Day 24 Ė Soria, Spain

I wake up while itís still dark out but the clock says itís almost 6 and further sleep seems impossible given itís so cold that all the car windows are thick with ice on both sides. With trepidation I slowly work up the nerve to get out of the sleeping bag and get going. I have no ice scraper with me nor in any case the will to do that sort of thing at this indecent hour. So I turn the engine and defrosters on while I go about the morning routine of taking a leak on foreign soil, brush my teeth with a water bottle that has a squirt spout Dana had left behind and then look for something to eat. Within ten minutes the car had warmed enough to melt all the ice, messily leaving the windows ďweepingĒ water all over the dashboard.

Fifty miles down the road I and the car are both warm again and Iím treated to an atmospheric phenomenon called the sunrise which works much as sunset but in reverse... I honestly canít remember the last time I had seen one. Years? What normal human being gets up this early?? Anywho, I head towards Soria, a city in the north central region which was built on the ruins of a Celtic-Roman settlement. It was very chilly and windy on the archaeological area so I wrapped up on the double and paid a visit afterwards to the cityís museum to snap a few pictures before heading back towards France but by a different route.

I have friends to meet in Barcelona and am taking the slow and rural way of getting there. I stop every once in a while to nibble on my staple bread and cheese and/or a can of tuna then move on and stop again to haul out my metal detector and try my luck in some remote patch of land. My dream is to find my very own ancient coin(s) which I can then photograph and publish in my book but so far I have had zero luck with that except for the one I found while walking in Italy (a total fluke) but which is too corroded to make anything out of.

Metal detecting in most of Europe is illegal and while there are an estimated 200,000 detectorists doing it for both fun and to make a living itís a risky business. When I pull over with the intent of giving it a go I get real stressed and hope that a cop wonít materialize out of thin air to give me a hard time.

My day is eaten up like this and when twilightís last gleaming draws on nigh I prepare for the perilous night of cold again. I just pull off the road onto some farm track away from the road and get me a nice quiet spot to settle in. This will be the first time I go two nights in a row sleeping in a car. I hope I donít stink.

Day 25