Cycling after Barcelona to Madrid Before I go to Barcelona I contacted few members of CS and WS in regard of having a place to stay while staying in Barcelona. Arantxa and Harriet were the ones who replied positively to my request and luckily Harriet was a teacher who could organize a tree planting in her school. I arrived around 8:30 when Arantxa was not available and I contacted Sara who is her flat mate. We met on the Catalonia square and we cycled home with Sara, An Italian friendly girl who could easily represent the culture and show how it is different from north of Europe.
I was happy to meet them and talk to them and later at night when Arantxa came also I had the same experience. I was getting more closer to the culture and feeling more relaxed in Spain.
I love it and I love the culture and people here. They are so open and warm which I know this kind of culture from east, so I am feeling kind of home here in Spain now. I was moving from two houses while I was in Barcelona and it was great meeting all those lovely people there. After 3 days in Barcelona with all those beautiful memories, talking all together in Arantxa’s house, BBQ on roof top with Harriet and her friends, meeting Roya a friend from Iran….I left Barcelona.
I closed the door and sat on my bike, I looked back and I saw my friends on the trrace watching me and waving hands for me. a short time to spend and some more hearts were touched, some more friends were in my heart and a beautiful feeling of meeting them and the same time I was sad leaving them. but this is my life and I have learnd how to leave and how to say goodbye and go. this is my journey and life and I should know it and accept all its hard moments as well.
I left Barcelona quite late, around 13:00. I had 660km to Madrid and on my way I was going to pass Siruana where I could meet Klaus again. He was climbing there with Karoline and I had a chance again to meet them again. It was 160km to Siruana and I knew it was hard to get there in the afternoon and also I had to climb 1500m which was almost impossible to make it just in the afternoon.
I decided to cycle 120km along the beach and stay at night somewhere, so I would have an easy day. I had a possibility to stay in a little town called Cambrils via a member of CS. It was 15km farther than I expected and I arrived there sometimes around 11pm which was already too late. after sometimes a chat with the other guest there I slept as I was too tired after 135km. in the morning I was not in hurry.
I had just 40km to cycle to Siruana which could be an easy day. It was around 12:30 I sent a sms to Klaus informing that I am going to meet him today. Karoline replied and told me Klaus is already on the way to pick me…yohoooo such amazing news I received. I was so excited to meet them again and I was getting closer. It was a cheerful day with a wonderful weather and of course lots of joy I had in my heart as I knew any time he might bump to me. I was looking at distance waiting to see his van and finally he was there..I love this moments when I meet a person who I deeply like and have a big respect for his friendship. Honestly I would say Klaus is one of my best friends now and I would be glad to do whatever I can for him, anytime anywhere. My bicycle was inside the van, this time dry and sound and I we were happy laughing loud. after a coffee with Karoline in the village on our way we went for climbing. It was great to touch the rocks after sometimes even though I have never been a good rock climber.
In the evening we drove to the camp site where I could sit on the edge of rocks to gaze at the valley dawn and watch the sunset. That’s a pleasant moments which always touch me, always makes me think deep and feel wonderful. Siruana is an amazing place to spend some days, a very beautiful village which is located on top of a cliff with a view over a lake down in the valley. I was with Klaus and Karoline but I was again running out of money, it happened many times in Europe for me and always I just ignored it and things went well but still it is not that easy. That’s true I was with Klaus but I was not feeling well in the second day, I couldn’t contribute and it made me feel embarrassing a bit. I should admit that it was getting harder and I was feeling worth, but I had no way, I could do nothing and I had to keep quiet and wait for something to happen while things seemed that are not going to happen and I had to continue that way. second day also finished and we had really lovely time even though my mind was quite busy and I was a bit down.
I said goodbye to Karoline and I was pushing my bike to go to the road, I turned back and waved my hand and I told her which I am going to go to look out to have a look at the valley once more but she said that Klaus went to the road to see me when I am leaving. I was more happy to see Klaus rather that the valley and I refused to go to the look out and I just passed by. I stopped again to hug Klaus and say goodbye to him. I don’t know when will be the next time I can meet him and where.
The road was amazingly beautiful, full of flower and so green and I was excited even though I was going to have some tough days ahead. there were just 7 EUR left in my pocket and still 500km to Madrid. I could survive for 2 days. So I decided to cycle as much as possible on the first day and do the rest all at once in the next day. I had no choice and also for a long time I was planning to do something quite extreme. I needed to evaluate my tolerance limit and redline, that’s why I wanted to do something extreme. Now it was the time as I had no choice. I had to do it, also a friend of mine who is handy capture was inspiring me to do it. It was time for it and I was ready mentally. I had one broken spoke on my rear rim when I left Siruana, it was on casset side and I couldn’t fix it myself, just a bit adjusted it and began to cycle. So glad of being on the road, so happy to see all those beautiful flowers and fresh air and it was a good reason to forget about money. careless of all difficulties I was going to have, my eyes were shining and my heart was full of peace and love. I met 2 cyclist, an old couple from Netherlands and after a short ride with them I had another spoke broken.
I had to fix it and I did, again following the road. It was quite and not many cars but I had the third broken spoke, and soon after the forth one, all form casset side and I couldn’t fix them. I just could adjust a bit to make rim turning without touching the break paths. it was really hard to manage it to continue, but I kept cycling which the fifth one made me stop. I couldn’t continue and it was getting dark. with the money I had I could buy 3 small tuna and one bread. I spend 3.5 EUR and the same left for me. I continued almost 20km on that dancing rim and finally I found somewhere to camp. I found a very quiet place in the nature with a vast view. I pitched my tent facing to the east to be able to see sunrise in the morning. It was quiet, peaceful and calm and I could hear just sound of birds and bugs. weather was cloudy and a dark cloud was on my head. I looked at it…it could possibly rain but I didn’t want to use the cover of my tent.
I rather preferred to feel the fresh air on my face at night. I was thinking what to do and finally I decided to do not use the cover, no matter if it rains. I will be a bit wet before I put the cover but at least I could have fresh air. I managed all my bags inside which I heard something next to my tent. Still I haven’t use my head lamp. A little beautiful fox was outside wondering who I am !! I am not stranger, I told him kindly and after he was sure I am not going to bother him, he left slowly and faded in the field. At the midnight I woke up. There were thousands of stars over my head.
Amazing..I dint want to sleep again. I was glad that I didn’t use cover of my tent. It took my almost an hour to sleep again. There was a very fresh air and nice weather in the morning, I really didn’t want to wake up or get out of my sleeping bag. I postponed it 2-3 times and finally I was enough late to have rain. In 2 min my tent was totally wet!! For the breakfast I had some corn flex with water which is kind of disgusting but it was ok and also it was all I had. I started cycling with that dancing rim with the hope that it can take me to the next city where I can fix it. Even though it was hard as I knew I cant pay for it and I had to find a bike shop who helps me to open the casset for free. after 5km the sixth spoke also broke and soon after the seventh one !! it was impossible to continue and I had to find a lift. I stopped by the road and in 5 min a truck stopped and he took me to the town called Caspe which was 20km from that point. Bicycle shop was close and I had to wait for an hour.
There was a little park there which was a nice place to wait and also to dry my tent. at 11 the shop opened and he agreed to open my casset free of charge. He said that he does not have the spokes and I have to find them myself. I went to the other bicycle shop to get some spokes and I paid 1.5 EUR for 3 spokes and I returned again, but unfortunately after he saw my rim, he realized that he does not have the tools to open it. The only way was to get to the next city which was almost 35km and it was not on my way. It was kind of hard moments, I was lost, and pissed off. He said there is another bicycle shop but he also wont have the tool. I left the shop and I was wondering what I should do? He was totally sure that I have no chance to do it in the other shop in that city as well, but I didn’t care and I had to do it myself to be sure and I couldn’t trust anyone before I don’t have the answer myself.
I went to the other bicycle shop and I asked him if he can open the casset for me? He kindly accepted and he did it even it made him a lot of work, but I had no choice and I had to do it that way. while fixing my rim I saw that I need another spoke. I was happy that I could keep 1.5 EUR to buy some bread and also maybe a little bit of milk but I paid another 50 Cents and I had just 1 EUR left and 400km to cycle. I had no Caspe. I was not in hurry as I had to cycle till next evening, so I kept doing it relax. head wind, rain and lots of hills was killing me and made me so slow. It was around 7:30 pm which I still didn’t cycle a lot because I all those hills and wind. It began to rain. I ignored…it got harder and again I ignored. I was tired, wet and cold and my mind was full of questions. I had to be enough strong and I had to continue. No way and I was not going to give up. I was thinking of many things, my handicap friend who was inspiring me, and the hard situation I had. I was hungry and thirsty and I had no food no water. I was not planning to camp, so I didn’t fill my bottle and I was looking for a place to fill my bottles.
Rain was hard and I stopped for some min under a tree but it didn’t help me to shelter from the rain, just it could protect me from the cold wind. after 10min of rest, again I started to cycle but in few min rain again started heavily. I was kind of collapsed, tired and hungry and of course wet and cold. It was 9:30pm and almost dark. I had no way except to camp. I couldn’t continue and I needed to get warm and dry. Finally I found a place and I camped and I directly went inside my sleeping bag to sleep. I had no food and no water. I woke in the morning, it was almost dry and rain already was finished and I began to cycle. more 300km to go and I had to do it in one day. it was around 11 that I could find some water to drink and kept cycling. I already spent the last 1 EUR a day before to buy bread for lunch and I had almost nothing. I just had a small tuna and some corn flex. no dinner, no breakfast and 800m to climb on my way. I had no problem and as things was getting worth, I had more courage and I was more determined to do it and continue.he t I was relieved from the pain and I already was happy. I had no fear, no stress and no pain anymore.
As much as I was doing harder and things were getting more difficult, I was happier. I climbed that road and at the top I decided to have a little rest, have a tea and eat something. I made a tea and I warmed up some water and I cooked some corn flex in water…it was kind of disgusting but fine. While searching my bag for tea I saw a very little pasta left from some days ago. I was so happy and I was thinking to make a something for dinner with it. It was very little but I could mix it with corn flex and cook them all together with the little tuna !! you can imagine what an ugly food it could be.
still I had 70 cent and I was hoping to buy some pasta with it. If I could do that, then I could make a dinner and have some nice pasta with tuna and without tuna and corn flex. I began to cycle again and I was dreaming of nice pasta.
I was wishing which I have more pasta!! I was thinking of it which I need it, why I don’t have it then? It was an agreement to have what I need without asking!! I was cycling and my mind was searching for the answer. I was scanning my life for last few days and I was walking back in my mind!! 2 days ago, 4 days ago and I came to the time I was leaving Barcelona!!! “ I was packed and ready to say goodbye to my friends there. I hugged them and said goodbye but suddenly one of them went to the kitchen and returned with a pack of pasta. She told me, Hey Mohammad! Take this with you. I usually accept whatever I receive even though I don’t need it but that time strangely I didn’t accept. “ I remembered it. I already had received the pasta but I was the one who refused taking it!! Again it was proving for me to see how everything work and how I have whatever I may need. I kept cycling and around 4pm I arrived to a highway which would directly go to Madrid. I knew which I was not allowed to cycle in highway but it was flat and I had tail wind, so I went to high way to cycle and I was thinking which I will continue till someone ask me to leave.
Also there was no sign to show it is forbidden for bicycle, so I continued in the high way. in a short time I cycles 75km which was great. around 7pm while I was cycling I saw a coin on the road and I excitedly stopped. I found 2.6 EUR on the road which was amazing. I could but a pack of milk, some cakes and a pack of pasta. It was enough for the next 200km and I was so happy. I drank half of the milk straight away with some cakes. Honestly I would say it was one the most delicious food I have ever had. at around 9pm I had another broken spoke and I stopped somewhere on the highway to fix it which a police car stopped.
They came out a bit angry!! And we began to talk and they told me which I am not allowed to cycle and I have to leave high way !! I was quite happy as it was getting dark and I preferred the small quiet road rather than highway at night. it was around 1 in the morning that Ana called me to see where I am and how I am doing!! When he realized that I am still cycling and I would cycle all over the night she kindly offered me to come and pick me. It was 3am that she arrived and the last 100km we drove to Madrid. It was 5am and I was kind of supper tired. Ana had already organized with a friend of her to stay with them. I just needed to sleep then….
18 May 2013