Barcelona 3000 km-Don Quixote 21st Century Trip-With Sancho Panza & Rocinante (the Harley)
A wonderful tale of an adventurous roadtrip, in the spirit of Don Quixote, Sancho Panza and Rocinante – by our guest writer, Fausto Pellino, an Italian biker, scuba-diver and all round character. Fausto travels with his perfect mate, and adored boxer, Luna – his trusty steed is El Andador (a Harley Davidson). Welcome to his experience, in his own words …which I have not edited, on purpose, so that you can feel the natural momentum and spirit. Now over to Fausto!
You know the story? We have in part traced it.
The central character is a 40 year old man, Fausto, who decides to test the quality of his “steel” and retrace the footsteps of Don Quixote, planning an extraordinary trip of over 3000 km chasing suggestions, myths and legends.
As well as his madness Don Quixote brings with him Sancho Panza, Fausto convinces Lucia, the faithful partner, to follow him in this adventure, promising fun. The role of Rocinante is entrusted to his Harley Davidson Nightster Sportster – El Andador. The trip begins.
After enjoying excellent “chuchos de cortados”, they depart from Barcelona to Valencia. In Valencia the area around the cathedral is beautiful, but the real surprise is the City of Arts and Sciences, an example of modern architecture capable of harmonising the white concrete building with the blue of the ponds.
They reach Cuenca, built at the turn of a steep spur, whose sides house the famous “Casas Colgadas”, which descend steeply into the deep gorges of the Júcar and Huécar rivers.
Built on the banks of the Tajo and surrounded by the same waters, Toledo is the city of three cultures Christian, Jewish and Arabic that influence the local architecture.
They next stop off in Caceres, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the old town, surrounded by walls, is rich of stone buildings that form a perfectly preserved urban fabric. The two travellers can’t escape the lure of local specialties: sausages, cheeses and excellent red wine that became the dinner for Mérida, the next stop – another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city is heir of a prosperous Roman past: the theatre, the amphitheatre, the temple of Diana, the bridge over the Guadiana river, the Miraculous Aqueduct, evidences of the ancient splendour.
They arrive in Seville, a city that best represents the stereotypes of Spain: bulls, tapas, wine, beer, joy of a people. Among the narrow streets and the aristocratic neighborhoods, it hides a wealth of great value, made up of majestic buildings, churches and Moorish palaces such as the Giralda and the Cathedral. Seville is synonymous with nightlife, which the two do not escape: “tapas y cana” until late at night.
Next stop, Cordoba to visit the Mezquita and the Juderia district to savour the Muslim atmosphere. Only regret: not having bought a beautiful pendant in silver and natural stones for Lucia. But the trip is worth much more than a jewel and Granada awaits travellers. The city is considered the most beautiful in Spain. Maybe, but aside from the Alhambra, the rest does not arouse great enthusiasm.
“Don Fausto” and “Sancho Lucia” arrive to Almeria, the biggest Spanish fortress built by the Muslims. Then, they discover the nearby places: San Cristobal with Hayran Wall; the Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Nijar; Nijar and its pottery.
It is then the turn of disappointing Calpe, similar to our local Rimini. But a pleasant surprise is the old town of Altea, made of pretty white houses perched on a hill where you can enjoy a breathtaking view.
They reach Peniscola, where the imposing castle is the backdrop to a beautiful white beach. The journey comes to an end.
Rocinante runs the last leg to Barcelona looking for a home where he can rest the tyres before facing the sea. He parks Rocinante, and the two head up to the Rambla; pausing at the Bogueria for purchases of delicacies to enjoy at home; go through Passeig De Gracia, reach the HD dealer and once again admire Casa Batllo, Casa Mila; a short walk around the city, those moments of not wanting to finish the adventure.
They return to the “steel nag”: Rocinante wake up! We go back home. A dream interrupted will resume soon, do not worry. You must have patience, wait for the wind which will rotate the arms of giants to return to travel together. See you on the road.
Born in ’69… a great year and perfect number! Born in Aosta, I lived near Livorno until I was 24 then I went back to Aosta for 4 years, now I live in Rome. I grew up with the passion for travels. Since I was a little boy I looked forward to leaving with my parents to explore the “Bel Paese” in our camping car.
In those days, having a camping car was like going to the moon. In my own town there were only a handful. Then I grew up with the idea of becoming a truck driver, who can travel throughout Europe and discover places and people, which were so far from what I knew at that time, when the word “globalization” was meaningless for everybody.
My collection of stamps from all over the world fed my “traveller’s curiosity”. In this way, faraway countries became part of my imagination and were ready to be reached as soon as possible. India, Thailand, Vietnam but also the Caribbean Countries started to come along.
The decisive moment arrived when I was 18, with my first real journey, a full month by train across the European capitals, with the “inter-rail” formula. Thus, I could tear down the wall of imagination and see with my own eyes cities like Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam, Munich, Wien and Basle. But my will to travel was growing more and more; alternative ways of discovering this fantastic world came forward.
So I started to be interested in motorcycling and scuba diving, which resulted in real and actual passions a few years later. When you start to work, dreams slowly turn into reality and when you get married your “addiction to travel” gets stronger and stronger, a real drug that drives you round the bend. Thanks to the “recovery” of the perfect mate, the partner everybody would like to have, the discovery of enchanting spots in our planet begins.
Year after year, many journeys out of Europe follow one another but without turning our nose up at closer places of the Old World and of the Italic peninsula. The love we both feel for dogs, boxers in particular, drove us to modify our El Andador (it’s the name of our Harley Davidson Street Glide) into a fabulous sidecar, whereby we can leave for new adventures together with our princess Luna (Del Conte di Buck).