Barcelona Express – recap

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Right now I’m sitting in the airplane, waiting for it to take off. I’m exhausted and happy.

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We managed to hitchhike to Barcelona in 6 days. A total of 1700 kilometers. That without stopping, direct from door to door, alone is 18 hours. We did it in 28 hours spread over 6 days, including ride swaps and catching rides. An impressive result that I am proud of.

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The last week has been a great adventure. The amount of amazing people we’ve met and also the experience of hitchhiking through Europe. I can tell you that I am done for a while hitchhiking though, as great as it was.

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We arrived Saturday afternoon at the camping in Barcelona. After our tent was set up we directly went for a swim in the ocean. So rewarding!!

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Then on Sunday we took the bus into Barcelona… Well I thought I would never say this but what a luxury it was to use Public Transport and not be depending on the kindness of strangers for a change. To just pay for your seat! Haha.

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We enjoyed our first day off to the fullest in Barcelona city. We went sight seeing, shopping and out for dinner. Exactly the right ingredients for a successful city visit. It was the first day we didn’t have to strategize what the best way was to hitchhike, what roads we needed to take, ask people for favors. Nope, nothing like that. Full Spanish ‘Tranquilo’ style.

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In a way it’s a shame I’m already flying home again. Having only arrived in Barcelona 48 hours ago. But I’ve obligations at home and I am really looking forward to my own shower and bed.

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Hitchhiking is exhausting and sleeping in a tent even more so. I’m not saying this in a complaint way, just that it takes a lot of energy. I really don’t know how some of the other hitchhike teams managed to party every night till 4-5 AM and then start the next day at 8’ish again on the next hitchhike stage. Maybe I’m old, I don’t know what to tell you. Going towards 31 here….

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From a friend I borrowed his huge Osprey backpack. Initially I thought it was way too big but it was perfect. It was the first time I backpacked from town to town and I’ve to say, I really enjoyed it. I’ve been debating if backpacking through Thailand should be one of my next adventures and I think it might be indeed. The challenge is to keep everything fresh though. Especially in a hot climate. When I come home I’m walking straight to the washing machine to empty my entire backpack.

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As I did quite a bit of shopping in Barcelona I actually had to buy a trolley to transport my loot home with me. In hindsight that worked out quite well as I was in need of a new one anyway and this way my new clothes won’t smell of hitchhiking and tents.

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This morning Charlotte and me had our last breakfast in Starbucks. Just as we had started in Amsterdam we finished in Barcelona 1700 kilometers further. With good coffee, croissants and cheesecake.

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If you know any good hitchhiking adventures… Let me know, I’m sure in a year or so I’m ready for a new challenge like this.

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For now, the Barcelona Express chapter is closed. We won one of the 6 stages. We met amazing people. We saw a great deal of Europe. This is the kind of trip that we will still be talking about in 20 years. We hitchhiked to Barcelona!!!

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Click the links below to read a detailed report per day of our hitchhike adventure:

Day 1 Amsterdam – Gent

Day 2 Gent – Nancy

Day 3 Nancy – Pont de Vaux

Day 4 Pont de Vaux – Avignon

Day 5 Avignon – Girona

Day 6 Girona – Barcelona

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