Jack Single

Bardenas Reales

Shot on Canon Eos 50 ||  Rollei CR200 Transparency film and Cinestill 50 Daylight.

Halfway through last year, I found myself road tripping through some pretty crazy countries in Europe: Norway, Sweden, Iceland and finally Spain. We kicked off our Spanish adventure in Barcelona, travelling up Costa Brava before deciding we wanted to get off the beaten track and hit the absolute middle of nowhere. That day, the middle of nowhere for us was Bardenas Reales, an absolutely epic desert region between Barcelona and San Sebastian, and also a filming location for Game of Thrones. 
 
When we finally made it to the region, we couldn't believe the landscape in front of us. A barren clay wasteland with enormous ridged mountains skirting along the horizon. There was a single road that went around in a giant loop, and the mountains were always just too teasingly far away to climb. After a few hours of exploring this unreal national park, we knew we were gonna have to spend the night here.
 
This posed a slight problem, as the gates shut at 9pm and the rangers send out a patrol to make sure all visitors have left. There was also a huge army base on the top of a tall plateau that had 360 vision of the entire area. After a lengthy debate as to how best dodge the park rangers and the army, we found ourselves a tiny dirt road that headed off in the direction of absolutely nowhere. We coasted down this bumpy path a ways and soon found ourselves in a ditch deep enough to entirely hide our van from the road and army base. Before long the sun was a giant red orb on the horizon, so we whipped up a quick arrabiata pasta dish, got eaten alive by an impossibly enormous swarm of mosquitos and hit the hay.
 
The following morning we very leisurely got ourselves together and pushed off in the direction of San Sebastian. This beautiful coastal town is a holiday destination for the whole of Europe, with beautiful cobblestoned streets and old Spanish architecture spilling out onto an idyllic beach. As fantastic as it was however, we couldn't get our minds off Bardenas Reales. After ticking off a few of the San Sebastian tourist spots, we debated how we wanted to spend our final day road tripping before we had to sprint back to Barcelona. Unsurprisingly, the vote was unanimous, and after just a few hours in San Sebastian, we already had plans to leave. We found ourselves a dead end road near a campsite to park up the van and illegally sleep for the night and conked out for the night.
 
Morningtime saw us rolling out of bed and straight into the ocean. After a quick ocean shower, we charged straight back to where we had come from the previous day, for one final glorious adventure through one of the most unreal landscapes I’ve ever seen.

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