No way but the highway

Day 37

Girona – Girona airport – Girona – El Mas Moro – Blanes

Focus was needed today – The heat. The N2, all the way to Barcelona.
I was back on the highway by 7am and if only it could have stayed like that all day. The traffic was really quiet, the air was fresh and the wide hard shoulder smooth and flat. I made decent headway, nailing the first 15 or so km without any real concerns. I suppose they were just building up for what I had in store.

Reaching the airport was the milestone that saw the N2 become the AP2. The “autopiste”. Teaching me a valuable lesson: try zooming out!
I climbed up a flyover to get a view of what I had in store. Pondered it for a few mins, strapped up and cracked on! Then I went back and spent the next 20 mins deciding that the decision I’d just made to hike it wasn’t the correct one so I decided to decide something else.
These puzzles were getting tougher. I was able to overcome my previous difficulties to this point with a relativity impressive manner of careful thinking and risk assessment but now, now it’s more of a lucky dip. An educated one albeit. Like having a go at a lucky dip that you made, a rough idea of how deep to go but no real element of certainty.

The continuing disappointment was shading my judgement clearly. There I was, standing on a flyover, looking down at the equivalent of the M1 motorway during what was by that point getting close the morning rush hour thinking “can I skateboard this?”…. rule no.1 Michael! This was smashing it to pieces but that didn’t mean I held onto pride. Any of that left over was taken when the bus I had to take to get me the 27km past the Autopiste needed to follow every single road I had skated back to the start of the day and beyond first. Every push I made was regurgitated as the bus headed back to Girona, so close to the camp spot I’d left 4hrs earlier that I could almost make out the clearing I’d carved with my tent.
Maybe this was one way of teaching me not to attempt the impossible, or merely the stupid.

Miles wasted and euros down, I got back on the board when the bus finally got me to safety in El Mas Mora. The N2 was still heading towards Barcelona of course but was was now so close I really had to start forming some kind of a schedule of arrival. There was a safer route to Blanes on the coast. The start of an 85km promenade skate along the Mediterranean, a nice and easy two days skate.

I passed through of course. This town turned out to be the biggest tourist trap on the trip. My habit of magnating towards English speakers was now impossible due to the sheer amount of them. This would’ve definitely stiffed my progress and probably have been a little weird so I made my way outta there just keeping the coast to my left. Now, of course, this tactic failed me in western France so I’m not sure what I was expecting this time as I pulled out the GPS at every dead end. At one point, I’d confirmed my inaccurate sense of direction, shoved my phone back into its correct pocket and took one step forward before looking down at the pavement to see that my next step would have been directly into the biggest snake i’d ever seen in the wild. My research told me it’s the little ones you need to be scared of in this part of the world but, all the same, it certainly put the shits right up me and I nearly blew it right back out. Ok, before you envisage a man eating Python let me out some perspective on it – 3ft. I’m from East Sussex, we don’t see many snakes.

The food stock was kind on my wallet. The campsite wasn’t kind on me though. There isn’t too much science behind finding somewhere to sleep but one very good rule is not the block a trodden path, something I didn’t really think about until a Spanish guy tripped over my guide ropes at 10pm. This wasn’t the place to camp. I now had two problems: I’d managed not to be noticed by the farmer that drove his tractor 15ft away from my tent (that was just luck) but I was near to another holiday resort and had no idea how many more people would be using this as a cut through and until what time.

Keeping quiet is simple but it’s not easy to keep out of site when your chasing a mozzie around for 20 mins with a spotlight, your tent looking like a mini disco venue to anyone passing by.
If I had to move, it was gonna be in the dark or by force. I was just too tired to go through it all again.
I decided to opt for the force.

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