Stories From the Road: That Night in the Pyrenees
It was a dark and stormy night. No, seriously, it was a dark and stormy night. My lady and I had arrived at the end of a month-long motorcycle sojourn through Spain and were doing our best to prolong the experience. We had detoured up into the Pyrenees for one final flirtation with the beautiful, remote mountain passes.
While stopped at a pastoral outlook, we noticed the sky was darkening with unnerving speed. The glorious Spanish sun had been suddenly eclipsed by dark, wind-driven clouds, cresting the peaks and channeling down the valley in anger. Even the cows had stopped chewing their cud, cocking their heads to the threat.
I unfolded the map to assess our location and determine a suitable destination. The village of Berga, 20 miles away, was all there was. As my finger traced the winding route through the mountains, large drops of rain began to fall. Intent on beating the storm we mounted up. But, as the BMW’s wheels started to roll, the skies opened and let loose with a deluge.
As we descended the mountain, the sluicing rain rapidly morphed into marble-sized hail. My face shield fogged up so badly I had to flip it up to see any semblance of detail, inviting the lashing of ice directly to my face. And then the lightning started. There was no lag between blinding flashes and ear-splitting thunderclaps, accentuating the alarmingly close vicinity of the strikes.