Day 34, to Cadaques and back — 65 km

It is evening as I write this. Looking around me, I see several other solo campers. They are all men, of various ages, all reading books. Until a moment ago, I was also reading a book. There are women here, but they are all less visible, with men, except for the two young German campers in their 20s.

I chatted with my Dutch neighbor a bit this evening. His dog barked all morning while he was at the restaurant for breakfast, but strangely, it didn’t particularly bother me. He says he’s been coming to this campsite for 4 years, and has never seen so many children as this time. Oh well.

Today I drove the very windy route to Cadaques to see the house where Salvador Dali and his wife Gala lived. They started with one house in the tiny fishing village of Port Lligat, but eventually connected seven, and grounds. It is adorable. I loved it.

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My impression of the Costa Brava is that it’s wonderful. I’m a bit torn between it and the Costa Verde. Both are full of coves and fishing villages and are greener and more mountainous than the popular sun resort areas of the Costa del Sol and Costa Calida. Both are full of people who seem very patient with my Spanish, although both are full of people with their own language/dialect. No one here seems bothered that it takes me a while sometimes to think of the correct word when I’m trying to express myself. That hasn’t been the case everywhere (to be fair to Extremadoura, though, it was also wonderful – and the people also appreciated my bad Spanish). Here I’m supposed to refer to Spanish as Castellano, though, and I keep forgetting.

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Back to the day’s events. I took my time leaving. I woke up to the sound of Brom’s barking (my earplugs were in, so I heard but didn’t exactly startle at the kids, but the dog was closer and louder), then made coffee. I walked over to the restaurant and bought 2 croissants to eat with my cherries. I talked to Matt for a while, and made more coffee. I called the Dali museum and reserved a visit at 16:00. I then called the restaurant next door to the museum and reserved for lunch at 14:00.

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I drove to the border with France and back. Just for the hell of it. Then I drove to Cadaques. I parked in the busy square by the beach, then walked from there to Port Lligat. I was early for my lunch reservation, but no matter. I was the only person dining.

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Lunch was fabulous, and my waiter was a really young kid who was fascinated that I had been on my motorcycle for almost 5 weeks already. I had told him I was glad I’d planned my house visit after lunch, since I drank so much cava and local wine, and shouldn’t get on my bike so soon, or he never would have known. I sat for a long time enjoying the view from their terrace.

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Unfortunately, my house/museum visit didn’t go quite as smoothly. Although I had spoken first Spanish then English when making the call, and I arrived when I was told to (15:50), they changed my time to 16:20 and put me into a French-speaking tour. This was clearly a mistake, because the guide at that time was quite surprised. She explained things to me in a mixture of Castellano and not excellent English, but I think I missed a lot because she spoke a lot to the French people, and I only caught a little of it. There were lots of English speakers in the 16:00 and 16:10 groups (I know, since I watched them go in).

Anyway, I LOVED the house. I want to build a house like this. I loved that Dali wanted to see the first light of morning from his bed, so he installed a special mirror in the sitting room below his bedroom at an angle that caught the first rays and sent them to his bed. I love that the house and grounds grew organically. I love that he bullied the government into declaring the area reserved and not allowing more houses or other developments to be built there. I love the weird nooks and crannies. If I could build my dream house, I would want it to be similar. I have often thought such a thing. Actually, mine would be different. I have drawings and plans. Different landscape, different needs. I plan a series of connected tree-houses and lagoons. 😀 Yeah, when I suddenly become rich because of… ??? still working on it.

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Anyway, I liked it. After wandering around for quite a while in the house and grounds, I walked back to Cadaques, had delicious gelato while looking at my motorcycle. Then I suited back up. Other bikers showed up as I was leaving. They were French, but seemed quite surprised by me (?? just based on their expressions… they didn’t say anything other than bonjour and waving goodbye). I drove back to Colera, bought more cherries and more of this yummy dessert thing (not bakery fresh like yesterday, but the same thing) called torta de aceite (seems vague – it comes in a variety of flavors, not all dessert), and had the same dinner as yesterday, so no further pictures, email except for the walk to the harbor at Colera.

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Tomorrow’s plan is to pack up and drive to see the botanical garden at Blanes. If I like the area, I will look for camping around there (there are many options). The rain prediction seems to have vanished, which is great. If I don’t like the area, I may still go into Girona for a hotel there I found that has a sauna, jacuzzi, and rooftop swimming pool, as well as reasonably priced single rooms. I could use a couple of nights of a bed. My sleeping mat is 6cm thick, but my neck is hurting from stuffing my hoodie into a pillow case. Also, I could use an armpit wax and a massage. An urban area would make finding those easier. So… we’ll see!

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