The last day in Spain, for the time being… the ferry to Tangier will leave from Spain as well, but in between it's Portugal for our boys.
Hip hop is less of a big thing in Spain, the English lyrics a victim of the language barrier, which also doesn’t make it easy to talk to people and ask them if they want to enjoy a free rap show! Bar owners are not too happy with Jamie, Hanno and Max performing outside their bars and the touristy spots were less lucrative than they thought. The second day in Madrid is not much more successful than the first.
The hot tip of a local to go and check out the Tabacalera, a space for arts and culture located in an old tobacco factory, sounds great. It’s a self-organised hang out spot for people interested in music, arts, culture, and for those who want to perform something. There is a list to register. You’ve got to be fast though...
But after a day of trying to not be stuck on the route down to Casablanca and make more cash, the boys arrive there too late and the place is about to be closed for the night. Again, no luck and the situation is getting tense.
Max, Hanno and Jamie are down to around 100 Euros – which they’ll need for the fuel to get down to Portugal. In addition to the money issue, the issue of time is another pressing need. They have to be in Portugal on Wednesday because they will be playing a gig in a village near Porto, something that will earn them another 100 Euros. And they have to be in Casablanca on September 10 at the latest, so, if their financial footing doesn’t turn around big time, it’s going to be tougher to make it to Africa than they initially thought.
The boys are beginning to realise that the second half of their journey has been and still is more of a challenge than the first half. They have to reconsider their strategies and think of alternatives to pounding the streets. On the next day the three guys hit the metro in Madrid.
Their aim is to make at least 50 Euros for food and water, use the 100 Euros for the fuel and be luckier in Portugal where at least one gig is safe. The day is long and hard but they reach their goal – 53 Euros = a huge box of Asian noodle soup…
Hanno, Jamie and Max try their best to make more cash in Madrid in order to be able to get to Africa. They try the metro, they try parks, and they try the streets. They rap their hearts out and are very determined, because they know that the further south they get, the harder it is going to be. But they do reach their goal for the day, at least 50 Euros to buy a cheap dinner – tasty Asian noodle soups – and late at night head towards Portugal.
Back in Barcelona Max had managed to arrange a gig for them in a small bar two hours from Porto, in Frieiras. Alex, the owner of a bar, welcomes them warmly at “Zuppaflai”. The colourful bar hosts different bands once in a while and tonight it’s JollyJay and H-to-O plus Max who will present a show.
Although the audience is not such a huge crowd, the music still draws them in and kicks off a night of fun and making new, charming acquaintances. The people enjoy the music a lot and Max gets rid of a few CDs and t-shirts, thus making sure that they will get closer to Casablanca. Still not quite there financially (and physically obviously) but a couple more shows like this one and Bob’s your uncle. Once again, the hospitality of the people the boys meet on this trip is endless and Alex not only hosts them at his bar but also offers them a roof over their heads.
The last time they had that was two weeks ago in Pontarlier near Besanςon when Julie’s parents were so kind as to let the travellers crash at their home for three days. Since then they’ve been sleeping in their tent, sometimes not even that, sometimes it’s just the couch on top of the car. As for showers: it's a case of sneaking into bathrooms of bars and coffee shops or what nature has to offer, i.e. the ocean.
Therefore a real house to stay in for the night plus the good, old private bathroom is very much appreciated. But not only because it’s more comfortable, but also because the rain outside makes the prospect of spending the night in a tent not such a fun one. Rain is something else that they haven't had since Pontarlier.
After this long night of rest, Max, Jamie and Hanno pack up their stuff the next day and drive on to Porto. Porto, Lisbon and then back to Spain, the last few days before they have to take the ferry to Africa…