Spain

Chapter Six: Looking for a Muse

Insanely strong crosswinds and insanely fast mountain race-esque roads - Southern Spain was a long needed gem.

So after what feels like the 25th audio tour of a cathedral you’re pretty much ready to give up on Spanish cities in general.

Seville was an attractive enough place to keep me there for a couple of nights. Semana Santa had started so there were no end of people blocking the streets to watch the procession of figures from Jesus’ life paraded through the street by the Ku Klux Klan. They even get their Klan children to carry torches and play instruments, a nice touch. Also a homeless man showed us his cock.

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Since leaving Sevilla I’ve been to to three other major cities, Cadiz, Grenada and currently Valencia.  Getting drunk in good company aside, they all offered little in the way of new inspiration and I got a bit listless in my wanderings.

Waving Hasta Luego to my Aussie friends in Cadiz (dodging the 5-0 in case they noticed my illegalz parking) my swollen crab arm and I journeyed in search of new vigor. I’d let the limb heal itself in due course. Once when I got stung on the nose I looked like a handsome burns victim for around 4 days..

I remembered Stef, our Madrid tour group friend, talking about Tarifa being the wind-surfing capital of the world. My route to Granada could easily swing by so I made tracks to check it out. 10 or so miles out of the city shit got real serious when I started to realise why it was the wind surfing capital of the world. No shit, it’s pretty windy…

I was glad to see another rider coming towards me, jittering all over the road like wasp out of his mind on red bull. Lane boundaries a things of the past we both had to bank hard against the wind so we wouldn’t wreck, until the wind would cut and blow with even more force from the opposite direction. The air waves shorn from lorries were actually a pleasant predictable rest from the erratic airborne tides. My muse had been located, at least for the mean time. It was to get the fuck out of Terifa with at least one, preferably all my arms and legs still attached.

The wind pitted out slightly as Candy Indy and I passed through Terifa with renewed interest in taking to the sheltered mountain roads rather than picking up the motorway north of Gibraltar. The Michelin map had highlighted the road green – showing twisty looking ‘Scenic Routes’. Sold.

map2I couldn’t kick myself for taking the wrong road and completely bypassing Ronda, a small town in the mountains, because it had been (albeit accidentally) some of the best motorbike roads I have ever ridden. Steep mountain hairpins thrown into sweeping turns all bathed in sunshine and offering unrivaled open panorama of the green wilderness, speckled with white hamlets.The deep red-brown rocks billowing out of the steep hillsides. It was by far one of my better accidents.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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I arrived back on the motorway a gibbering idiot soaked in his own juices and with wild, rabid eyes glaring out from behind my visor. The chicken strips on my tyre were down to the barely noticeable. Over and over I’d been rolling on the throttle while banked over low, drilling the back tyre around skittishly until getting traction and launching me down the straights. The dehydration, fast and dangerous overtakes, fast and dangerous corners and the panoramas tinted by a dying evening sun had succeeded in rousing me from my aimlessness. Candy and I had survived Terifa and the Ronda scenic route and our respective adrenal glands had been squeezed dry, like playdough through a closed fist. As good as it felt, we both needed sleep. She’d had her fan on the whole day to stop overheating and my shoulders were as heavy as the rucksack that dragged down upon them. As usual the bike had gorged herself on any solvents we could find, while I forgot to eat a thing and had drank only half a litre of warm tap water. So when we pulled off the motorway and into Grenada she rested, fat and happy while I went out for local food with my Danish hostel room-mate Sofie.

Sucks right? Travelling is Hard.

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