Jason left the table for the restroom but shortly reappeared back in the hallway. “Hey Josh, are we homies?..or…”. At first it seemed as if he just needed some reassurance before using the restroom. The girls began laughing.
“Yeah man, of course we’re homies”
“Ok, cool just checking.”
The men’s room is labeled “hombres”. But here we are in Burela, a small port town in the north of Spain. The wonderful Kaptain Kirsten is hosting us and it is hard to find much to complain about. We took showers, passed a bottle of wine back and forth on the beach, jumped in the frigid yet clear blue ocean, went out to dinner and ate a plateful of pulpo. I woke up the next morning next to an empty bottle of Dewars and a pair of numb feet. Turns out stinging nettle can cause numbness.
We stayed another night and continued, Dewars, ocean, staying up till morning, making lots of noise in this tiny apartment across the street from a nursing home. In the morning Jason had left. I figured he had a few hours on me. After a few cups of coffee and some eggs I forced myself back onto the road and out of this state that I suppose this post is about: distraction.
For a few minutes I had forgotten I was biking around the world, I had forgotten I was in Spain. I was back in Tallahassee at a house party and extremely comfortable. Now I’m back in the saddle sweating up a mountain and blowing a bug out of my nose. This balance is important, blending the suffering that comes with biking several days through cold rain with an evening chugging scotch on a ferris wheel with friends. I very easily could have stayed there in Burela, found a gig teaching English and shoved the panniers in a closet somewhere.
The moment I got back on the bike I was cruising down some of the most beautiful winding cliffside coastal road I have ever seen and within 75 km Burela became a pleasant but distant memory. I camped alone that night wondering where my homie was and read my book under a dying headlamp. In the morning I passed through Luarca, a small “Zelda” village in a valley. I rode up around the harbor which was tucked in between weathered rock and littered with fifty different brightly colored fishing boats. The silence of the town was in a way unnerving and for a moment I imagined I was the only person on the planet. I thought to myself, “maybe I will do this forever”.
I pushed hard for the rest of the afternoon not expecting to see Jason till maybe San Sebastian where we plan on changing direction towards the Mediterranean. Our two-ways were dead so there would be no way to contact each other except for over wifi. I came over a hill and saw him sliding a shopping cart across a parking lot towards his bike. The alone time was wonderful but who knows where a few more days of cycling solo would have led me.
I started the morning in the quiet foggy town of Luarca and ended my day with a panicked drunken escape from the town of Aviles riding pass flaming smokestacks and constantly scanning over my shoulder for our friend Robert or “Ro-Barret” as he pronounced it. A character which as Jason puts it we performed the Dip-Slip on. There must be something to these moments of peace and absolute chaos that I am addicted to. Pardon the cheap metaphor, but it seems as if everything is reduced to suffering on the uphills just to enjoy the cruise down the other side.