I have been living under the Coronavirus lockdown for two weeks now. Sometimes its really difficult, other times its no different to how I was living before the pandemic.
Let me focus on the latter first. I live off-grid, which means I live without any mains utilities, in a fairly remote farmhouse. It is located 6km from the nearest town, so compared to some homes, it is quite close to civilisation, but as it is surrounded by forests and mountain views, it feels more remote than it is. The house has solar panels and batteries for electricity, and water is both harvested from rainwater, and delivered by a farmer with a water tanker when there hasn’t been enough rain. Internet access is via a 4G router, bottled gas for cooking and thanks to the hundreds of trees surrounding the farm, a plentiful supply of firewood to keep the place warm in the cooler months.
Day to day life prior to the lockdown usually involved one or two ‘office’ days, marketing, replying to enquiries, banking etc., a day or two doing work on the farm and vehicles, and the rest of the week was a mixture of enjoying the peace and quiet, scouting the routes for upcoming tours and social time with friends. This is an average week, but when I had clients it was very different, preparing the bike, planning routes each day depending on the clients wishes and weather, doing the tours and then socialising afterwards. But the time spent in town, shopping etc., was probably just an hour or two each week.
So how is life under the State of Emergency? Well I was quite happy spending my free time on the farm prior to the lockdown, knowing I could pop out on the KTM whenever I wanted. I still enjoy life on the farm, but not being allowed to go out without having to fill out a form to present at checkpoints, and the reason stated on the form must be one of the approved reasons for leaving your house. If you state you are going for fuel and are stopped on your way home, and you can’t provide a reciept, you will be fined. And the fines are not small like in the UK, they range from €300 through to €600,000. Yes, six hundred thousand euros. So, I can go out for groceries, fuel, medicines and medical appointments, or to go to a financial institution. Those are the only conditions or reasons that apply to me, but others include walking a dog, visiting an older relative, or to travel to work if you are a frontline worker or work within an essential service sector and are unable to work from home. I can only go out on my own, my girlfriend has to stay at the farm, and if I am going to two places during one trip, I need a form for each leg of the journey. For example, a form explaining my journey from the farm to the bank. Then a form explaing the journey from the bank to the supermarket. And finally a form explaing the journey from the supermarket back to the farm.
So what does this all mean for Spanish Motorbike Tours? Well the doors are closed, and I don’t know how long for, because nobody knows how long the restrictions will be in place. And even when Spain allows its residents to leave their homes at will, the air, land and sea borders may remain closed to prevent the virus from coming back into the country from other countries which are still dealing with the pandemic. I can only hope that this situation is under control soon and we can all return to normal.