Many things have happened since we’ve arrived in Montpellier. Not only we took part in an awesome photo-shoot with our dear friend Alessandro, but also we gained new travel companions and through rain, fog and mountains we made it to Portugal, which gave us more than we could have ever expected. Curious? Keep on reading!
Photos and new companions
Meeting up with Alessandro after over a year of not seeing each other was great. It felt like this long gap never existed, a year seemed like a week. As for a true Italian, he welcomed us with some tasty pasta and… a shower (oh yessss!).
After all these warm moments, it was a high time to try doing some Fire Shows, especially that our budget would really appreciate some income. We prepared ourselves (especially mentally for French audience), went outside, found a spot and performed. The show was… Well. Mediocre. People passing through the middle of the stage, huge problems with gathering a stable crowd and people vanishing into the thin air as soon as we took out the hat made the whole experience not worthwhile. Oh, not to mention the lovely police officer who came to us after the show and said we cannot perform with Fire as it’s too dangerous. On a huge, marble floor square. After agreeing that yes, technically we could set the terrace on fire, we left. In the end we decided to stick to the activity that worked in Montpellier every time – soap bubbles.
One evening we went with Alessandro to a park to take some epic photos of Fire and acrobatics. He did a marvellous job, as always, and his work can be fully appreciated here. We’ll just show you a few pics.
The other day when Nick was bubbling (Niki refused to leave the bed after a night-before Limoncello) a person approached him. After a short conversation it turned out the guy was travelling across Europe with his bicycle deliberately without money. He asked for a short interview and then he got interested in soap bubbles. He reckoned he could partially fund his travel with working with them so after giving it a short thought we decided to help him out. The next day we gave him some of our bubble-juice, equipment and we started a lecture. We told him almost everything he needed to know about working with bubbles, including costume, ideology and audience interaction. Poor fellow looked quite startled with all the amount of information but we hope that he may pursue bubbles in his life. ;)
Yet another surprise waited for us before going further – our friends Mihai and Flavia, whom we bumped into in Genova, decided to join us in our trip to Portugal. We were really curious, what it will be like to travel in four. Before that though, Wolfie needed to be adjusted – it became clear that with all our stuff it will be too irritating to get around. With this in mind we drove to a hardware store and Nick got to work.
Niki was helping out too (she was mostly excited about taking the chair down).
In the evening we were finally ready to leave.
Stop in Bayonne
It was obvious for all of us that going straight to Porto is not an option – neither of us wanted to spend money we saved so diligently. We decided to divide our trip into chunks, as always. We decided to make our stop in San Sebastian or Bilbao first. The plan was to make bubbles for a couple of hours and then make another swift jump to Portugal.
Unfortunately, we didn’t take one important factor into consideration. Since both of us travel with vehicles for a long time and we are used to making long jumps, at least five to six hundred kilometers, we hadn’t thought our new companions would be not as sturdy. This meant shorter drives. That’s how we ended up in Bayonne, which is roughly 60 km from San Sebastian or 160 km from Bilbao.
We found a nice and cozy place to stay – next to the Atlantic Ocean. It was unbelievably windy but also the view in the morning was amazing. After breakfast we enjoyed the sun a bit and drove to the city to work.
Bayonne, except fancy sounding name, has very little to offer. It turned out to be not very touristic, very empty and not inviting at all. We had a short walk around to see if anything can be done work wise but we failed miserably. Nick managed to find a small piece of optimism there, we were not sure if it’s a sign to stay there or not. :P
Mihai did some research about this place and told us that the whole tourism moved to the nearby city of Biarritz, located by the ocean. We managed to earn a bit for our further journey, although it wasn’t very entertaining.
With the weekend approaching, it was the high time to make it to Porto. We decided to make a jump to the Spanish and Portuguese border and introduce our friends to our favourite place – Ricobayo, a lovely village with a beautiful lake. Every time we go to Porto, we stop there and (mostly when it’s really hot) we have a swim. Excited, we left Biarritz vigorously.
Nothing could prepare us for what we saw. The beach was abandoned. The lake… a lot of it dried out. We couldn’t even get to water, the beach ended with a cliff. We couldn’t believe that we were standing on a ground that used to be a few meters under water not even a year ago. A bright line showed us exactly how high the lake was before.
This somehow apocalyptic view hit us hard. We hear from media about droughts and fires, but facing catastrophe like this, remembering that vibrant, green place puts your thoughts on a different level. We only have one Earth, we have to take care of it more…
Sad and shocked, we sat down to lunch. Discussion revolved around the environmental disasters and flies (this place was buzzing with them).
One last look, just to foolishly check, if water is really gone. It is. We will be back here, we will not forget.
Porto at last
We made it to Porto through burnt forests and a horrible, rainy weather with a ubiquitous fog. We showed Flavia and Mihai a really nice and cheap camping place, as well as the best places to work. That’s where we parted our ways.
First day of bubbles assured us that we are still able not only to earn money, but also save some for the upcoming winter. People were nice, weather was good (windy, though) and kids were cool.
Especially this one fellow, who got the concept better than anyone else!
Fire Shows were more challenging. We had to get used to lower earnings and just go with the flow. It wasn’t all bad – during one evening we met a couple of amazing people… But that’s a story for another post. Ciao!