It’s early morning but I wake well rested. The sunlight is soft, the Mediterranean calm, and now the alarm clock buzzes in the background. From the comfort of our hotel room, my eyes slowly open and I am reminded of the counsel from my father, half a world away:
Don’t you know you’re living the dream?
And, as it turns out, I am. I woke this morning in a Leading Hotel of the World. A five-star paradise. A Mediterranean retreat. If the spectacular beauty of the surrounding rocky coastline and unspoiled beaches aren’t enough to put a smile on your face, then surely the balcony, spa or pool outside your door will do.
You wouldn’t pick our group out of a crowd – a couple of studious doctors, a NASA flight controller chasing a dream, a self-proclaimed half-assed real estate lawyer and a State Department diplomat to Cyprus. But as I walk downstairs I am reminded that after just one week and a handful of conversations, names are known and stories are shared. The receptionist embraces my broken Spanish because she knows I’m trying to progress. The bellman admires our bikes because a former racer knows a good machine. The teachers will arrive outside early after years of preaching punctuality to their students.
It’s the second-to-last day of our weeklong Costa Brava trip but there came a point this morning when I couldn’t focus on preparations for tomorrow’s trip end. The sun was shining bright and I filled water bottles for the umpteenth time, grease smeared across my calf, bike tools in my pocket, and a fresh cortado cupped in my hands. The caffeine had combined with the excitement of the day and left me far too distracted for the likes of goodbyes and shuttle transfers.
So with the wind in our hair and sun on our faces we took to the road. Pedal we did, hill after hill, turn after turn. Open roads are places to escape with friends. Views are supposed to be shared. After yesterday’s recon of the costal road from the comfort of a sailboat, today we took to the pavement and made our way to the next seaside village. Turns out heaven lies somewhere between S’Agaro and Tossa del Mar, with a finely tuned bicycle and good company, beside rugged cliffs and contrasting colors.
After exploring the seaside villages and centuries-old castles, we turned back the way we came. It would be hard for the flavors of tonight’s Michelin-starred dinner to improve upon such a perfect day, but seamless conversation and bottomless laughter erupted effortlessly in-between each decadent course. So with tired legs and energized hearts we raised a glass of cava and toasted the wild coast.
Lucky, lucky me.