Archive for April 4th, 2010

(7 miles)

It was Easter Sunday and I got up at 9 a.m. but after showering, I had to put my tent in the sun to dry before packing it up, so it was just before noon when I finally paid my 10 euros and left the campsite. My plan was to bike back into Granada and find the bus station and catch a bus to Valencia, which would give me about 6 more biking days in Spain. If I couldn’t get a ticket out until the next day, I planned on going to the other campsite north of town for the night.

The whole way to the bus station, my gps was beeping on and off despite the solar panel having good sun, and the only explanation I can think of is a short in the stupid power cord! This is really not good.

At the bus station the information desk-person checks and tells me that I can purchase a ticket to Barcelona and then in Barcelona, take a bus back south to Valencia. It will cost 40 euros. I decide that this is a solution, and better than sitting around for another day only to do the same thing. When I get to the ticket window and ask for the ticket, the woman charges me 78 euros. I try and justify the cost, realizing that this bus ride will cut out at least 10 days of expenses at 25-30 euros per day if I would ride the same distance, and then I start wondering if I should even go back to Valencia.

I’m conflicted because on one hand, I enjoy being somewhat able to communicate in Spanish, which I’ll be leaving behind if I continue on from Barcelona and leave Spain only two days later. I’ll have missed out on a huge number of sights and sounds and tastes of Spain. But the 4-day bicycle ride from Valencia to Barcelona will be highway for at least two and a half of those days, so is it even worth the time and money?

Right as the bus started loading, a bus to Valencia leaving two hours later showed up on the departure board, and I made a split second decision to see if I could switch my ticket, but after rushing back to the ticket counter only to see a line about twenty people long, I realized I’d never even be able to ask about the possibility without missing the bus for which I already had bought a ticket. Barcelona it was, and I still had no idea what time the bus would finally reach the city, and no idea where I was going to stay. The stress was really starting to get me down. At one of the intermediate bus stops, my iPhone managed to pick up an open wifi network, and I quickly tried to find some information on hostels, but who knows if any of them will have space. As much as I feel the need to get back on the road and put in a few big mileage days to feel like a real bicycle tourer, I think I might have to take at least a day in Barcelona to track down a solution to my gps problems, and find a new safety vest. And maybe then I can also see some sights, since I feel a bit as though my cycling has taken away the opportunity to be a tourist, as there has been barely enough time in each day to sleep, eat, bicycle and find the next food and campsite, and then do it all again the next day.