Chapter 4: Sin City

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Arriving in Hamburg, to Lucía and Angel’s house, was the culmination to a day that started even before I woke up. When you sleep into the wild, no matter if you’re used to it or not, this is what you get: animals. Sometimes they don’t let you sleep, mostly when we are talking about something similar to a wood mouse (or maybe a mole?) looking for a dry and warm place to shelter or eat in a humid night. So, yup, waking up was a bit harder than it usually is. The day tuned up with my sleep: windy, rainy, non-stop since early morning. The problem was, if I stopped, I would be cold. If I didn’t, I would end soaked to my bones. However, either one or the other, I made it. I arrived.
I was in wretched conditions!

Besides the extremely hospitality of my dearest hosts, the highlight was meeting David. He was on a cycling trip too, on his electric bike, from Bordeaux (France) towards Noordkap (Norway) the top north point in Europe. We met once before in the Andaman islands (again this place. Maybe I should go back?) during my 5-month tour in India in late 2012-early 2013. It was great to having met him in Hamburg. Hamburg: happy reecounters.

I was sad to leave but happy to continue. The weather got better, warmer. I was heading Sunset, “hunting the Sun”. I spent the night in Bremen. Then, a small town near Meppen, my last day in Germany spent in good company. Annie and Monti are cycling from London to Oslo and we just crossed at Monika’s, a retired teacher with a passion for languages and other cultures. She hosted us, fed us (she cooked pizza, hand-made pizza) and a wonderful over-full English breakfast.
Again, sadly, I had to leave.

And Germany ended just as the Netherlands started: a shiny, brighty, burning sun, a soft breeze and rising temperatures. Numbed with the happines that the Sun provides to a southerner, I didn’t realize the damage I was inflicting to my body.

 

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The last coincidence before arriving in Amsterdam started with a hopeless question: I asked a couple on Warmshowers if I could take a shower that evening before continuing to my camping spot, 10km further. Not only they replied “yes”, but they also invited me to dinner (on their second message), just to insist (on a third message) to stay overnight. So I did and I had a great time sharing family moments with them and their three kids and the puppy. A special family with strong catholic values, a grand sense of hospitality and adventure (the little one -a 6 year-old- had already cycled along the family to Paris).

The day after, I entered in Amsterdam with a painful knee. The city with more bicycles, permitted (though not legal) soft drugs, the Red Light District, tulips, beers, windmills, canals, fries and the average tallest population on Earth: Amsterdam… and its wonderful 30ºC as an exclusive present during my stay. I was happy to meet my friends there, but I was happier to meet someone who made those days even brighter and warmer.IMG_20160820_120917

Everything is in constant change and moving towards an end. My days there were no exception, so, after some wonderful days inmersed in a tourist-alike routine and the best company, golden friends and good weather, I took the hard decision to continue. It was certainly hard, but not impossible.

I left the coffeeshops, canals, BBQ’s and lots of love behind and, again, I headed South towards the final destination. Just a few days and plenty of emotions waiting for me.