The last time I blogged, we were all feeling rather downcast but since then we've had some pretty good luck :)
Thursday morning, we were up bright and early and made our way out of Bernay- we could never have stayed there for long as we were making the place look messy. It was about a 25 minute walk back to a motorway roundabout, where we set our stuff down and decided to try our luck. It worked and despite the lack of traffic round there, we got picked up by a lorry. I've named the driver Juan. That's not his
real name but he was a spanish-speaking Romanian and we couldn't really make out what he said his name was. Our sign only said to Le Mans, but Zoe was able to chat to him in Spanish and we ended up with a lift all the way down south! There was a bed type shelf behind the two seats where two of us sat for the journey and had to pull a curtain across when we approached toll booths- you seem to have to pay on every motorway here!
The journey wad relatively uneventful, as usual, I slept a lot of the way... As Jon and I can't speak a word of spanish, it was all up to Zoe to make small talk. It began to get dark and we were under the impression that Juan would drop us off in Toulouse, but he then pulled up in a truck station off of the motorway. After a little confusion, it seemed that we were to sleep in the truck with him. There wasn't enough space in the front, not to mention how awkward it would have been, so we opted to sleep in the back.
He was carrying what looked like recycled plastic (why he needed to pick that up from Calais and take it to Barcelona, I don't know) and there was space ob the top shelf, which is where we made ourselves comfortable. Comfortable is the wrong word. Thanks to two lovely women who gave group 74 a lift off of the ferry, me and Zoe had a sleeping bag to share, whilst Jon had thought ahead and brought his own. The floor was the hardest thing in the world. My hip bone got squashed and was painful in pretty much every position. The sleeping bag wasn't big enough for 2 and we were freezing, despite the ridiculous amount of clothes that we were wearing! I don't think any of us got much sleep but we were then awoken at 6am by Juan, moved into the warm front and continued the journey south.
When I woke up again, we were in Spain. It felt like a proper achievement, getting out of France in only 2 days. Juan had a job to do, so he left us at a service station 120km outside of Barcelona. There wasn't much traffic and we were worried we might get stuck there, however after only 45 minutes we got a lift. A Spanish olive seller took us to a toll booth about 20 minutes down the road where there was more traffic likely to be going to Barcelona, and gave us a tin of olives! Although, these were stuffed with anchovies so none of us would eat them.
On the other side of the road, the police were stopping vehicles and after all the hoop-la with the French police we got a bit worried that we'd be approached, but they weren't interested in us at all. This toll booth turned out to be s much better spot and we quickly got picked up by a French/spanish/english speaker. This guy was lovely and took us into the centre of Barcelona. We'd made it!
We had a lot of hassle trying to find somewhere to stay, forgetting that it was a Friday night and wasted a good hour or so walking around, looking for cheap hostels. In the end we paid 20€ each for a bed in a rubbish hostel but it had a decent location. The rest of the evening was spent walking about, taking pictures and eating tapas- basically being proper tourists.
Hopefully by the end of today we'll be in valencia, although I'm a bit apprehensive about how we're going to get out of the city...