Carlos picked me up from the small train station in Sitges and was excited to bring me back because everyone was at home. To give a little background on how families met was through my brother Quinn and Carlos’ son Jan. They both played for Barça’s Escola (translates to school in Catalan) academy which was one step below the famous Masia where many famous soccer teams started. Every year they would only pick one or two from each age category at the Escola and bring them to the Masia. In my brother’s last year at the Escola he was on the short-list, but they ended up picking a kid whose dad worked for Barça. The thing that absolutely sucks about team sports in politics, but my brother was also very good at tennis so after getting snubbed he focused all his energy on tennis.
A year or so prior to making the switch my brother and about 16 or so other kids from the Escola were selected to compete in South Portugal to represent Barça at the Mundialito. Top clubs from around Europe would participate in this competition and here in Faro is where we bonded with many of the other families like Jan. It was during Easter break so my parents, my sister, and I all went. It was an amazing experience and I certainly would like to go back to that area because it was beautiful.
Jan’s older sister, Andrea, looked the same as when I had last seen her 5 years ago, but Jan himself and his younger sister Martina both grew quite a bit. Especially Jan. The dude is taller than me now and I am 6.1. Crazy. It is always great to catch up with people you have not spoken to in a while. Funny enough, Andrea was also starting her triathlon journey and her first one would be a few weeks after my first one.
I received a warm welcome from dogs. Rolo especially enjoyed showing affection.
The next day I decided to walk into town and along the beach and again see if anything had changed from the last time I had been here. The busy tourist season was not yet upon us as it was early May, but it was slowly picking up.
I knew Sitges well because my family and I frequently went to this beach town on the weekends in the summer back when we lived in Barcelona. Usually some of my best memories about a place are related to food and so I knew exactly where I wanted to go. First grab a few different delicious pizza slices, then an apple tart at the bakery next door, and once I finished my walk along the beach on my way back I would have an ice cream at Dino’s.
From the moment I arrived at Sitges, Carlos told me repeatedly that he would take me out on his boat. I have always wanted to fish and he assured me that we would try, but this time of the year was not the best time to catch something. I was really excited about finally fishing, but after a few minutes of waiting I realized that my lifelong desire to catch fish is probably not as interesting as I thought it would be. At least I got a nice view of the shore.
Unfortunately most of the time while I was at their house, everyone was either working or in school and so I had quite a bit of time to myself. After a few runs and walks I had already seen everything I wanted to see about the town so I started planning my next trip. My boss recently had accepted my request to work remotely out of Colombia for the month of July so it was time to book my flight and airbnb. My bike mechanic skills were next to none and I did not have a bike bag yet, so I would not be taking my bike on this trip and instead hopefully rent one for a week.
I had so much free time that I started to look at other places like Guatemala and Costa Rica. After the fact I was not too happy with myself for spending hours looking at these other places because I was not present at the moment. I had been waiting a year to come here, but my mind was already elsewhere.
Time has a funny way of functioning because it feels very slow and then you look and everything goes by so fast. My time in Sitges was up too and now I was heading back to the Sants train station to jump on another Ouigo train to Madrid and meet a work colleague before the end of the day.