- MOON BATH. 08/08/2000.
Many trips are marked by the first moments. The day of departure was intense, in order to finish the last preparations and cover the first kilometers. Fortunately, a very special “abandoned” town awaited me for the first night: The Fonoll.
The Fonoll was an abandoned town until an entrepreneur came up with the idea of turning it into a naturist town. And she went from dreaming it to getting down to business. The Fonoll is no longer abandoned, but has become the chronicle of a dream that has begun to come true.
I arrived on the bike at dusk, that magical hour where day and night are confused. Shortly after arriving, a French girl appeared who came to stay for a while, massaging the few customers in the naturist village.
After setting up the tents, we sat down to share some dinner and a long conversation. The night was beautiful in this place away from the world, with a crescent moon that timidly broke the night. We decided to accompany her with a bath at midnight and the three of us bathed. A night bath in an abandoned town that begins to revive.
- SUN AND MOON. 09/08/2000.
Today has been the real start of the journey. Leave the Tarragona province and cross the Lleida lands to enter the Monegros through the Mequinenza reservoir. Hard, rough land and a hellish climate have marked this kilometer long journey of stony and dusty tracks. Could you expect anything else in August?
Along the way I found a pleasant surprise when passing by Les Besses, a well-kept hermitage next to the abandoned town. The interior of the hermitage conveyed a mysterious atmosphere. The air was cool and silent, in shadows with the little light that entered through two tall windows and the altar prepared for any ritual. With time standing still, it was easy to imagine a soft flute melody floating in the air.
From there, the day hardened with a suffocating heat that accompanied me relentlessly. I realized the hardness of the journey I had undertaken, alternating at times the desolation of the repeated landscape and the weariness of the kilometers with surprises on the roads. In the dryness of Los Monegros, I was surprised by the irrigation of the plantations: the miracle of water and life, drawn by a horizon full of water jets.
After going through Bujaraloz the best sensations of the day came by surprise: it had been about 8 hours without getting off the bike, and I was not undertaking the final kilometers without much encouragement. How beautiful they were! To my right, a reddish sun was reluctant to disappear and played capriciously with the horizon line, drawing a beautiful sunset. To my left, the moon appeared which proudly shone in the sky announcing the night.
Sun and moon; moon and sun. Both were my simultaneous traveling companions in those final hours of the day, touring the slopes towards Gelsa.
- THE INFINITE HORIZON. 11/08/2000.
The slopes from Quinto de Ebro to Belchite in Los Monegros turned out to be beautiful desert sensations. It is impressive to feel alone on the bike in that desert landscape. The horizon line was drawn far away, while every place where the eye could see remained motionless. You feel so little in those reddish plains that you want to stop the engine and feel calm to listen to a silence only broken by the wind. The charm of the desert: that magical fascination that attracts us and makes us addicts.
Speed became somewhat relative: there being no references, I surprised myself sometimes rolling at 100 km / h on those rectilinear dusty tracks. I forgot the destination and I dedicated myself to enjoy the pleasure of rolling for rolling. Wandering aimlessly. Occasionally a shepherd would appear in the middle of nowhere, where he would stop the bike and chat for a few minutes with them. Dry and hard skin, few words and a smile, a strange complicity caused by the lonely environment. One of them confessed to me: “it is the sheep that accompany me and watch that I did not leave, where should they go? they know every blade of grass in these fields; I have been pretending to watch them for years, but the master doesn’t know what would he do all day without the company of these sheep? ”
All tracks are over. Instead of going back, I kept going down a dry riverbed. It reminded me of the oueds of Morocco. Finally, the ruins of the old town of Belchite appeared.