Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Road Home: Back safe and sound

The road home was long.  Mother cat took a while to settle but we traded off driving and sang to Frank and Ella and the Beach Boys for long stretches of road.

   I can't say that the landscape was beautiful.  In fact we passed one polluted zone after another... even after passing the French border and shockingly these industrial areas shared with cultivated fields!

  And I don't for a minute think this is only a national problem.  But it really does hit home that just because your own home area is free of industrial zones, you have to know that you are served by belching factories somewhere in your home country.  Maybe Spain has a worse problem then some, I don't know but they are concentrated after Andalusia so we saw the thick of it.

Also , It was pretty evident with a steady stream of trucks carrying merchandise that this is not the answer to transporting our goods in France and Spain.  Where are the freight trains, that would seem a better solution on first glance?

We finally stopped the night after about ten hours of driving, to find a basic hotel off the road.  It was a nice clean place all new but with a boiler that would not let up and roasted us all night even after we tuned off the heat in our room.

.  However, we had a memorable meal at a truck stop cafe around the corner which was a high point in the day.

I was moved by the number of tired drivers who looked like decent family types who downed there basic supper of  cooked frozen vegetables,  inexpensive cuts of meat and their ice creams while watching a tele in the corner talking about pollution.  These poor guys had been driving for hours through said pollution, as had we.  It did give a sense of helplessness when one was so tired.  

However, Jeanne and I don't have the trucker's life so we were quite cheerful and pleased with our piece of fish and flan for dessert and wine included for 10 euros.   Tomorrow we will be safely home, before nightfall.

 And finally I got to go 130 kilometers and hour which is the speed limit here on the highway.  I must say it seemed like 80 mph which is more what I have been accustomed to in America.  Funny how easy it is to adapt.  It was a great adventure.  Thanks Philippe.  Thanks Jeanne.

                               That's Jeanne looking back at me at our truck stop diner.

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