Day 4

Km: 130.3
Max: 60.9
Ave: 22.2
Time: 5:52
Weather: 28, breeze
Favorite Sign: Cow sign- hay muchos
Highlight: sleeping inside old castle over sea
Towns: Badalona, Mataro,...Loret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, La Platja d'Aro, Palamos
Fav Food: tuna tomato sandwich on croissant


Location ItemLocalUS$
Bar de Beachchoc ice cream bar 125PTA
Bicicletesrear tire 35mm, repair kit 1850
Bar de BeachCoca Cola 150
Totals 212514.17

Leaving Barcelona
We slept in pretty late in the morning. Jens explained that a bed was a luxury for him and he wanted to enjoy the hostel as long as possible. He bought some bread and we headed toward the marina. It is a bit of a pain to enter and leave a city of this size on bicycle. We knew which national highway we wanted, and we knew that it ran along the coast. So, we were able to just follow the water for a while till we got out of town, then it was easy to find the road.

Costa Brava
I had never heard of this area, but it seems the coast here is quite famous throughout Europe. Jens would point out how some beach towns were more British while others were more German or French. Everywhere we passed through seemed to have its share of foreign tourists. The whole idea seemed a little crazy to me- so many people coming from other countries just for the beach. Jens pointed out, though, that it is not so different from Florida in the States. People from landlocked places head to Daytona or Tampa to enjoy the beaches of America. Although everyone speaks English more or less, there are plenty of differences that make the Floridians sick of New Yorkers or Chicagoans.

I continued to have problems with my bike. About thirty kilometers out of town, half of the front fender broke off. My front bag was leaning on it too much and caused the plastic fender to rub into the tire and split off. Luckily, it was a piece that I don't really need, but I brought it along just in case I can fix it some time. I was still worried about my back tire too. After yesterday's flat, I was worried again that something might go wrong.

Tienda de Bicicletas
In the evening we found a bike shop right on the main road. Jens bought some gloves and a new chain while I tried to move up to a better tire. The shop only had one 35mm rugged tire to replace my 28mm rear. The tire was almost too cheap, so I wasn't sure if it was any good. However, it was definitely wider and thicker than my old one, so it seemed it would support the weight on the rear better. They tried to shove a bigger tube in too, but that didn't work. So far the new set-up seems to be all right.

Traveling with Jens
Luckily my Spanish was coming back to me pretty quickly by this time. Jens and I could have lots of good discussions. It is amazing how many misunderstandings can be cleared up when two curious people from different places can just get together and discuss things. Jens was quick to point out the failures of American or Western foreign policy. He told me how he participated in some protest at a local McDonald's once. I tried to defend the stupidity of my fellow countryman, but sometimes I had to do it with a bit of humor. Personally, I still believe in the purity of the idea of America. I think a lot of other people love the idea too, and that is why our movies, food, and products are all over the world. I told Jens that we don't force people to watch stupid movies like Independence Day, it is not my fault.

The Castle
We failed to make it as far as we would have liked for the day. However, it was already getting dark when we started to search for some free camping. We asked some people about a deserted beach that was just up over the hill, decided to head there. However, we got lost around the top of the hill. After climbing some stairs, we found an old castle overlooking the bar-lined beach below. It was not easy to drag our bikes up, but we finally set-up camp and went to bed.

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