So we last left this little cliffhanger with me arriving at the track as the MotoGP race started.
But let me back up a little bit. You will remember I was so late because I got on the wrong train from Passeig de Gracia downtown. That same platform hosts several different trains that go the same general direction, but some go much further than others and those that go further make fewer stops. Well, I was in a hurry to get to the track and – I know better than to do this – followed some Guiris in race fan garb onto the train, about 6 of ’em.
To make a long story less long, we watched as the train passed our stop and continued on for another 25 minutes before stopping. We got off at the very first stop we could, which happened to be the very same moment the only train going the opposite direction for an hour was pulling away. I called no fewer than 8 cab companies since it was Sunday and this town was kind out out in the boonies. Oh, and I was the one calling since I was the only person in the group who spoke Spanish. We had one cab driver make two trips there and back and gave him enough money that he probably just went home after our business.
So anyway…I get to the track and am at the nearest gate to the Paddock entrance. I call my friend who has a pass for me and she asks if I am at the main gate – no, I tell her, I am at gate 3, it is 4 minutes from the paddock entrance closer to where she was. So I wait. 15 minutes. The race starts in 20 minutes. I call. She is waiting at the main gate. Which is a 40 minute walk from where I am! I tell her I am at gate 3…blah blah. She tells me she will put someone on a scooter to get me. I wait 20 minutes and the race starts. I call. The girl is waiting at the main gate!! What the hell? So I head off for the main gate.
Its about 100 degrees outside and the path is uphill. I make it to gate #2 and am about to collapse, but at least I can see the jumbotrons through this gate, so I take a little break. (Oh did I mention that I have all my stuff with me for the weekend in a backpack?) I get all frustrated and head off again. FINALLY the girl calls and asks if I am near gate 2 – I gasp “YES” and run back. She is there on an scooter and I get to drive us through the crowds into the MotoGP paddock and hot foot it straight into hospitality where I watch the second half of the most exciting MotoGP race this year. So worth it. Then I drink a couple gallons of water.
After that, I wander around to see who I can find and say hi to some friends and eat an ice cream. At one point in my company hospitality station, I sit next to someone who I have never met in person but is a friend of a friend and he has helped me out with advice and recommendations during my time in Spain. We don’t recognize each other until Cameron Beaubiers father says my name. Then we figure out who each other is, which is funny because at Mugello we were both there and planned to meet but could never find each other. OK not funny like a clown funny, but – oh you know what I mean. The bonus is he has Limoncello and he shares it with me. Woot!
Kevin Schwantz introduces himself to me but not because he knew or cared who I was, he was being polite because I was at his table. Which makes me think I should have some kind of distinguishing characteristic to make me more memorable – like, I could sport Marilyn Manson makeup every day, or only wear yellow overalls or perhaps it could be a distinguishing smell.
I made my way back to the airport, unfortunatlely by walking 45 minutes to the train station with my big old backpack. At least it was downhill. Note: when someone offers you a ride into town, take it even if it is 30 minutes earlier than you would like. I very nearly (oh so very nearly) missed my flight back to Venice.
But made it I did, whether that is good or bad remains to be seen.