Madrid (Spain), 27.11.2013
As much as I tried to postpone this moment, this afternoon I had to get back into the car for the last time on this journey, push the “start/stop” button, and get on the road for the last leg of Eurasia 2013. Shortly after lunchtime I slowly drove out of the garage on the Paseo de Colón into the bright sunshine of this cold november day, and left Barcelona.
The landscape felt so different, since I knew it, the road was so comfortable, the countryside so orderly, the drivers so behaving and law abiding. At 120 km/h fix (beware of the speed cameras!!) the car basically drove by itself while my thoughts wandered to so many places I had crossed recently. Only a few weeks ago I had to find my track through the Mongolian steppe, avoid rivers whose ground I couldn’t see, stick to the road in a snowstorm, make lunch in the dust of the plains of Kazakhstan. What a contrast! Here I was, driving west, and all I wanted to do was to turn around, go back east, and start this adventure all over again.
While the sun started going down I kept counting the Toros de Osborne, the black bull silhouettes put up besides Spanish motorways by the liquor company that can be found all over Spain. In the mountains between Zaragoza and Guadalajara the Evoque suddenly beeped: temperature had dropped to just four degrees Celsius, and would drop to -1 a little later. Fortunately it stayed dry and no snow wreaked havoc on the road.
I reached Madrid in full rush hour, and before crossing the M-30 ring goad I already got stuck in traffic. I couldn’t believe my eyes in this city that had been my hometown for years, and felt so far away now that I came back. I saw the same familiar places through different eyes. I thought about this continuously also over the following days, trying to understand what was going on, why I was so distant from this environment, and still could not find an explanation to what exactly had changed.
Finally I reached my friends’ house where I would stay for the night and parked the car. “Start/Stop”. The engine went silent. 56.260km. I got out of the car and rang the bell, standing in the dark and freezing. The door opened, bright light shining inside. “Hey mate, you survived! Good to have you back!”
– Km driven: 632
– Hrs on the road: 6
– Diesel l/100km: 9,8