I'm sitting in front of a small Salon De Thé in downtown Bordeaux, pouring delicious tea from a large ceramic teapot. There's a tall gothic spire in the middle of the square I'm facing.
Two lovely young ladies just sat down at a nearby table and I lost my train of thought. Been craning my neck ever since walking out of the garage we slept in this morning. So many beautiful women in this gorgeous city ... why do I have to leave?
The waiter herself has a perfect ass wrapped in striped pants held up by hosenträgers over a tight white shirt. Hair like Merida's and fire-red lipstick. My heart stops every time she walks by.
Somewhere in the square a random guy is shouting something French every three minutes. It sounds poetic.
After just five hours in Bordeaux, three of which I spent sleeping in a garage, I'm in love. This is the perfect French city. Like Paris, but friendly. I felt an urge to write the moment we walked out into the street. Not many cities are good writing cities.
And everyone speaks English!
Robert just looked around the square and said "Success is born on the bones of accidents."
We don't know much about Pamplona, but we've heard of it before and there's always something interesting to find in a place you've heard of before. But we also didn't know much of León. Like where we were staying.
Finding a place with an open reception on a Sunday evening in Spain is impossible. The only two places we knew of operated without a reception - book in advance, get the door code by email, check yourself in, sleep.
Not impressed with the idea of spending the night in a car in the middle of a large city we said fuck it and skipped Spain. Drove another 600 kilometers overnight on top of the 600 we'd already done and voila - Bordeaux at 5:30 in the morning.
Kaylee found us a garage downtown and we zonked out as soon as we finished parking. Think I managed to move the driver's seat back a notch before falling asleep.
At 7am we were fresh as flowers and ready to explore the city ... instead we turned around and crashed for another hour. Guess 15 hours on the road is kind of tiring.
But being on the road again after five days in a small Portuguese village felt great. Sure we drank two monsters each and had to eat stale croissants from Gap, but this is an adventure damn it. We're supposed to do adventurous things.
Robert's tightest pants are now two numbers too big. Great success.
Portugal was fun too, just a different kind of fun. Five days of surfing lessons and hanging out at the best hostel I've ever been to.
"Oh hellooooo" one of The Girls said as soon as we parked. We were smitten, but didn't know yet we were staying. Lemon Tree was the third or fourth hostel we checked. The others were full.
Later we found out everyone else called the two German backpackers from Kiel The Girls as well and we were The Boys. Everyone knew there'd be chemistry I guess.
Everyone from the Lemon Tree Beach hostel spent their evenings hanging out on the patio and eating dinner. The cool Austrian dude with a great taste in music, a woman who once wrote an academic book on psychology, her dashing young daughter with the fifth disease, Fenja from Germany working an internship at the hostel, Julie from Cornwall who works at the hostel and is trying to stay in Portugal, an old surf instructor called Raphael, The Girls and the two of us.
After dinner we'd split into factions. The Boys kept The Girls up all night with beers and conversation and everyone else did their own thing somewhere else. I don't really know what they were up to. Too busy chatting to my half of The Girls with the big boobies and pretty face so Robert could try to score with his pick.
In just five days the Lemon Tree Beach Hostel became home. Amazing how quickly some places can do that while others always feel cold and distant. When we left there were proper goodbyes with everyone as if we'd known each other our whole lives. Except The Girls, for some reason they didn't like us anymore.
The hostel owner with his epic mustache and marvelous hat gave us the warmest goodbye of all. Definitely staying there next time I go on a surfing trip to Areia Branca. You should too.
Even though we spent half our days paddling around the ocean and the other half so tired we couldn't do much more than lay around, the surfing feels like a backdrop to all the awesome people we met.
But surfing is good.
Portugal is much easier than the time I tried surfing in Medulin. Surf 2 Smile gave me a big foamy board that caught everything. Even waves I didn't want to catch. Many times I ended up laying on the board as it rode out a wave backwards.
The funniest time was when I nosedived the board for a bazillionth time and ended up bodyboarding the rest of that wave. That was fun. Or when I tried standing up and stepped next to the board with my front foot …
But I stood up once or twice and so did Robert and that's all we came there to do.
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
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