The heat continued to soar throughout the weekend in Madrid but this didn’t stop me and Atlas from exploring. On the Saturday we rented two bikes from Mi Bike Rio and raced through Casa de Campo, quite literally racing down the dusty hills and gravely slopes in the 40 degree heat. Needless to say that this made us both red in the face and in need of refreshment. That night we decided to meet some of the friends Atlas had met through Couch Surfing events. We met them in a cool little Russian bar near Plaza Major where you get a free shot glass of Vodka plonked into your pint of heavy, strong beer, a good start to any night. We then went to a nightclub in the Salamanca district of the centre, 15 euros to get in with a free drink which is apparently cheap for the Spanish capital. Now I’m very sceptical when it comes to clubs, I don’t often enjoy myself unless I’m really drunk and at this time I wasn’t. In this respect, I’ve got to hand it to Madrid, on this occasion and on others since, nightclubs have never failed to provide a good night out. There were two professional DJ groups who played that night and both where pretty awesome. Me and Atlas walked the thirty minuet journey home in the early morning, she was barefoot as was her way.
The next day was a lot less active, tired from the previous days heat and booze, a quiet day in was maybe what was needed. We had walked and seen the Sol, Malasana and Salamanca areas of the city and I felt I had a good idea of the atmosphere and aesthetics of the Madrid centre and I knew I would return. I hadn’t been in the best of moods since the latter part of Saturday, Atlas and I had agreed to not be anything in Spain and we had had a little disagreement the previous night. In the morning I was to travel to Valencia and it seemed that I was going to be traveling there for a full new start, but the gloss of the trip had been wiped away a little. How much I had spent on this small stop off in Madrid reminded me that my money situation was pretty dire and the abrupt end to my speculation between myself and Atlas had got me a little down.
We were still friends however and that was important to me, I wasn’t alone in Spain and had friends. In fact the Erasmus three were all in Spain again, two of them in the very hard to reach southern town of Tarifa and Atlas in Madrid. This was just the first example of Spain drawing people back for another go, it has the magic to do that.