Skip to content
Swizec Teller - a geek with a hatswizec.com

Longtrip, On the road

Spanish desert

This is the most boring road.

A vast windfarm stands still around us. The scenery is sometimes flat, sometimes full of rock formations displaying layers of geographical history. Dotted with shrubbery and covered in tough light-brown grasses the Spanish desert extends into the horizon in all directions.

Occasional torro silhouettes made of steel are the only clue this isn't any other desert in the world. Waking up after dozing off feels like no time has passed at all. Everything remains exactly the same.

The sign we just passed says we're at 1100 meters above sea level. It warns us of possible ice on the road. Where the ice could come from I don't know, we haven't seen a single cloud in three days. But we'll be careful, I guess.

At least there is traffic on this road.

The traffic makes this vast sameness feel less lonely - passing the occasional slow truck or giving way to a fast Speedy Gonzales in a modern car also gives you something to do when you're driving. The back roads we took from Andorra to Zaragoza yesterday were completely deserted.

Had anything happened it would've been game over. The vultures would pick our bones dry by morning.

Tonight we're camping near Merida, a small town near the border with Portugal; two days ago we stayed at a hotel in Millau, France. Yesterday we woke up after a freezing night in a camp in the middle of Andorran mountains. Tomorrow we're going to be in Portugal.

Roadtrips are surreal.

Everything happens so fast we don't even have time to write postcards from all the interesting places. I wrote last week's blogpost in the middle of Italian Alps ...

Tea in Millau

Millau was a sleepy town where the historic centre streets are deserted until 3pm when they become bustling with activity of everyone going to and fro. I'm not sure if those were tourists or locals enjoying a slow summer afternoon. There were a lot of families with strollers and small humans racing around getting in the way of our longboards.

A few hours later we were practically locals. Everywhere we went we'd meed somebody who served us tea or food that day. That afternoon we literally walked down every street in the historic center.

Climbing the Pyrenees into Andorra was the polar opposite of the relentless Spanish desert towards Portugal.

Mountains before Andorra

The countryside lush with greenery. Deep forests as far as the eye can see; infinite pastures at the peak of our climb - 2100 meters according to Kaylee. Windows down to enjoy the fresh mountain air, we could always hear the trickle of some nearby stream. Probably not always the same stream.

And oh my was the road fun to drive! Vroom down a short straight, breaks screeching into corners and fast shifting between third, fourth and fifth gear to keep the average speed up.

Desert between Andorra and Zaragoza

The only time we've gone out of fifth today was stopping for gas and sandwiches. Otherwise it's just a constant pressure on the gas and away we go at 120km/h not slowing down for anything or anyone. Like a lorry.

At Zaragoza yesterday we finally found some young people.

Camps and hotels are full of old people and their underage kids, so we tend to have only each other for company. Random patrons of the hostel we stayed at in Zaragoza were a welcome break.

A square in Zaragoza

Out in the historic centre a Venezuelan girl who lives in Barcelona scalded us for staying only a single night. She said Zaragoza is much too pretty to go over in a single evening. I tend to agree.

But we left the beautiful Zaragoza before 10am today to head west into the desert. We spent the day bored out of our skulls and now we're enjoying the cool evening at a campsite bar just outside Merida. The wifi craps out every two minutes, the barbecue smells divine and orujo burns our throats.

Sunset in Zaragoza

The Michael Jackson fits perfectly.

Tomorrow we go check out the roman theatre in Merida and stare into the ocean from the westermost point of Europe. It's going to be fun.

Some more desert :)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Did you enjoy this article?

Published on August 11th, 2013 in Uncategorized

Learned something new?
Want to become a high value JavaScript expert?

Here's how it works 👇

Leave your email and I'll send you an Interactive Modern JavaScript Cheatsheet 📖right away. After that you'll get thoughtfully written emails every week about React, JavaScript, and your career. Lessons learned over my 20 years in the industry working with companies ranging from tiny startups to Fortune5 behemoths.

Start with an interactive cheatsheet 📖

Then get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career.

"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only email I open from marketers and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"

~ Ashish Kumar

Join over 10,000 engineers just like you already improving their careers with my letters, workshops, courses, and talks. ✌️

Have a burning question that you think I can answer? I don't have all of the answers, but I have some! Hit me up on twitter or book a 30min ama for in-depth help.

Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own?  Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization

Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.

Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev

Want to brush up on your modern JavaScript syntax? Check out my interactive cheatsheet: es6cheatsheet.com

By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️