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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 38. Sant Carles de la Rápita – Castellón

Posted by admin On Agosto - 27 - 2010

109 kilometers. 4 hours.

JL: I’m writing this belated blog post about the Sant Carles de la Rápita- Castellón final stage. I can’t say much about the road since we cycled along the national road N-340.   Not many kilometers but at warp speed. We had to get to Castellón on time, at 1 p.m. No further explanation. We were in for a big surprise.

It was a real red-letter day for us: our city received us with open arms. Our company, Record Go, and the city hall of Castellón rolled out the red carpet for us. There was an inflatable finish line arch in the Plaza Mayor (Main Square) and all our co-workers, friends, relatives and blog readers were there as well.  Loads of means of communication were also there: Nou Radio, Nou TV, Mediterraneo newspaper, Onda Cero Radio, Cadena Ser Radio, Las Provincias newspaper, Levante newspaper, etc. The ceremony was hosted by Record Go C.E.O., Victor Carratalá, the Sports City Councilor, Vicent Sales and the Autonomous Government President of the Spanish Association against Cancer, Antonio Folch.  

Reunion with our loved ones, photos, bestowal of a commemorative plaque, bunches of flowers, champion cycling jerseys, bottles of champagne, etc. In short, a sudden rush of emotion that made our hearts, already pounding, hammer faster.  The people gathered in the square hugged us and treated us as though we were heroes; something that seemed way over the top for Iván and I. We don’t really get the feeling of having done something out of this world. In spite of that, we thanked heartily all those words of appreciation and those words of congratulations we received. It was a shining moment for us: it is so nice to see how people’s hopes are flared up by something that you have done. My heartlfelt thanks to you all.

Crossing the finish line was kind of weird. On the one hand, we felt happy because we overcame the challenge and we were relieved because we would be able to rest. On the other hand, we had the feeling we were catching the end of a movie we were truly enjoying and didn’t want it to end. This shows that although the goal is to achieve your aim, the nice thing is to enjoy the process. You can move the goalposts along the way in order to reach your goals; making your way is what really motivates and educates you.    

Our friend, Paco, is parked, for the time being, at the Record Go garage until we decide on his destination. His mechanics were the picture of good health. He didn’t cause any serious problems for us, just some tire replacements (something fairly common) and a bicycle saddle replacement. We made a good decision by choosing him; he didn’t let us down. I don’t know what he would say if he had the faculty of language. He might be thankful for having had the opportunity of visiting so many places and meeting so many people; he might say that he did his best, that he is proud of having participated in this project, that he is haggard and that he lost some weight…but I’m certain sure that he is happy of having met the Wind, the Sun and the Road and of having been part of their same team. 

It seems like only yesterday when we set off. Although the task was tough, it went at a fast clip.

And the day after? Well, you feel relief that you don’t have to be on the go. At the same time, you try hard to get back to normal. You have to return to your day-to-day routines and resume your duties and you have to do it as soon as possible. The planet goes on spinning around, which sets your rhythm.

We have already returned to normal regarding our professional and everyday life so, does this mean that everything is like it was before? Well, I don’t think so. Things will never be the same after such an experience. We have grown, we have learned and, above all, we hope we have made an impact on the culture that surrounds us.  Sometimes, the rhythm that the planet sets is not perfect and we must change it. This project had nothing to do with cycling; it had nothing to do with traveling either. It had to do with the human capacity for imagination and inner strength at the disposal of a wish; it had to do with the willingness to become a better person day after day, by putting talent to good use; it had to do with perserverance and with the pursuit of a vision.    

That was the true spirit of our project. I hope everybody who has heard of it or who has participated in it can capture its essence.

This is the posthumous DIARY post; it isn’t the last BLOG entry, though. There is still a lot to write home about. We won’t call it a day yet. We are considering the possibility of publishing a book; we have loads of audiovisual material to post and TV2 is airing a documentary on this. By the way, you can still make donations and T-shirts are still up for sale.

Thanks to all of you who have helped us, supported us and understood us; to those who have grown excited, as we have, about this project; to those who have followed us through our blog posts and to all our Facebook friends. We’ll keep in touch through this blog and, who knows? In a near future, we may set out on another wonderful venture.

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