Empuriabrava. Sounds like a special edition Fiat, feels like Southend on an August bank holiday. Only it’s the end of the season and most holiday homes are empty, the streets dead except for the occasional pill-popper and bar-hopper making their way home, to the beach, anywhere. Retired too-cool-for-school perma-tanned dudes in sleeveless T-shirts park burbling pretend Choppers (my other bike’s a Harley) in front of the Supermerkat to reemerge with baguettes, cigarettes, and tins of dog food the size of a dog. Everything is a parody of itself, right down to the contorted prostitutes throwing arthritic shapes at the traffic on every roundabout. I love it.
We’re here because we need a break from the road, from the planning and thinking, to see if the sun still goes down when you’ve done nothing since it came up. And because Boss-girl has a villa. Highlight of day one? Wash the riding gear, buy some beer, lie by the pool. Day two: take out empty bottles (avoiding the bikes’ accusing stares) and come back with full bottles. Overdose on fresh bread and some kind of garlic-based dairy spread peculiar to the region, more beer, go for a steak dinner. On day three (or was it four?) Boss-girl mentions she has the keys to one of the speedboats moored at the bottom of the garden, so we pack a lunch – bread, garlic, beer – then hit the canals for the kind of exquisite stupidity that only we find funny.