Tag 14-16, Ponteareas – Valenca – Cabo da Roca – Lissabon I

Zu den Fotos

Tag 14 (Sonntag), Ponteareas – Valença do Minho; 30km, 2 Autos

Natürlich standen wir erst nach Mittag auf. Die Mädels gingen noch schwimmen und bevor wir losfuhren, wollten wir noch Nudeln machen. Allerdings hat das Gas des Campingkochers leider nur dazu gereicht, das Wasser zum leichten Köcheln zu bringen. Also gab es stattdessen Gaspacho und Baguette mit Käse und Tomaten.

Die Mädels ließen mich dann bei einem Hotel raus, wo ich noch einige Couchsurfing-Anfragen für Lissabon absendete und machte mich Richtung Portugal auf. Ich kam aber nur bis Tui, der Spanischen Grenzstadt. Zu Fuß lief ich dann über die Valença-Brücke nach Portugal.  Dort hatte ich aber auch kein Glück, aber es war auch mittlerweile dunkel. Als ich dann meinen Platz verließ, um einen Standort für die Nacht zu suchen, fiel mir auf, dass genau gegenüber von wo ich getrampt hatte, eine Pilgerherberge war. Also bin ich hin und weil ich drinnen Stimmen hörte, klopfte ich an Tür. Mir wurde auch geöffnet und ich suchte mir dann ein freies Bett aus.

Tag 15, Valença – Mafra, Cabo da Roca; 510km, 4 Autos, keine lange Wartezeit

T15 Valenca-MafraAm nächsten Morgen ging ich wieder zu dem Platz von letzten Abend und es dauerte nicht lange, bis ein Auto hielt. Vielleicht lag das auch daran, dass ich das “Lisboa”-Schild gegen ein “Porto”-Schild ausgetauscht hatte. An der folgenden Raststätte aß ich dann Frühstück und wurde von einem Ingenieur aufgelesen, der dachte, ich sei ein Mädchen, dabei waren meine Haare gar nicht so lang….naja. He fuhr einen relativ neuen Audi A8, der eine Spurfahrassistenten hatte. Als ich fragte, ob er ihn ausprobieren konnte, drehte sich zwar das Lenkrad, aber hätte er nicht eingegriffen, dann wären wir in der Leitplanke gelandet. Mittags lud er mich zum Essen ein.
Als ich fast am Cabo da Roca, dem westlichsten Punkt Europas, war, hielt eine ältere Damen, Linda, an. Sie sprach Französisch und sie, weil, wie sie oft betonte, niemand zu Hause auf sie warten würde, fuhr mich zum Kapp und noch ein bisschen in der Gegend umher u.a. zur “Mar do Inferno”, einer Art Felskessel am Meer. Am Ende ließ sie mich sogar bei sich übernachten – im Krankenbett ihres verstorbenen Mannes.

Abgesehen von normalen Geschwindigkeitskontrolle, gibt es in Portugal Kameras auf den Ampel, die Geschwindigkeitsüberschreitungen registrieren und dann die Ampeln auf Rot schalten. Nette Idee, wie ich finde.

Tag 16, Mafra – Lisbon I; 55km, 1 Auto, einige Warteminuten

Bevor ich nach Lissabon aufbrach, zeigte mir Linda noch das gemütlich Surfer-Dorf Ericeira und brachte mich dann zur Autobahnauffahrt. Von dort kam ich zum Campo Grande, im Norden Lissabons. Ich hatte noch keine Antwort von Couchsurfing bekommen, also setzte ich mich in einen stylischen Park, las und aß vermutlich zu viel Schokolade bzw. Erdnüsse – aber dazu später mehr….

Am Nachmittag entschied ich genug gewartet zu haben und lief im Zickzack Richtung Zentrum. So bekam ich einen guten ersten Eindruck der Stadt.

Aber irgendwie fing mein Bauch an, weh zu tun und die Ho(s)tels, bei denen ich nach Räumen fragte, waren mir alle zu teuer. Also entschied ich mich, zum ca. 10km entfernten Campingplatz zu laufen, obwohl ich mich schwächer und schwächer fühlte. Auf dem Weg musste ich mehrmals Pausen einlegen. Mir war schon klar, wie das Ganze enden würde und dann kam ich auch an den Punkt, an dem mein Magen revolutionierte. Zum Glück war das in der Nähe von ein paar Büschen und sichtgeschützt und nicht mitten auf einer belebten Straße…..verdammte Billigerdnüsse.

Danach fühlte ich mich schon ein wenig besser und schleppte mich weiter. Bis zum Campingplatz kam ich aber nicht, sondern wählte einen Platz in einer Art Park neben der Autobahn, der aber auch von Blicken geschützt war. Es war mir aber auch vollkommen egal, baute einfach mein Zelt auf und hatte eine grauenhafte Nacht, in der ich alle drei Liter Wasser, die ich noch hatte, austrank.

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Tag 14


Tag 15


Tag 16

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Day 31-33, Granada (ES) – Breda (NL) – Insane 2300km hitchhiking

Read it, don’t jump to the pics right away

Day 31-33, Insanity: Granada – Breda I; 2320km, 13 cars, 53h

T31_1 Granada-BredaLet the fun begin. Get up at 7am, starting hitchhiking at 9.30am. I waited maybe 90minutes till I found a truck driver who took me about 100km to Braza. There I found a Moroccan, who was going to Strasbourg and was already happy. BUT I forgot that the Moroccans have every possible space covered, so of course all three passenger seats were already reserved…quel dommage.

But soon I found two Spanish guys who took me another 240km to a service area near Elx (Elche). At this service area I thought to won the jackpot. There was a truck with a Dutch number plat. I had to convince the driver, Jeffrey, to lie down the fear of taking hitchhikers – or at least me as a hitchhiker. He was going directly to Breda. How lucky can you get? But my luck didn’t last long. It disappeared the sooner we came to Valencia. Jeffrey had to load his truck. At first the spot was Barcelona, which was not a problem at all. Then Valencia, and staying overnight there, which was bad. Then Barcelona again, yeah. But then it finally changed to Zaragoza and one day stop there. How I hate that place. Of course I couldn’t join Jeffrey now, because I had to be in Breda on day 33. But my unlucky “streak” continued.

At the gas station where I got out I asked a driver, if he was going to a specific place, I showed him on the map. He agreed. Fine. But I had to realize, that he was going somewhere totally different and when I realized, I was already nearly in Valencia at a gas station where nobody would stop to continue north to Barcelona. Though the stuff said, there has never been a hitchhiker at their place, who had to stay overnight. And just when I wanted to cross the highway to hitchhike back, they found someone who was going to a better spot.

T31_2 Granada-BredaIn my opinion that gas station was not a better spot. I checked the internet for hitchhiking spots and found Sargunt, north of Valencia, a train was going there. The first driver I asked, it was a sweet girl who has never taken a hitchhiker before, drove me to the station. I had to run, because the train (only 3,25EUR) was leaving 5 minutes after we arrived. From Sargunt train station I had to walk another maybe 80 minutes until I arrived at the service area. It was already about 11pm. There I found a Romanian truck driver who went to Barcelona and agreed to take me the 325km. Finally I got some luck. He was on the phone all the time, so I hardly found some sleep.

At 4.30am we arrived there. The service area was sleepy. No cars or trucks were going at this time. So I ate some bread with Nutella and at maybe 6.30am I found an old German couple who, against my prediction, hadn’t have a problem to take me. They were going to Germany via Lyon so the way I wanted to go. There was the hitchhiking luck again! 600km and the man didn’t drive slowly. They played a big part in arriving in time in Breda, thanks for that!

But to be honest the next stages that followed I lost the time I had “saved”. We arrived at an aire before Lyon at noon. Not until six hours later, at 6pm, I could continue. The reason was pure laziness. I just couldn’t run around asking people like in Malaga on my way to Granada. However at 6pm a guy going to Paris took me 150km further near Dijon. After one hour of searching a Czech truck driver, who was even taking some extra driving time for me, drove me another 150km near Langres. There I spent the night. But not sleeping. Nobody drove in my direction. Well a father with a baby son did, but he (not the son) didn’t have the balls to give me a lift. But ok, a little child is a fair reason….though even young mothers with children had already given me lifts.

Anyway after the second night with no sleep and a Dutch driver who said his boss wouldn’t allow hitchhiker, a Belgian truck driver drove me the last kilometres in France and through Luxembourg near Brussels. There it took me at least two hours to find a ride. Just we I started to talk with a British biker and man whom I asked before came back to me and said I could come with him. He was passing Breda.

So I was finally there….only 5km left to the centre and I was exhausted and lazy so I figuratively thumbed a ride for the last time, which I got after 10min. I arrived at Breda station at 2.30pm.

Summary: I hitchhiked more than 2300km in 53h which is an average speed of 43,4km/h – pretty bad. I barely slept, only for minutes and although I sometime tried with a sign, I always got my rides (besides the last one) after talking to people.

But why did I even want to go to Breda? Well the reason is as simple as this: International Redhair Day. I had heard of it before and a friend of mine has been there in 2012 and convinced me to join him this year. Since my hair colour and the date fits well into my journey schedule I agreed. I would have been really sad, if I had managed hitchhiking there in time.

But everything went…more or less smooth. At 4pm I met my friend who was arriving by train. Then we met our Couchsurfing hosts, ate something and went out. But at midnight, I got really tired after 65 hours of not sleeping – I beat the “record” from 2012, when I travelled from Egorievsk (south of Moscow) to St. Petersburg and continued to Petrozavodsk, by one hour.

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Day 25-30, Gibraltar – Granada, Granada

To the photos

Day 25, La Linea – Granada I; ~245km, 5 cars, maybe 3,5h waiting time

T25 La Linea-GranadaCovered in ashes I got up and saw that the smoky cloud was now covering the Upper Rock of Gibraltar. I didn’t eat breakfast, but started hitchhiking nearly right away. A guy from Ireland drove me to a service area where I asked to guys who then drove me to a service area at Malaga. There I met a Polish couple, who wanted to hitchhike along the coast but didn’t have any success yet. I asked people for about 90 minutes until I found a Polish guy who drove near Granada. The hitchhikers had decided to stay and go with a Polish truck driver to Paris the next day.

It took two more rides until I finally was in Granada at 4pm. On the way I picked some of the special cactus fruit.

In Granda a friend of mine, E., whom I know since kindergarten studied for 2 years now. I waited for her at Plaza Nueva with some ice cream. She picked me up some minutes later and took me to her apartment which terrace had a stunning view of Alhambra, the famous fortress.

Together with her friend Borja and their two dogs Lanu and Umbra we went to a small stream to chill. In the evening her French roommate made crêpes with different tastes, very delicious, for us and some of his friends.

I chose the terrace as sleeping berth, because it didn’t get colder than 22°C at night and the view of Alhambra was just too nice.

Day 26, Granada II

We were invited for dinner by two friends of E. and I was shown the town for a bit. In the late afternoon till evening we went across the Alhambra are a bit and rented a car for the next day to go to the beach.

So I enjoyed the cliché day of Spanish lifestyle, siesta, relaxing, taking things easy (and slow).

Day 27, Granda III, beach near Motril; 80km, 1 car, no waiting time

At noon we went to the airport to get the car – a Volkswagen Polo. I was the one who should drive to the beach. We were 5 persons and three dogs – if that was legal, I don’t know, but it was quite an experience.

It was a bit difficult to find the beach but we managed. I just went swimming for some minutes and then searched for shelter from the sun.
E. and her friends intended to stay overnight, but I wanted to return the same day. So when the first people started to go at 7pm I just approached two of them asking if they were going to Granada and if so, whether I could go with them. And well, yes and yes. So E. needn’t drive me to a bus station where a bus would have left a time none of us knew and I saved the money of the ticket.

So I before I returned home, I stopped by at a supermarket and then had a relaxing evening on the terrace.

But this day really made me thoughtful. At home I would have never ever asked strangers that are about to leave a beach if I could go to town with them. I guess it’s mainly because I can hide behind the English language and “just being a stupid” tourist/traveller when I’m abroad.

Day 28 (Sunday), Granada IV

I slept till the heat of the sun woke me up. That was at about 11am. After a fruity breakfast I started a walk around the area. There are little mountains, since Sierra Nevada is not far away. Caves can be found in some of these hills in which people are living. You can see chairs in front of even wooden entry doors, washing lines with clothes on it. These caves are no temporary “apartments”. Since I thought E. and her friends would return late in the evening I arranged a meeting with some guys from the crêpe-event.

The bar we went to served ridiculous sized beer. It was more of a beer shot than a glass of beer. I wanted to go on quickly, that was depressing. On the way to the next bar, we saw some Serbian basketball fans partying. We went into the bar that served Tapas as well and ordered some beer. Among the guys was a Polish girl, A., and because the other guys were kind of afraid of the Serbs we both decided to join them alone. They were already in a good mood and invited us for some more beer. I was soon called Albert Speer or Albert….that’s how a part of Serbs are. When they started to fight each other, because one of the Serbs was given a shirt from the opponent, we left for another location and at 4am I went home.

Day 29, Granada V

I visited the famous Alhambra fortress, but since I’ve already been to Iran, honestly I didn’t find it that interesting.

Since I wanted to hitchhike directly to the Netherlands the next day, I bought food and nice falafel. But there was something inside, that made my stomach revolt again.

It is strange; after all these journeys, where I honestly didn’t pay much attention to what I ate or what I drank – sometimes I drank water from the tap although most people didn’t recommended it – never had any health problems. And now, in Europe, I have problems two times in a two weeks.

Day 30, Granada VI

That’s why I had to stay in Granada. Fortunately E. was OK with it, because I couldn’t have done extreme hitchhiking in that shape since it’s a 2300km trip to Breda.

So we cleaned the apartment, ate some ice cream and looked how I could get to my hitchhiking start spot. In the afternoon two funny friends of a friend of E. arrived and we had a nice chat altogether. But I didn’t join them going out, I had to be fit for the 2300km-nonstop-hitchhiking.

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Photos of the inside of Alhambra
Day 25


Day 26-30, Granada


Inside Alhambra

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Day 14-16, Ponteareas – Valenca – Cabo da Roca – Lisbon I

To the photos

Day 14, Ponteareas – Valença do Minho (Sunday); 30km, 2 cars

Of course we got up at around noon the next day. The girls went swimming and before we wanted to depart we wanted to make some pasta. But the water was just about to boil when the camping gas went empty, so we ate some Gaspacho and baguette with cheese and tomatoes.

The girls then left me at hotel where I sent some Couchsurfing request for Lisbon and continued towards Portugal. But I only got to Tui, the Spanish border town. But foot I continued over a bridge to Portugal. I didn’t have any luck there as well, maybe because already dark. Anyway when I left the spot to go to a possible place to pitch my tent I realised, that there was a pilgrim’s hostel just opposite of my hitchhiking spot. Although it was late, someone opened the door and I was able to sleep in a bed that night.

Day 15, Valença – Mafra via Cabo da Roca; 510km, 4 cars, not so much waiting time

T15 Valenca-MafraThe next morning I went to the spot again and it didn’t take much time, since the first car stopped. I also replaced my “Lisboa” sign with a “Porto” sign. At the service area I ate breakfast and was then picked up by an engineer who first thought I was a girl… He drove a brand new Audi A8. It had a lane departure warning system (so in theory it could keep the lane automatically). But when I showed me, we nearly crashed into the beam barrier. At noon he invited me for lunch.
When I was close to Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point of Europe), an old lady, Linda, stopped. She spoke French and, because nobody was waiting for her at home as she said, drove me around. In the end she even let me crash at her place.
Apart from regular speed radar controls, there are cameras on the traffic lights that register speeding and turn the lights to red. That’s a pretty nice concept, I guess.

Day 16, Mafra – Lisbon I; 55km, 1 car, some minutes waiting time

Before I went to Lisbon, Linda showed me the cosy surfer village of Ericeira and then brought me to the highway entrance. From there I got to Campo Grande, in the north of Lisbon. I haven’t had any reply from a CS host yet, so I sat down in the cool park, read and apparently ate too much chocolate and peanuts – but I’ll come to this later on.

In the early afternoon I decided I waited enough and walked zigzag towards the centre. So I got a good first impression of the city.

But somehow my stomach started to hurt and the hostels I asked for room had prices starting 20€ per night. So I decided to go to the 10km far away camping site although I felt weaker and weaker and made multiple stops on the way. I already had the feeling, but then I reached a point, where my stomach couldn’t reach it any more. I spare the details, but was “happy” to find a quite hidden place to let it happen….damn low quality but cheap peanuts.

I felt a little better and trailed myself further. I didn’t reach the camping site, but a place next to the highway that somehow part of a park but separated by some building. But I couldn’t care less in that situation, pitched my tent and had a horrible night and drank all 3 litres of my water.

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Day 14


Day 15


Day 16

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Day 11-13, Ézaro – Cée – Finisterra – Cangas – Ponteareas

To the photos

Day 11, Ézaro – Cée via Fisterra; 45km, 1 car

T11 Ezaro-CeeAfter having gained enough sleep I was guided by a local fisherman to the tourist information to get some hints about Monte Pindo where I intended to hike. After I assured the lady behind the desk multiple times, that I will return before she closes (sooner than 7 hours from that time), I could leave my backpack there.

The mountain area was affected by a huge fire a couple of months before, so dead black trees rose between the stones everywhere. On the peak the view of the beaches was nice and it was possible to see even Fisterra (Finisterra – The end of the world).

Two hours before the information desks closed I arrived and could visit Fisterra together with a Spanish-French couple. In ancient time Fisterra was believed to be the end/westernmost point of the known world (Europe and Asia). It was the official final destination of the Camino de Santiago as well and it seemed common to burn a part of clothes, which resulted in many small fires and a strange smell of burnt shoes and T-Shirts.
Because it was Thursday I wanted to check out the festival in Cée. The couple drove me there, I pitched my tent next to a church after I reassured two times, that nobody would care. Unfortunately it was not a traditional festival but only a commercial whoopee. At least when I came back, neither of my things was stolen, which I was a little afraid of. That is one negative fact when travelling alone.

Day 12, Cée – Cangas; ~160km, 6 cars

T12 Ezaro-CangasIt was Friday and I intended to stay the week-end in the Portuguese national park of Gêres. After two rides, I had to walk through a small town and ate two super delicious balls of ice – white chocolate and pistachio.

Later that day I ended up partying with 3 Spanish girls, but before hitched with 5 different cars, went too far and had to hitchhike back. Then Matilda, Moira and Icía stopped. They were on a week-end trip to relax at the beach and do some partying. While we drove Matilda and Moira, who was driving, were already preparing for relaxation smoking one joint after another. First we drove to a beach and to a spot which seemed to be famous for its sunsets. Then we drove to an octopus party in Cangas. Due to the high prices at the party, the girls asked some police men where to go instead. There they ordered multiple different meals: pizza-like pieces with seafood, cucumber called “Padros” (if I’m not mistaken) that can be very spicy or not – it was lottery and dumplings.

It was very delicious and made me full until next after-noon. Before we returned, we went to a bar and ordered Liquor-café, which is what the name describes and very tasty.

We pitched our tents near the beach we’ve been early that (or the previous) day although according to a sign it was forbidden and could be fined with 600 EUR. Anyway at 4.30am it was time to close the eyes.

Day 13, Cangas – Ponteareas; 55km

T13 Cangas-PonteareasWe spent a calm day at the beach and I did a little hiking tour with Icía around the coast. I was sure I wouldn’t need any shoes, but it was a very bad, stupid and painful idea. After my feet were kind of painfree again it was also time to visit a small festival. We made many detours before we arrived there. Then we ate some can food and joined the festival at midnight.

Around 30 people were attending the “festival”, where fortunately no electronic music was played. The place was outdoors. It was basically kind of a parking lot with access to a small river. In the middle were the speakers and the DJ. We danced till the early morning respectively when the music was shut down. But because there was still some cakes and beer left, we were given two litres of the delicious – and in my opinion only real beer in whole Spain – Estrella Galicia (Star of Galicia). At 6am we returned to our tents.

 

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Day 11


Day 12-13

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Day 9-10, Tapia – As Catedrais – Ézaro

To the photos
Day 9, Tapia – Ribadeo / As Catedrais; 21 km, 1 car

I didn’t hurry to get up and decided to walk to Ribadeo. The way was part of the “Camino de Santiago”, so I can say that I pilgrimaged the Camino – for 15 kilometres. But before, I entered a pilgrim hostel to take a shower that was like a reborn after a couple of days without.

Unfortunately when I arrived in Ribadeo, I found out that the As Catedrais, which are some coast formation recommended by Susanna from Andorra, are some more 6 kilometres away. I was too lazy to walk for another at least 1.5 hours. In addition with an about 24kg heavy backpack it wasn’t an amusing journey. I was often asked if it’s not too heavy. In fact I went part of the Camino, but not on foot, but with hitchhiking.

So I hitched a ride near the As Caterais, charged my mobile phone and camera batteries at a restaurant. After 4 days without electricity both were nearly dying and especially the camera batteries were essential for me.

I pitched my tent at an empty parking lot. The formation As Catedrais was only accessible during low tide –so two times a day. When I arrived it was the next day at about noon and that night at 11.50 pm. So I spent some time reading at started to go at 11 pm.

It was just breathtaking and magical. There were about 15 people walking along the cliffs and the cloudy sky revealed a nearly full moon after some 30 minutes.

Day 10, As Catedrais – Ézaro; ~250km, 6 cars, 7h travelling

At night it had rained which affected me for the first time this journey and only second time during my journeys from 2011 on. Because I wanted to visit the Catedrais during daylight again, I had no rush getting up. But others had: At 10 am. I got out of my tent to see the parking lot completely full. Completely? No, a little German hitchhiker blocked space for one car. But he couldn’t resist the numerous cars which drivers became very nervous when they finally saw the opportunity of a parking area.

This time, the area was full of people so I soon started to get further. I waited nearly an hour and was about to take a break, when a car with four Italian ladies stopped. I squeezed myself in the back row and the backpack on our legs. They told me, they especially had turned at the next exit to pick me up.

Shortly before A Coruña I got out, but was a bit lost there. I walked around for an hour till I figured out a possible route to my destination. With the help of a nice Galician guy I got to the right way to – at that time Muxia. Via the highway I got on the local roads of the Costa del Morte region.

At Arteixo I was taken by a guy who built windows. His excuse of not knowing English was by far the best that I had heard since. Mostly people said, it was because of the bad teachers. He instead said it was because his teacher was so pretty he could only look at her and couldn’t concentrate on what she was talking – for six years of school… He recommended going to Ézaro instead of Muxia if I wanted to do some hiking. So I just changed my destination.

From the gas station where he left me, I caught a ride some 10 kilometres further. It was some village and nearly midnight and again 10 minutes were left to the deadline, when I wanted to find a sleeping spot, when a family stopped and took me all the way to Ézaro. The son told me of a music festival from Thursday to Sunday in Cée that was nearby.

They left me at a beach where according to them I could pitch my tent without any trouble and it was true.

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Day 9


Day 10

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Day 8 (Monday), Zaragoza – Tapia

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Day 8, Zaragoza – Tapia; ~670km, 3 cars, a couple of hours waiting time

T08 Zaragoza-TapiaI got up early. I wanted to continue. So I said good-bye to the two girls who wanted to take it easy and the first people I talked to at the service area were eager to give me a 470kilometres lift, which was awesome. It was a Spanish couple and the husband wanted his wife to speak English that she was learning at evening school. So it was a win-win for Carlos, Anna and me.

They were heading to Llanes in Asturia so we passed the rainy Basque region. To be honest like the people who never heard of Andorra, I would never have imagined that Spain can have some kind of rainforest of Eucalyptus trees. But the clime covers the northern countryside in green. The beaches are wide and empty, which may be reasoned in the stormy Atlantic Ocean. Nonetheless I liked that part immediately; not only because I had escaped the heat for some days.

At the last gas station before the crossroads of the highway to Gijón (my direction) and Oviedo (south) I spoke to a Pakistani, if he was going to San Sebastian. So after only minutes of waiting I got a ride again. The problem was, he was driving in the wrong direction. I mixed up Santiago and San Sebastian in my head. That’s why he of course was going to the right direction, but in the same time I was driven back to where I just came from…. Luckily after some kilometres was a small service area where I ran over the highway to the other, the right side.

There the time passed, cars came and went away without me. At 10pm an employee gave me a free tea and pitied me. But shortly before midnight, Ainoa, a girl from Basque region, took me to Taipa where she was working and which was only 10 kilometres from Ribadeo, where I intended to go. Unfortunately she refused to speak English, so it was quite a quite drive.

Having arrived in Tapia at about 2 in the morning, I walked along the cliffy coast until on top of one I pitched my tent and fall asleep to the sound of breaking waves.

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