12.12.2009 - 12.12.2009
And with that, we are out of the tropics. The Canary Isles – Europe - will be coming up in the next day, and I have less than 100hours before I will be on land again. Though that probably sounds allot, it really isn't. In less than a week I will be sat in an office in the gloom of Northern European winter, probably listening to Slade every 15minutes whilst working hard and, doubtlessly, banging my head against a brick wall at all the f*ck ups I encounter. And thats without my even worrying about the fact that I will be homeless and in London, were I don't want to be, and back in what for most people is everyday life but for me is pure terror: A desk job.
The last year is already feeling more like a dream than reality, even though it is barely 2weeks since i left Cape Town. Was I really on St. Helena this year?? One of the great things about surface travel is that your trip doesn't just end *NOW*. You don't get on a plane and 12-24hours later you are back at home and work and wondering what the heck just happened. Depending where I am coming from, I have anywhere from a few days to several weeks for the realisation to occur; for my body and brain to adapt. To remember the good times, look back wistfully and savour the moment. I have always enjoyed this experience, but this time, on occasions I have wondered whether it might after all just be easier to do it instantly: To fly back quickly: To go cold turkey on travel. In a way it just feels like I am postponing the inevitable for no real reason.
Even though I have no reference materials or way of checking, and it doesn't really matter anyway, I am dredging my memory (yes, it is very sad that i can do it) for routes and ways to get from Vigo - where baring a very unlikely change of circumstance, I will be disembarking - to London. I know what they will offer me (though obviously all plans and ideas will be dictated by our docking time, and whether there is space on the trains) and already I am pondering clever ways and different ideas to save time: Am i better off trying to go via Valladolid or make a beeline for Hendaye at the French border? Is it going to be quicker (or cleverer) to avoid Paris and go direct Bordeaux-Lille? And will I be forced (as i suspect) to spend several hours twiddling my thumbs in the early morning on a station of a small Spanish town such as Ourense or Medina del Campo. Which will be cold, something I am patently not prepared for.
None of this makes any difference. I know that. What will happen will happen. But my mind is gearing up to Europe again: It is not Africa, and different rules apply. There are things i need to know again, or learn new to try and beat the system there. And this is just the start.