On my flight from LAX to Spain, I actually slept around 5 hours on the plane even though I was stuffed in a full row of people, while others had entire rows to themselves! Whatever. I watched il Postimo and napped.
Then I took an earlier flight to Spain from my layover in London, which was dumb because I couldn’t buy the duty free stuff I wanted to give as gifts. Then of course, in Barcelona my bag never showed up. I had a pretty strong feeling that would happen, so I packed a hefty carry on with most of my essentials.
I took the train and underground to my tiny hotel room and only got lost once. This was in the main tourist part of town, La Rambla. I checked in find and went walking around, and went for tapas and wine around midnight. In the random restaurant I chose, I noticed a group of people with a big poster of an enduro rider. I wandered over to see what it was about, turns out it was Jim Pomeroy’s wife and a group of people who work for her. They had just spent the weekend at the Bultaco 50th anniversary! (Jim was the first American to ever win the European enduro championship). I hung out with them and they gave me a ton of gifts (but not the jerseys in the photos).
The next morning it was raining. Since when does it rain in October here? I would be leaving for Valencia that afternoon, so I had a walk around anyway and needed to buy a jacket since I still had no luggage to speak of. I was actually fairly happy I didnt have to lug it around. While strolling through the Las Ramblas, I came across a Communist rally in one of the plazas. Mostly young students, some music, a van with posters, and a lot of cops standing by.
I caught the train to Valencia with no problems, after buying a jacket that I think will become my most favorite EVER. And drinking many Cafe Americanos con un poco leche. This is why you always need cash in your pocket, to pop into a cafe/bar and belly up to some damn good coffee. The train was a crowded three hour ride and I had to sit facing some people, but I fell asleep so I didn’t have to look at them the whole time, always a good thing for me.
Got to the hotel, a crappy Holiday Inn express around 9pm. Right across the street was a big shopping center, of course it was still open, everything is open late here. Got some chocolate, water, bread, cheese and some cherry tomatoes. So far these are my staples and will continue to be until I find a permanent residence, but more about that later. I ended the evening feeling a little lonely and was happy my friend and John-Mark’s former coworker at Aprilia USA would be joining me in two days time. He was in France for work and has a friend on the Tech 3 Yamaha team that could get him a similar pass to what I would be getting.
The next day I headed straight out to change money and buy a prepaid phone – Best decision ever! Phones are essential in Spain and everyone exchanges numbers and sends text messages like crazy.