Where do I start from?
I am a finalist of the Afrobloggers 2021 awards, and boy am I levitating?!🧚🏾♀️🤗
This (in all honesty) inspired me to squeeze some time to post this one blog I have been deferring for agesssssss
And warning; it’s quite a long read – as usual😃
I have been MIA for weeks now on this platform (mostly because of school🚮) but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have stories happening; stories worth sharing.
While in Barcelona, I have met several godsend souls and some of them, it’s been to the point of going to the mountains to experience nature in Spain’s breath-taking sceneries.
One of the many perks about hanging around such adventurous people is that, you never run out of ideas about what to do next.
While on a hike with three of them, two of whom I call my BOOBIES (story for another day😉😀), the idea of cycling on a MONDAY EVENING was BORN.
And the amazing bit was that the gestation time of the idea took MINUTES
On a day proven to be the most wearisome, I would yet go see the city, enjoy the company of 3 other CHIPPER souls, get content for my blog and all this happening on a bicycle – more than two birds with one stone – YAYYYYYY!
As I was still taking delight in the thought of how much dopamine I would get in one day, another thought came to me, “What would be unique about this trip, that’s worth sharing and was not part of the last trip I had with Irene🤔?!”
“Hmm tricky question, woman!……..But that’s not worth focusing on right now”, I nonchalantly brushed off the worry
One thing, I knew for sure is that whenever I venture into a trip with some aspects of uniqueness to it, there is ALWAYS something worth sharing that is more than just cycling.
For starters, I got me a really cool vintage Dutch bike that while in the process of purchasing it, the salesman emphatically highlighted its Dutch background and in fact, urged me to show it off to anyone, even when unsolicited for.
In case you didn’t get the memo, here I am letting you know, that I got the best of the bunch regarding city bicycles(the bragging queen in me couldn’t resist the urge😅)
And no, please, it’s not MANUAL (this is for you, if you are Ugandan)
I thought the same once it was brought to me, only to realise that it had 3 gears – wellllll, more or less a manual one, except with two other gear configurations.
When the day came for the ride, my Monday routine made me completely lose track of time and I somewhat could not make it on the agreed time.
In an effort not to spin my wheels while preparing for the trip, I focused on getting my convenient long-sleeved top and leggings on as that’s what I figured I needed for the ride, plus a backpack with a bottle of water, my Baby-Junior Jelly (this is my talisman for dry lips for the cold while here in Europe) and some money – of course.
Now, need I remind you that it was during FALL; that is, about 16°C before dusk and between 6 – 9°C during nightfall which starts at about 5:30 PM in Barcelona (supposedly warmer than other parts in Europe).
And for someone like me that comes from the central region of Uganda where it is always WARM, I had SO MUCH mental and physical preparations I needed to do especially in the CLOTHING department; that is, the lowest it gets in the central region, is 19°C and the highest is 29°C, plus the sun always RISES between 6:30 am to 7am and sets between 6:30 pm to 7pm all year round.
For that day in particular, I didn’t put so much effort on how cold it would get after nightfall and I had not imagined that we would stay out till the time we did, as you will learn later, plus, remember I was rushing not to waste any time as I was already late?
Onto my bicycle, I rode to meet my buds who on meeting them, were so kind enough not to make me feel guilty about being tardy.
When we set out for our ride, it was quite sunny but CHILLY and luckily enough, I couldn’t feel the effect as much since as you already know, cycling is an exercise and doing it makes you warm and sweaty, and the sun was out there being my GIRL – for the timebeing😅 plusssss it’s Barcelona for crying out loud.
Meanwhile, I didn’t know where we were headed and I remember that being part of the fun on my end
One thing for sure, the constants were: JANTA spontaneously BUT JOYFULLY breaking into a song or sing-songing her responses when asked a question and I gladly following suit; JUAN FE doing all the scary cycling feats on his BMX that made me in particular question how he is able to tough it all out and in fact stay without a scratch; and lastly, LOREN doing the most, that is, taking pictures of us, providing directions with the help of google maps while brain storming what pastimes we could indulge ourselves in next.
At some point, we got off the main road and made stops here and there particularly when figuring out which route we had to follow according to google maps, and in case we met something worth a PITSTOP
One being in a space with graffiti and the other that gave me an idea of what our actual destination was; a Mirador (spanish word for viewpoint) – as I learnt from Juan Fe and Loren.
The mirador itself is called Mirador de l’Aeroport del Prat, and just like from its name, it’s stategically located to give a view of aeroplanes as they land on El Prat Airport next to it
As we proceeded onto a path with a rough terrain with shrubs and a swamp on either side, we noticed a cyclist that had initially bypassed us, as though going in the same direction as us (considering there is one pathway to the location), coming back like there was no way through
According to google maps, that seemed the only route to the final mirador
When we cycled to ascertain what could have made the cyclist return so quickly, we found that the gate in the road was closed with a post on the gate reading that, the mirador is ALWAYS CLOSED on MONDAYS
Doing a 1 hour-plus ride only to find the place we wanted to go to CLOSED, was not something we wanted to find.
The situation was not PREDICAMENT-LEVEL though, as the gate was short – about 6 feet long or my height to be precise🙃 and one would use the side of the swamp to cross over to the other side.
Regarding how the bikes would make it to the other side, our ingenious minds (as expected) collectively decided that two individuals carry the bikes over to the other side, to be received by two other individuals that had crossed over via the side of the swamp
And we did!
Onto the track, we continued and again; another pitstop, on seeing an abandoned house with trees growing within its rooms – and no this wasn’t “the final” destination
Meanwhile time was ticking by, and it had started to get chilly cold, which I started to realise once we were at that building
“Nothing serious!”, I convinced myself as we set off for the final and long-awaited VIEW
As we rode, I saw IT – the mirador – even without Loren telling me that that was our destination
An antiquely designed building that must have been a church during its time lay ahead, nestled on the edge of the Mediterranean seacoast and leading to it, was a caged raised wooded path with long grass on either side.
The signs of life that were quite evident at that point in time gleamed in the waving yellow-green grass and the gentle sound of wind that caused the waving effect, plus the countable black birds that flew across the dusky sky.
The walk towards the building felt MAJESTIC, except for the part when Janta lost one of her rings as we approached the building.
As we made our way to the top of the three-levelled building, proceeding to the rooftop required our nimble skills since the wooded ramp that led to the upper level could only stop at the second level
At this point you know what we did, right?! – it’s pretty obvious that we knew not of bottlenecks, or their existence😃
Once we were at the top, honestly speaking, the sights from that view were MAGNIFICENT: the rooftop gave us an unmatched view of the emerald-green waters as they continuously curled into waves only to splatter at the coast; watching the different levels of the sunset as the sun disappeared into the horizon; and the impeccable calm of mind that came with listening and seeing all this happen in reality in the company of just 3 humans – AMAZING!!!!
No wonder the custodians of this area decided that it should be closed on Monday…………..”that people might escape from work just to laze around at the mirador and get lost in its beauty”….. so I thought………(I mean…..Is there any other reason for closing a view point only on Monday?!😏 Let me know in the comments section below😉)
“Hey guys, we need to get down……” Juan Fe suddenly requested.
Imagine the least risk averse of the bunch suddenly asking the rest to step down?!
Doesn’t make sense right?
“The Police is here!”, he continued to say softly as we subsequently looked in the wooden path’s direction to witness his claims
Oh yes, two men clad in police uniforms walked in our direction, as a patrol car parked in the track we used to cycle to the mirador
My first thought went straight to going to prison for the first and in a foreign country
“Ayaaaaa……nfudde nze”,I murmured …..literal meaning “Oooops I am dead”
Luckily enough, from the conversation Juan Fe had with the Police, it seemed there was no cause for alarm as the police seemed chill and required us to get down to a safer level of the building
“Phewwwxxx” I SIGHED, as I rejoiced about how rich my blog content would be for this particular trip, and TOTALLY forgetting how screwed I thought I was, a couple of minutes ago.
In a few minutes as we were still reminiscing about the shock from the police once they were gone, another patrol car signalled to us to let us know of their presence and required us to vacate the jurisdiction
Luckily for Janta and I, we never got to do any explaining when the four of us approached the police car, as our poor Spanish skills couldn’t let us be part of the conversation
I later learnt that the police were curious about how we managed to get to that location and regardless of the hurdle, they made it clear that they were not going to open the gate for us
Not that we asked anyway 🤭
With all that was happening, there was no room for my brain to focus on how cold it had become, until we crossed the gate
My buds started exclaiming how cold it had got while pulling out their COLD-SHIELDING “PPE” and I, looking on
And at that point, the whole CHILLY feeling came alive to me when I realised that I was unconsciously shivering and clenching my jaws while simultaneously feeling as though a million slivers of razorblades hit my face and more significantly on my knuckles.
It was just 11°C, but a body like mine acclimitised to Ugandan weather couldn’t fathom this, especially when the sun that would have provided a layer of warmth was gone
Let alone settling with the thought that I would do this for almost two hours
My colleagues were worried for me
But then you see, I am one lass that attempts to practice MINDFULNESS every day – in weal and woe, and at that point, I figured I could experience how my body reacted to this unpleasant feeling
Honestly speaking, there is NOTHING SEXY about it
But being aware of how the body responds to it is a worthy MEDITATION, and for me, knowing that my body found means (shivering, jaw clenching plus the nerves that deciphered the feeling of coldness for my body) to keep me alive, is what I decided to focus on, as we cycled back.
And OF COURSE, we finally made it back safe and sound and summing up our ride with the last PITSTOP at a place with churros (in Spanish) or xurros (in Catalan); a famous SPANISH snack similar to Ugandan daddies except longer (with joined ends sometimes), rigded and a more doughy interior plus they are dipped in a hot chocolate sauce or cinnamon-spiced sugar, prior to eating them.
What better way, to end a cycling trip than refilling up depleted energy stores with something exceptionally yummy.
To sum it all up, this was yet another gratifying trip where I genuinely enjoyed the company of my Canyon buddies (insert boobies)😉 and a lesson to get me SOME REAL warm clothes, not forgetting the unexpected police encounter😃.
If you have any questions and comments, I am super excited to attend to them