I had never been to Cartagena before. Or Spain for that matter. It was an amazing experience since we actually drove the whole thing (2200 km). My supervisor and his wife took me along with them! We didn’t get to see much of Belgium because it’s a pretty small country, but halfway France we stopped for our first hotel. We explored the area a bit and had dinner at a restaurant. The second day we made it to the border and reached halfway Spain! I love that country 😀 Mountains are awesome and everything has like a brown-ish color there. It truly feels like you’re in a completely different place far away from home. Our second hotel night was in Albarracin. It’s a city unlike any I had ever seen up until then. There are maybe 2 roads that are accessible for cars. All other roads / streets / allies are made of rough stones and rocks and houses look very old. We took some pretty cool pictures there! 🙂
By the end of our third day of driving we finally reached Cartagena and quickly visited the racetrack to meet up with everyone. Most people were still unwrapping their bikes and getting stuff ready to race! I’m glad we took 3 days to drive there, eventhough we could’ve done it in 2. We simply got to see so much more of the beautiful landscapes and awesome little towns that I would’ve otherwise never seen.
Anyway, day 1.
I do want to say that at this point we were all really sick. We weren’t getting any better because we were constantly close to each other, coughing and sneezing etc. I had a bit of a hard time in the morning. My camera felt kinda heavy and I was coughing non-stop. Took some pretty decent pictures regardless 😀 We drove around the racetrack a bit and explored some good spots for us to take pics. There’s one single palm tree near the end of the track that we wanted to take pictures of later. I’m glad we took the time to sort of get back into it because we spent the entire morning just meeting up with everyone and introducing ourselves to new people. It was nice getting familiar with the track since it was my first time there.
On day 2 we got seriously busy like we normally do. We shot the entire day, all groups all sessions. I was trying to find a balance between shooting everyone at least twice, and shooting enough pictures for us to have some back-up in case some of them turned out bad. (The more I shoot, the more I’ll have to sort back at the hotel.) I think we found a decent balance with a total of about 3000 pictures? Just an estimate.
By the end of the second day we rushed back to the hotel, ate dinner quickly and got to work. Sorting everything we shot up until that point, printing photos on CDs and sorting them by number. We were going to hand out CDs with pictures to people who were interested in buying them. It’s nice to be able to give people something to hold and take home, rather than sending them a download link later 🙂 I think we stayed up until 1:00 in the morning.
This was our day! We shot a couple of sessions in the morning and then got right to the selling part. We had a monitor and 2 laptops with us, along with a couple DVD burners to give people their pictures as they waited. The fact that CDs were sorted by number sped up the whole process by a ton. I feel like we sold a decent amount of photographs, but it also costs a LOT to drive all the way to Spain, to sleep in hotels, to eat at restaurants and everything else that I might not even realize. Considering we were all feeling pretty terrible I think we did great 😉
Our way back wasn’t nearly as trouble-free. I got so sick that I had to visit a health centre in Spain to get myself checked. Luckily I was insured properly and they gave me 4 boxes of medication to take in. That delayed the whole thing by an entire day. I still feel bad about that ;/ So we spent a night in Spain, in an appartment for 4 people. It wasn’t all that bad actually 🙂 I had my own room but we shared the bathroom. We left at 6:00 the next morning.
Our way to France went quite alright. We made it through the mountains and wanted to sleep about halfway the country. Our GPS completely gave up on us and failed to point us to a hotel 3 times. We just started driving around, hoping to find something when we came across a little hotel restaurant thingie that was open late because they were used to truck drivers stopping by for a drink. They were very welcoming and gave us great food and a place to sleep.
The next morning we had breakfast and left at about 7:00 I believe. This was going to be the day that we came back home. After a LOT of problems around Lille, Paris, Brussels and Antwerp we fiiiiinally made it home at about 10pm. I’m not complaining though 😀 I couldn’t have wished for a more interesting adventure halfway across Europe. I loved every second of it ♥