Life on the Costa Blanca Part Two

Life on the Costa Blanca Part Two

Here is the second instalment of my Life on the Costa Blanca. Once again what follows are excerpts from a book I wrote a few years ago, so now we will continue where we left off in the first post:

“Outside of the trundling carriage in the natural world, I could see that the gorge we were traveling through had been hewn by the hand of man. Judging by the long scars in the surface of the rock, I imagined it to have been done by diamond drill bits and dynamite. The man made gorge was not high at that point and I could quite easily see over the ridge, through the sparse trees to the mountain tops in the distance.

The patchy mist gave the whole scene an eerie feel. Passing through I could feel its moisture on the surface of my skin and even gathering in my nostrils. From her painter’s palette Mother Nature had taken silver, grey, blue and white and mixed them in her special way to conjure light and shade to come up with some magical combinations, silver clouds in a sky of cobalt blue, and in the distance ragged peaks of white reaching up to the heavens seemingly clawing their way up to God, if there is one, and if this being resides up there in the sky!

The silver of the tiny droplets of dew, which hung from the branches and leaves of the trees, accompanied by the almost transparent construction of spider’s webs and the freshness in the air, created an almost perfect picture of Mother Nature at her best. However, the illusion vanished as I moved my gaze straight down to the stony trackside. Coca-Cola tins, fag packets, plastic sandwich wrappers, crumpled tissues and even discarded Pampers succeeded in shattering the vision, by confirming man’s frequent presence and disregard for the wilderness. My mind went to a report I’d seen on some news programme which showed the litter left behind by Everest expeditions: empty oxygen bottles, discarded climbing equipment and even the bodies of climbers who didn’t make it. The event of mass tourism in such desolate and beautiful parts of the world has transformed some of them into cheap and littered attractions. There is nowhere sacred on the planet, I thought as I inhaled the last lungful from my cigarette and flicked the butt out of the window!

Portbou was the last stop for the French train. Once the carriages came to a screeching, grinding halt, along with the rest of the passengers I disembarked and walked across the platform to where the RENFE train waited. Inside it wasn’t as comfortable as the French version, but I really didn’t care. The next stop was Barcelona and after coming to that particular milestone, I would be left with only 600km before my final destination.

6th February 1999

It’s 6.45 p.m. and we’re in Valencia and I’m tired, hungry and drained.

It was sometime after 11.30 p.m. before I finally arrived in Ciudad Quesada with 2,500BEF (approx. 625€) and a bag of clothes to my name. Behind me in Ostend lay another shattered dream and one more relationship in ruins and before me waited the unknown. On my arrival I was mentally exhausted and the near future didn’t hold out much prospect of rest and relaxation. I always find the classic depiction in literature or film of the hero, after times of great duress has the opportunity to bugger off into the sunset to find an idyllic spot where to spend the next few months, or even years getting back on their feet, absolutely wonderful, however for most of us unfortunately, real life doesn’t work in that way.”

Now that I have finally arrived at my destination, I will bring this post to a close.

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Thanks for reading…cheers,

JP

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