Monday, June 16, 2008

Furgo Fest

Last Wednesday was Oliver’s birthday and every day since has held a bit of extra fun.

Thursday afternoon we went to the Daydream festival and saw Clinic, Liars, Bat for Lashes and Radiohead. It was all pretty fantastic, especially Radiohead, of course. We met up with a new friend Siobhan (pronounced Shi-vaughn, it’s Irish, even though she’s from Liverpool) and her brother Kieran who was visiting her for the weekend (He caught a glimpse of Thom York wearing his sunglasses and dancing wildly backstage to Clinic.) Oli met Siobhan and her boyfriend Paddy in a pub while watching a Champions’ League game a while back and they’ve all met up a few times since. Good fun was had by all, even though the event organizers had introduced a new ticket currency one needed to obtain before any beverage or food could be purchased. We had to figure out how it worked, find the right line, get tickets, then join a different line (the right one!!!) to get the type of beverage or food desired. We spent most of Liars’ performance working this out, but luckily all the booths were in front of the main stage….a bit exhausting and Spanish bureaucratic.

Friday night Oli went out for a curry dinner with his colleagues, which was paid for by Oxford House. Noice. Our friends Georgia and Mirce had stayed over the night before to watch Lily and stayed over again Friday because they had to catch an early train to Neme in France to see Radiohead, and we live next to the train station.

Saturday morning we also had to get up to catch a train up the coast to Figueres as part of our journey to the VW van fest happening at a nearby campground on the beach. When Mirce went to buy their tickets, he found out there was a train strike in France, so they would have to go to Figueres to catch a bus into France. They caught an earlier train than us and we wished them well. As we exited the house an hour later, we realized we had five minutes to catch the train (we already had our tickets) and ran like hell to the station. As we entered the platform, our train pulled up.

Lily was very good on the nearly two-hour journey.

Figueres was a very pleasant town. The train station opened onto a shaded plaza with a play park and fountain. On the opposite side of the plaza was the bus station from which we would get a ride to Sant Pere de Pescador, the location of the furgo fest, in an hour. We ran into Georgia and Mirce when buying our tickets; the one daily bus to France was completely booked, so they would catch another to the border and make their way from there. We parted ways again, wishing them good luck, and walked through a market and to the central plaza to play and eat crepes.

Then we caught the bus. Lily’s first ride on a coach ('autocar' in Spanish).

In Sant Pere we stopped in the tourism office for a map and found out that the campsite was actually about 3km away from the town center. We caught a ride in a passing VW camper thinking they would be going to the fest, but the young German couple were unaware of it and took us as far as their campsite. The man at the reception to their site directed us on how to get where we were going: walk down the beach for 2km. We did and it was beautifully fun.

We finally made it.

Lily helped us to set up camp and made a new friend whose parents had a cool vanagon (80's camper).

Then we got down to the business at hand: checking out VW’s. That first one is a Samba, a unique type of van (not camper) with 21 or 23 windows (count those little ones over the main windows) and a giant sunroof. Note: Lily was happy but tired so I engineered a sling out of a very unstretchy blanket we had with us. It was perfect and she had a nice little sleep while I enjoyed feeling like I was carrying her in the womb again.

VW threw a big barbecue on the beach after the van meeting in the field was finished. We danced to the great music the DJ played and watched old test footage from the VW vault on the big screen; it included high suspension 1970's vans riding over sand dunes and through small-town America. Then a musical group comprised of three almost middle-aged women from northern Spain and France performed, in English, various songs like I'm So Excited and Moulin Rouge. They were actually pretty good. Lily fell asleep on the beach.

We were still alive in the morning. We had only brought Oli's big rucksack and another bookbag with snacks and diapers, so neither pillows nor padding were brought. While laying on the hard ground with clothing under our heads, we were able to put aside any minor discomfort by reasoning, "If we were on a transatlantic flight, we'd be thinking 'Jeez, I'd kill to just be able to lie flat.'" We were lying flat, so what more could we ask for?

On this day another event would take place in the next town down the coast L'Escala. We had been there before (the weekend of the famous Havana Club Club Challenge) and thought it'd be good to spend the day there and then catch the bus from L'Escala to Figueres so we could take the train back to Barcelona. We hitched a ride with a VW participant who took us in his camper, with his mom and dog. Then got a lovely lunch and ice cream in town.

Waited a million years for the bus to Figueres, then got the train home. Tired. Content.


Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like a real good time. I bet some real characters showed up there. Glad to see Dee-dee made the journey too. Keep it real.

Jay M. said...

It looks like such a fun adventure! Great to see you guys having such a good time. I'm loving Lilly's green hat, and the photos of you guys on the beach.

Maiasaura said...

whoa, you are rivaling my barcelona posts with the length of this one!

you guys kind of blow my mind with how laid back / adventurous you are. first of all, camping? with your child? WITHOUT A TENT? it's a bit shocking. but you obviously had such a good time. i guess what i'm trying to say is, i'm jealous. and will you be my parents?

Angela said...

First of all, we had a tent! Second of all, welcome home, daughter.

Maiasaura said...

oh, good! i missed that somehow. still pretty adventurous, though. you guys are good.