The final leg.

Posted on August 7, 2012

4


[Devon – London – Paris – Barcelona – Lorca – Las Piedras]

We left Barcelona late afternoon, and headed off on our longest train journey, over seven hours, to reach Lorca and that hug.

It was so very hot in Barcelona, but the train carriage was cool, clean and comfortable.  The train services we had used had all been super-efficient (except for the slight glitch with the hotel train) and the staff helpful and charming.  The outright winners are Renfe.  The services and staff were exceptional, clean carriages, quick service and a willingness to help.  So much so that as our laptop’s battery died long before the end of Groundhog Day (… and that had happened before), the staff rushed to find a plug socket to recharge us. 

The journey along the Spanish coast, through the cities of Valencia and Alicante, the smaller towns of Elche and Totana, went by remarkably quickly.  For the Spanish speaking passengers, 3 movies, for us, help with our own home entertainment.  Cards, books and the obligatory picnic were enjoyed as we spread ourselves out and enjoyed the journey.

Such a change of scenery from the lush, green fields of Somerset and Wiltshire, and the flat, green expanses of Northern France.  We were now travelling along the hot Mediterranean coast, through dusty landscapes, spotting palm trees, cactus, olive and almond groves, white houses and flashes of terracotta.  Rugged and sun-baked.    

Perhaps the train was not as fast as the Eurostar, but it matched the pace of life outside the windows – we spied groups of people basking in the last of the afternoon’s sun on the beaches, taking that last dip in the sea, enjoying early evening drinks and tapas, and as the sun set and we knew that we were not far away.

Lorca was the very last stop. We stepped down from the train, into the heat of the night and into that hug I had been waiting for.  We were home.

(See all images of the great train adventure on the facebook page)

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