"yovo - yovo bon soir ca vas bien - merciiee"

Two weeks into my journey, I had gotten into my new lifestyle. I bought food mostly at farms and small markets. Often, when people saw how I was traveling, they refused to take money for the potatoes, carrots and onions. Sometimes they'd throw in some home-made sausage. Toward late afternoon I usually started scouting for a camp site. I sought out dry, flat spots, away from the road and near a farm, where I could get fresh water. Sometimes the farmers would invite me in for dinner, when I showed up asking for a gallon of tap water.

I continued along the coast, past Perpignan and into Spain. At the foot of the Pyrenees, I had to deal with a lot of steep climbs and descents along this gorgeous, rocky coast, where the mountains dip their toes into the warm, salty Mediterranean shore. The bike was too heavy to push, so if I could not climb a hill in first gear, I could not climb it. Also, the road was pretty busy and narrow, and there was no room for weaving.

Finally I got to the border. The border guards saw me coming, slowly huffing and puffing up the hill. They stopped the car traffic and waved me right through, cheering me on. Bienvenidos en Espana. The next days, I slowly worked my way south along the Costa Brava, on mostly flat, coastal highways. I passed through Lloret de Mar, one of the many massive resorts for which this area is famous. I crossed Barcelona during evening rush hour, because I could not find a good camping spot before I got there. I still ended up camping behind some shrubs next to a highway off ramp.