From my vantage point in the second row of the Sprinter van I’m comfortably positioned in right now, I’d be none the wiser of our geographics swallowed in these canyon roads carved into the mountainsides of pristine evergreens seated upon one another into the horizon.
Thomas asks if it’s my first time seeing the Pyrenees and insists we stop at a watering hole with a panoramic vantage point to fill gallon jugs with fresh spring water for the remainder of our ride.
Lucky to have claimed window side as the first to arrive this morning in Barcelona, I’ve been able to prop my feet up on the metal gears behind the driver seat to get a position restful enough to count a couple more hours of shut eye, at the detriment of my cervical and thoracic spine, and still quality inconsistent.
I was unaware of the commitment I had made by booking a ride share until I was shooting pool at three in the morning in the game room of our hostel, making trips to and from the vending machine swapping savoy to sweet to tart in our candy selections, assuming the connections back to France wouldn’t involve an entire day navigating cab to bus to ride share to train to walk – long walk.
I’m physically satiated by two coffees with cream, a beverage I still haven’t managed to say correctly in French, leaving me sipping on double shots of espresso every morning when I try to pretend I know what I’m ordering as I attempt another variation of “café avec crème.”
The company in our van is quite eclectic and has created an interestingly entertaining merger of conversation between the host who only speaks Catalan and his 10 year old daughter, Celia, in the front seats, and a man from Bangladesh, a thirty something year old Javi from Brazil, and me shoulder to shoulder in the second row. The rest of the vehicle has been gutted and filled with tents, mattresses, tables, inner tubes, and all other paraphernalia the duo will need for their week long camping trip to France funded partially by the price we’ve paid to hop aboard.
I spoke with the fellow from Bangladesh long enough for me to understand that he was headed towards a town an hour and a half from where we were being dropped off, inaccessible otherwise by public transit – whoops!
Celia peeks through the cracks in the seats and pushes her stuffed dog in the same space so that their faces are one atop the other staring at me typing. “Hola, Kate” she excites on behalf of her juguete. At our last stop after encouraging her to practice her English with me, she crawled to the backseat and grinned from ear to ear as she proudly asked “how are you?” with the sweetest Spanish accent suggesting she had in fact been studying. “Inglés es un lenguaje teatral – ‘Hello! How are you! Today is a love-uh-lee day!”
She wiggled with excitement as she switched to Spanish to talk about how much she loves traveling, unlike her 16 year old brother. She wanted to travel the world by the time she was my age.
“These rocks will be my home, these flowers will be my home, this car will be my home.”
I told her she’s like a rolling stone.