km.
It’s was longboarding paradise. And there was me, stuck on a hard shoulder with tonnes of metal flying by, laden down with about 17lbs. By the time I’d reached the bottom I had worn my left sole through to the foam in 2 new places. If anyone reading this has a consignment of Acme Dynamite, that road needs closing for a weekend please.
I coasted past the roadside prostitutes, through the blazing sun and toward Figuerus. I didn’t want to head into yet another town so I stopped at some shade and collapsed against a wall without any regard for the ants crawling all over me.
The bar owner was worth the travel alone – short, fat, white linen on white linen against a contrast of mega tan. The only thing splitting the two colours was a huge gold necklace. Stereotype with a persona to match as he offered me a hose and a chair. I was done!
A quick satellite view delivered some open space nearby so I pushed up into the nearby hills one more time to find my spot for the night – Layered mounds overlooking the mountain range I’d just concurred. A perfect view, the smells of Spain (dried grass, pine and sewage) and a 40p tin of calamari to complete the moment. I couldn’t have wished for more. Well, maybe the 80p tin would have tasted twice as good, that I wouldn’t have minded. I pitched my tent and chowed down. The calamari looked like sick, smelled like death and tasted simply awesome. My only worrying moment about this spot was when I was woken at 3am by growling outside the tent. I laid still, the growling animal stopped and headed off. “Dumb perro” I assumed (although I did have to question what Spains roadside hookers sound like when they’re in this kind of situation) but foolishly I decided to research the possibilities the following morning – I was in wolf country. Shocked at first but you know what the internets like: ask any question and you’ll get any answer you choose.
Asking the locals the following day offered some clarity though:
Definitely a feral prostitute!