Bored of Borders

How can it be that this morning in Spain was colder than in Latvia? Was the chilly breeze the reason we headed to the far South of Europe? It was only +3 degrees Celsius outside when we woke up so we immediately started the engine to get some warmth at least in the camper. As the day grew older the temperature rose, but true warmth still could be found only in direct sunlight and inside our camper. This was a good day for Karlis though, because the road finally came down and during today’s 110km we got 500m lower than the starting point. This favorable relief, sunny day, nice view of the mountains and a good mood all put together helped Karlis to achieve an average speed of 19km/h and a maximum speed of almost 50km/h. Today Karlis was telling us that the Spanish roads are the most convenient for skating compared to roads in all the other countries we have crossed so far. Although he is not allowed to skate on motorways, there’s always a suitable back-up road nearby following the direction of the motorway, so it’s no problem getting between towns on roller-skates. Also the surface quality of these back-up roads is very high and they have a quite wide side lane, that’s perfect for rollerskating. In spite of the warnings about skating on Spanish roads that we received before even crossing the Spanish border, so far there’s nothing bad to say about the Spanish road infrastructure’s fitness for skating. The highlight of today was the moment when we realized that without any special planning our route at least for a while has merged with The Way of St. James or The Road of Santjago which is one of the most important route of the Christian pilgrimage. Although this route is tightly bound with the Christian belief, the reason for our excitement had nothing to do with religion – we just felt honored to meet the scenic and notorious road to Santjago and for some time travel with it side by side. For us road and route is not about the purpose of taking it but about the people who have traveled and are still traveling these paths, and by taking a route we feel a bit connected with other travelers, whose footsteps, bicycle tires or roller-skate wheels have left their marks on this ground. It’s like a secret community whose members have never met each other but they have at least one thing in common – the road they have traveled.

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