Friday, 1 August 2008


Photos of Barcelona are up here, and photos of the festival in Benicassim (and a few shots around and outside the town) are up here.

Both places were great: lots to see and do and eat and drink. A lot of the festival photos are just a stage in the distance but they mean something to me. Also the video screens made it easier to capture some close-ups. (This is David Johansen of the New York Dolls.)

We also managed to drive out of Benicassim a few times during the four days of the festival to see some of the mountains and villages, so that explains all the Stanthorpe-esque landscapey shots.

Probably the most interesting story from the whole trip was that one time, ha!, when The Boyfriend and our friend C and I were driving along the motorway to visit some friends staying in the next town. So there we were, speeding along in our unfamiliar rental car, with me in the back and The Boyfriend and C up front arguing about something pointless as usual. Then C decided it might be wise to fill up on petrol in preparation for the drive back to Barcelona the following morning. She pulls in to a small BP station and slows next to a bowser, and then asks in a troubled voice which side the petrol cap is on. I obligingly get out to check, tell her it's on the other side from which she's parked, and - thinking I'll fill the car up once she moves to the other side - shut the door and move away from the car. The car drives slowly forward and then... accelerates and drives on to the motorway. While I am still standing at the petrol station.

So I should just say that The Boyfriend and C are not at all malicious and this was a not a practical joke. This was truly a case of general absent-mindedness, not being helped by the fact that we'd all just completed four nights of festival gaeity, much past our usual bedtimes.

The funniest bit was that they got all the way to Orpesa del Mar, about 15 km away, and parked the car at the beach where they thought my friends lived, before turning to the back seat and realising I wasn't there. Apparently, as I found out when they made it back more than an hour later, this was my fault for being too quiet in the backseat. Frankly, I would have said something nasty in return about the quality of the conversation if I hadn't been so glad to get in the car when they finally arrived. I was very happy to no longer be standing at a busy service station in coastal Spain wearing only a bikini and sundress, with no money, phone or ID. Plus The Boyfriend's usually unflappable demeanour had totally eroded during the trip back to find me in his distress at leaving me behind (and while they got lost several times attempting to take short cuts), so that was certainly gratifying. In future I'll at least strap a book to my person. It was very dull standing there for an hour.

The day didn't really pick up from there. We decided to push on and head back to Orpesa del Mar to meet my friends, several hours later than originally planned. We parked at what we thought was the correct beach, and started following the signs to "Marina d'Or", the hotel they were staying at.

Unbeknownst to us, Marina d'Or is the name of a massive development including hotels, private accommodation and shopping precincts, AND we were actually about 2km away. But because the signs didn't say anything other than "Marina d'Or, -->" we kept following them on... and on up the coast.

On the bright side we got to see some beaches and people and Spain and stuff but it really wasn't ideal. At least we found a nice pizza place selling my new favourite wine, blanc pescador in the end.

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