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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Barcelona

After a fantastic five days in Paris we hitched to Clermont-Ferrant, a small volcanic town in Central France, then to Norbonne, an even smaller town close to the Spanish border. Couldn´t get a ride out of that place (it´s the only time I ever gave up hitching for lack of rides) so we took a train to Barcelona, where it is 25 degrees celcius, sunny, cloudless, and everywhere is a beach, including out campsite. They also have an olympic-sized swimming pool, so life is alright.

Paris was gorgeous as usual and involved the usual mass visitation with Miia´s old friends, chatting about travel, God, and the gay scene (seems half the congregation of the American Catherdral in Paris are gay). We spent the most time with Benoit and met his girlfriend Suzy, who is a long tall drink of silence like me, very kind and gentle, very respectful and very true to her roots. She is from New Caledonia and Benoit plans to move there to be with her when he finishes his PhD dissertation. Our timing turned out to be terrible; after a great night eating a traditional New Caledonian dish she´d prepared and talking into the night about travels and the lessons they taught us, she got an early morning phone call, bad news. Her mother had died unexpectedly. It was terrible for her, and she left on the next flight she could get, and we felt terrible for her but not in much of a position to help, having just met her. All her Paris friends rallied around her though, and many gave her cloth as a going away gift in the New Caledonian tradition. Miia cut a piece from her batik scarf, a gift from out Ghanaian friend Vita, who made it herself, and gave it to Suzy. It has an Akan adinkra on it that symbolizes water. Despite the difficult circumstances, it was a nice goodbye.

In Clermont Ferrant we stayed with Benoit´s mother, a very kind woman who put us up and bought us a nice meal, and took great interest in our travels and our work, asking loads of questions and carefully considering the answers.

Barcelona has been about beach life and I really can´t complain, perfect climate and the Meditteranean is cool and refreshing, not too salty.

In two days we take a train to Madrid, from where we fly to London for an overnight, then home on the 16th. Watch for us!

-Chris

2 comments:

EB said...

Sounds great. Perfect spot to close your journey.

mavenmiia said...

thanks. indeed. we´re in madrid now, our last night as a twosome. tomorrow in london with friends again and then h-o-m-e. what a trip. will raise a glass to all our loved ones tonight. thanks for following our journey with us online.
miia