Its been exactly four weeks since we rolled down Greystones main st and out into the world. And 3 weeks since we left Ireland. As is usually the case that seems like a really long time and only yesterday depending on the mood.
The last few days have been eventful, we´ve had the first puncture of the trip, crossed our first mountain range, land border, and accepted the fact that we won’t make it to Portugal as originally planned.
Crossing borders is always interesting, but in Europe, as there are often no border controls it is a little odd, with little to announce invisible line between on country and the next. Thus we’d crossed from France to Spain before we realised it, rolling down a hill in France and up the other side in Spain. That said, its still surprising how much everything seems to change, from facial expressions and features, countryside and landscape to signs and buildings, it istantly feels different just 100m down the road.
After crossing the “border” the road pointed upwards and we headed skyward over the Pyrenees. The legs were feeling fresh and hearts were strong so we made good time over the first of mountain pass at 650m, camping in the following valley. To date, we’ve had no real problems communicating, employing leaving cert French to ask for permission to camp and directions. We weren´t exactly at the level of discussing the current political situation in Mumbai with our French hosts but we could at least bumble along through simple conversations. Arriving in Spain though has reminded us that for most of the trip we’ll be mute. Asking for permission to camp on Friday night was interesting, as we barked out the 3 line translation we’d printed from Google Translate with DellBoy like panache. I can honestly say that I did feel like a bit of a plonker.