Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Trans Espanic Part Uno

Leaving the perpetually bustling Barcelona behind we were soon tuned into the very comforting and simultaneously out of place Billy Connolly barking orders on our TomTom. 

Having no preconceptions of what to expect, what followed was fascinating. El Fuerte and Google both agreed the first night  stop over was to be the unique sounding Zaragoza.

About an hour outside of Barcelona we decided to spice up our journey and try to visit a brown sign posted point of interest.

Mainland Europe has decided to sign post interesting things with the very questionable colour brown. Quite why brown was chosen is beyond me, we have missed countless things by the unflattering boringness that is the colour brown.

Billy and the TomTom freaked out for about an hour because of this unscheduled dalliance. Because of this we did not get to the point of interest. We did stop in a very small Spanish town and drank some coffee.

I took a solitary photo,

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Back on the road and with my wife safely asleep I did some clever engineering and got the TomTom back on line. I reset it.

There was a distinct lack of any vehicles on the road. This segued nicely into the changing scenery. We were entering Nevada or New Mexico or some huge desert. This was adventuring!

We actually drove across the section of the world where longitude starts counting west from east. Look at this cleverly placed arch.

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Sadly there are no other photos of this exciting time. My wife thought the scenery very boring and would not take any. I would have loved to stop the car on the Autopista(spanish word for motorway hehehe),walk off into the desert, go delirious from heat exhaustion and find a tumbleweed.

Speaking of which, the tumbleweeds in this part of the world must be tumble rockets. The huge plateau we were now on is a huge funnel for wind, more about this at a later date.

The land started to be come slightly more life sustaining as we entered our first over night stop. Small streams were spotted as was agricultural activity, we were nearing Zaragoza.

Zaragoza’s majesty almost alluded us completely due to a very devious……..

Spanish Invention time!!

The antiroundaboutasection

To be brutally honest the Spanish do not have a very good reputation for driving ability. To counter this they have amazing roads and mind boggling things like this.

Imagine a pefectly good roundabout

Imagine a normal interection

Join them together

Add a few lights and you have the….

antiroundaboutasection

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Artist who is not an artist’s impression 

Can you imagine how confusing this is the first couple of times you use one?

The round about pieces are usually obscured, you go straight through thinking you can turn off either side and then discover you are inside a a trap. You continue to the next intersection to find out it is a round about intersection. You wait for the next intersetion to do a u-turn and find out you are in a antiroundaboutasection. This can go on for months, until you run out of fuel and run off into the desert screaming.

We did find a way out and a hotel eventually. Zaragoza was an incredible place to stop a night. The city has a almost alien worldishness to it.

Enjoy some of our photos.

Keener viewers will notice these photos look better than usual. This is because my wife took them. Eating some humble pie, I regrettably inform you and myself that she is a superior photographer to I.

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There are some benefits to this new arrangement. I get to become a part of more photos.

Here I am modelling my new bag.

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And here I am riding a local horse that I was not afraid of.

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The riverside area of this city deserves special mention, lovely walks and public exercise equipment reminded us of special times in Vietnam and Asia.

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Zaragoza has a population of close to 700,000 and I am not sure where they all live. We could have lived there longer but we had a country to cross. Tune in next time for the next leg. 

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