[13/12/30~14/01/12 (D+865) Spain/(to Algemesi)] Is it your first time to visit Europe?? YES!
I am crossing the ocean to finish African trip and to start Europe trip. When I was 20 years old, my dream was to visit Europe. Now I am going there.
At the last day in Africa I found my multitool which is the most important gear and held on the frame was gone.
While the way to Airport, a taxi got a flat tire. A driver said he can fix it. So I waited and waited. But he failed it. I had to take other taxi.
Ex-driver didn’t pay properly to a new driver that I had to pay more again.
A new driver did not know anything about airport. There was sign “Terminal 1” where I must go. But he kept asking me the direction in Arabic to me.
Receptionist said he can not give me a ticket, because I don’t have return ticket. I kept begging.
He said he can never give me the ticket which I booked and paid until I bring out-ticket from Spain.
I ask to use internet to buy any cheap ticket. He said “Nope”.
I kept begging. He said finally “Talk to our manager.”
So I went to a manager
“Sir, please.. blah blah blah”
Manager said at the last
“I agree with you”
So I got a ticket!
I feel a bit scared. Is there only thing left is plane crash?
My ticket is weird one that I must stop at Saudi Arabia which is too far from Spain. But it is really cheap. From Cairo through Saudi Arabia to Spain is only 246$!
It is better to me, because I love flying.
Food in airplane.
After three or four hours, I get to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. I met Korean family at the Cairo airport and heard some shocking thing. In Saudi Arabia, the woman must not drive and go alone.
Egypt is more freedom that they choose about to wear scarf or not.
Around 1 am, I get into plane again, but it is almost empty.
After hour, I arrive in Jeddah. I don’t need changing plane, because it will be the same plane. In Jeddah, many passengers come and it is all most full of people in the airplane.
As starting, I got some snacks.
And breakfast. It means I am almost in Europe.
I couldn’t see the beautiful view because of the night. Now I can see everything and become nervous. I am close to the land of new continent.
At the airport in Spain, it was so easy to get a stamp. I don’t know why the receptionist rejected to give me a ticket in Cairo, Egypt.
My host comes to the airport and we cycle from an airport of Madrid to host house. So so so fantastic ever!!!! Cars don’t honk the horn at me!!!!! People never shout and scream out at me!!!!!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!! Even cars wait me until I pass. The weather is a bit cold. But I think day time will be okay to cycle. It is time to cycle in Europe!
My host cycled to Croatia last year. I ask him so many questions as if I’ve never cycled before. I am being nervous about finding the place to sleep and setting tent. (One of things I am worried about is people will be too cold to the stranger in Europe)
When we close to house, he asks to have something to drink. I order a cup of coffee and he orders a beer in the morning. Later I see many people in Spain drink beer from the morning sometimes. But I’ve never seen people drunken yet in the morning.
The photo is just before lunch. The next to beer is called “Tapas” which means small food for a beer. It is good to me, because in Korea we always have tapas with drinking. When I was in Canada, it was a bit difficult, because they only drank beer without anything.
Surprising! Wow. What is this???
It is a super huge jerked meat of pig’s leg. I’ve heard that many of Spanish love Jamon (Ham) so much. It is said they just love the pig so much. Even there is some word that Spanish loves even the way the pig walks.
They were so kind to invite me to their special holiday.
Another surprising thing! A baby pig! I heard about it when I was in Panama. A baby pig drank only milk! Maybe it’s three months old? But how tasty! It is so so so so smooth. It is the tenderest meat I’ve ever eaten. But I am a bit sorry about this baby pig’s short life. Sorry.. ..hahaha..
It is their culture that they eat the grape before counting 10 to New Year. Yeah, it is true that to spend new year in the land is much fun than in the airplane.
The next day just before going to the town, we have a small breakfast. This is another interesting item. Lots oil and mashed tomatoes on a toasted baguette. I am so excited to experience a new culture!
Long time no see civilization. Hahaha..
It starts raining and in 10 minutes my socks are totally wet. I didn’t know I had a problem with my shoes in Africa, because there was no rain since I bought them in Sudan. It is an emergency because I bet there will be lots of rain and every time it rains I will get wet. Maybe I should buy some new shoes.
Yesterday here was full of people. But we spent a new year around the town.
When I come back at the night, a parcel arrived.
My ipod was broken in Kenya while local people tried to fix it. I thought to buy iPhone will be much better than to buy iPod. One of my friends sent me his used iPhone 4, but condition is totally like new. I feel like I am totally entering to Civilization’s world.
Next day, we come to the city again to buy stuffs for me. The advertisement is funny. What is for? Strip club?
Oh.. advertisement is for a hotel. That makes sense. Haha.
My host, Pablo introduces me so cheap tapas restaurant. One dish with one beer is 2.5 €. It is so cheap.
But there is no chair. I guess an owner will hate if somebody stays longer at his place. Today it is raining as well and my socks are totally wet. It is stressful and cold.
At first we visit the camera shop, because my lens (17-85) was broken at the New Year. I don’t know why my zoom was broken suddenly without any shock, maybe I guess there was too much vibration for a long time while my camera stayed on my bike. The worker says it costs €250 ($359). This lends was second hand, and I paid $200 that I just laugh as he said weird price. These days I need to buy many things, I guess. Hahaha.
I have to buy sim card and many things in the city, so we walk a lot. My host is so kind that he tries to help me anything which I need.
I buy two tubes. And I try to buy a new multi-tool. My host tells owner about me nicely that an owner get impressed. He gives me his old nice milti-tool, a new T-shirt and water bottle for free and discounts tubes.
Surprising gift! Thank you so much for you guys kindness.
This is the shoes which make the problem.
There is a cheap and famous shop all over the Europe for outdoor stuff, which is called Decathlon.
Shoes €37, Water proof pants €15, Rain Jacket €9. I sent some letters to Korea, it costs €40. My simcard €15 and more things I bought today.
Total I spent is €140 ($200)
Too much. LOTS!
Actually I got shocked when I got money from ATM. I got only €300, but when I checked my account, $450 was out!!!!!!! NO way!!!!! You are kidding me.
The next day I start cycling in Europe finally. But from the first day it rains too much. I get another shocked that I am not wet at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!It is my first experience that I’ve never been wet during raining. It is a new world!!!!!!!! Wow!! Is this reason many people put more money on gears? Hahaha.
I keep getting lost while trying getting out of the city. It seems I must not cycle on the main highway. But it is extremely hard to find the secondary road. I can’t imagine how I will cycle without iPhone in Europe. In Africa I don’t need iPhone, but in Europe I must need iPhone to find the road.
At the afternoon I visit a big market. Here is my receipt for European food.
Bread 0.75 €,
Long ham 0.99 €
Two dried hams 1.45 €
Salsa sauce 0.99 €
Pasta 1.99 €
Two tomatoes sauces 0.98 €
Toothpaste 1.75 €
€ 9.55 = $13
Not bad? It is for three days food. I bought some food for camping. I feel good that I want to start wild camping.
The rain stops and I can see a blue sky. I am being nervous that my mind is changed. I can’t do (don’t want) wild camping. hahaha
I went to some small village, but it looks too poor as much as African small village. Even everywhere there are dogs barking at me as if “I WILL KILL YOU IF YOU ENTER TO MY OWNER’S HOUSE”. Spain is like the North America that there are too many dogs. It makes me too hard to talk to people for asking tent.
I gave up and got out of that weird village. I cycle hard and find some gas station. The owner of restaurant allows me to set up tent at parking place. It is too cold in the night.
When I wake up in the morning, I see the police car. But they don’t bother me. After coming back from the washroom, a police car is gone. I guess if I am in US, the police will treat me like illegal worker. But here is more relax. Good.
(Later I heard wild camping is illegal and penalty is € 500 in Spain. Maybe they asked the owner about me and owner said “I allowed it”. So maybe that’s why I didn’t pay penalty? Or they are too kind to penalty?)
The morning is so quiet.
Passing small village
Another small village
Finally it is downhill.
I enter to another small village. But I can’t find the place to sleep. I ask two people, and they say to me “go to the city hall”. So I go there. A police asks me at first about this “Have you eaten something?” with super kind big smiling. I ask him “Nope, but I am looking for the place to sleep. It is much important than food.”
Then he starts calling to somebody.
He finds the place, village gymnasium for me. What a kind police ever with a big smiling. And finally he gives food, which he wanted to me when he saw me first. It is impressing that not all of them are cold to a stranger in Europe :
It is too cold that I set up the tent in front of washroom.
The next day, it is foggy.
Mist at the morning
Today is a holiday that all of market is closed. I ask some people and one local guy guide me to Chinese shop. It seems they never close shop. There are many people waiting for buying bread.
It is time to get nervous. Where can I sleep tonight? The sky is so beautiful.
Many cities in Spain are like a ghost city that it is hard to see people on the road, and every window is blocked with their blind.
When I wander in the village, one local married couple shows me a big smile and save me from the cold street.
They let me sleep at the inside because they are worried about being cold at night.
They are so kind from the first to the last. Even their dog is super kind and friendly to me.
I finally see the special their culture thing. They make jerked meat by themselves. So interesting. It seems many Spanish loves ham (pork) and cheese so much ever. But they are not fat as much as some of North American. I am wondering why some of North American are too fat than other country people. Butter, Pork, Cheese, Drinking. Coffee. Most of the things they eat are the same……… What makes difference? Is this DNA problem? Or…….. McDonald and Coca Cola ruin North American?
At the next morning there is interesting sign.
The weather is so clear today.
The sky is so beautiful, but the road is ugly. There is no such a long secondary road in Spain! The big challenging in Spain is to find the road while avoiding a big highway, meeting horrible road, and keeping getting lost. Oh.. Yeah..Don’t let’s say challenging, but let’s say it is more adventure in Spain!
At the front of city, it looks like North America that there is no big building.
It looks like Calgary, Canada. Before entering city I got a flat tire at the back and the front. I though European road is so nice that I can cycle more with my worn tires.
At the night I arrive in Warmshower’s host home. At the next day while I dry my clothes after laundry, I drop some. Oh……. Thanks that my host saves it. I ask them how many times they drop. They say “Never”. I ask how long they have lived. They say “One year”. Oops..
Thanks to them I could have relax resting one day.
Next morning, it is very interesting to see teenagers going to school. Why it is interesting? I don’t know. I just came from Africa that everything is so interesting.
It is not a factory, but a library. In my experience, the most amazing library was Vancouver’s one.
It is 2, in 9 am. But it is not cold, and even when I cycle I sweat.
There are many castles in Spain. But I am used to see it from Latin America that it is not the new interesting stuff to me. Their culture, food, and the way to live are more interesting to me.
I want to see inside, but it is closed. (Library bus)
It is too small to find a big market where I can buy cheap thing. It is really hard to find the bakery even, because there is no any picture in front of shop. The window is not the transparency as well.
Two baguettes 1 €, Chocolate bread 0.7 €, some bread 0.7 € = 2.4 €
I stop in Almansa for the night. There is a big castle as well and the city looks touristic place. I find one information center and ask them if there is any place for the tent.
She at the information center is extremely kind to me. She calls some house of pilgrimage to get permit for me. I say to her that I don’t have religion and I don’t walk in Santiago. But she says it is no problem. Even she writes the letter for me about “Here one Korean cyclist is. She is traveling around the world and now she needs the place to sleep.. ..etc”
Then she writes her name at the last of the letter and signs and even sets a seal of information center. What an impressing. I though she will be too cold to me as saying that there are plenty of hotels. But real thing is she did all her best for my safe night.
At the next day, I see some sign of Santiago.
15 small tissues 1 €
Choco sand – huge as much as my bag – 0.95 €
12 sweet breads 1.45 €
If I use a big market, food is really cheap. But the problem is other things are expensive in Europe.
A big castle in the city
As I cycle more, it starts mist. It makes me too cold.
It looks like Jejus Island which is my favorite place in Korea. There are full of orange trees.
I arrive in Algemesi at the night again. The sun goes up around 8:30 and down 6:00 pm. I usually start cycling at 9:30 am and I am slow that I cycle in the night these days, which I don’t like. At the late I, my host, and his friend go to Valencia together to have drinking. We laugh and have so much fun.
The next day we visit some vegetable shop. I don’t know her, but she is so friendly that we take some photo together. Hahaha.
Every Saturday there is a local market on the street. But they close when we arrive.
My host asks me “Do you know Palleas?”
“Nope, what’s that?”
“Seriously? You’ve never heard?”
“C’mon, I just came from Africa.”
“Pallea is our typical Valencia food. We eat it usually on weekend together.”
First step: frying chicken.
Put vegetable and rice
Put water and cover with cooking foil
Yeah. Here we go!!
Together is more fun!
I am ready to eat!
Surprising that we just eat together on the pot. It is totally like Korean culture. Hahahahaha. Long time no see!!!!!!!
There is raining at the afternoon. I am lucky that I am at the inside.
In the night I cook some Korean food. Spicy one and UnSpicy one. We hang around until 2 am. What a nice fun night with more people.
The next morning I have to wake up early, because we are arranged to have the trekking. Another interesting stuff here is. The light is stuck on the wall, not with pole. Save money and the space.
So lovely cat
When I arrive at the place for trekking, I am a bit nervous because everybody has outdoor clothes. Do we hike really on hard mount? Oh.. I am too tired..oh please….
The air is so fresh that I enjoy the morning.
Actually it is not the hard mount, but we just walk a lot.
After trekking we have a big palleas. But the taste is totally different from yesterday. If somebody asks me about what the best food is, I will say Palleas which I had yesterday is one of best food I’ve ever had. If somebody asks me what the taste was like. I am gonna answer “I don’t know.. I can’t remember.. But at that time I though it is the best food!!!”
I have so much fun with many friends these days, but I can’t describe all of things here.
I think one of the best ways to have fun for the life is to be with fun people. These days I am enjoying so much cycling. I am getting back to my normal life which loves cycling, talking, hearing, and exploring.