I’ve been told that everyday in Gaucin/Benarabba isn’t as amazing and fortunate as it has been since I arrived, but I’m not convinced.
The crazy experiences and surreal moments have been flooding at me, washing my mind over with new aspects on how different countries, provinces and towns live. Most recently whilst working on the house with my hosts, the owner of the neighboring land and his friend came with two police officers to speak to my host. Bearing in mind that this area is more traditional than the heavier populated areas, it is apparently still common for the older generation to bring a witness when talking matters over with the authorities. Adding to the time-warped feeling was the fact that the argument was over water source to the land and how his previous generations of family have always had access, and now that has changed much to his dismay. Small interactions like this are a refreshing reminder that the entire world isn’t yet totally encapsulated within this media driven, technologically advanced bubble that has so many downsides.
More often than not, since being here in Andalucia, every day has really left an impact on me in a positive way. Whether directly positive or had me thinking about things in a new perspective that I wouldn’t have otherwise. This last weekend was a prime example of a magical few days that almost can’t be planned, the way everything came together was perfectly interwoven to create a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. It is a rarity for me to totally relax in an environment filled with new people (especially speaking a language I don’t fully understand), however for the first time in a long while I felt the sweet serenity of a calm mind at atime when my brain usually stirs into a storm of conflicting thoughts.
– The air had an aroma of two parts –
The first, like the watered soil surrounding a large coffee plant drifting across the sky. Secondly, the almost edible taste of deceased shrubbery against the contrasting, rich, healthy conifer leaves.
Both came together to create an air thick enough to cut with a knife, or better, a fine cheese wire. Not only is the dry heat pulling the oxygen from your lungs, but the constant unwavering warm breeze dries your skin quicker than if you were to tan leather on the sun.
After 5 hours working on the natural pool at the project site (See previous posts about the construction underway),it came to roughly 1pm and I was spent. We done the usual finishing up and packing the tools away and made haste to the river, it has become the norm to head straight to the river to have a quick swim before heading home during the lunchtime sun, however tonight was slightly different. Our newly acquainted friends staying in the camper van were due to put on a fire show in the evening!
I suggested camping down alongside the river that night to save travelling and it meant we could stay longer and enjoy a drink, most eventful evenings seem to finish around 3 or 4 in the morning. The afternoon was spent swimming, joking, reading, listening and playing music, sharing stories and sharing food, with everyone around the river. Everyone and their dog was offering out food they had made or drinks, it made for a friendly environment and there wasn’t a thread of tension anywhere on this busy shingle ridge.
As the sun was closing behind the valley side a few of us came together and formed a circle of rocks and a carefully stacked rock pile in the centre, this is where the yoga was due to take place. The stones encircled the group and the energy is better distributed around and kept within during the exercise, the area is quite densely populated with heavily spiritual people. The light yoga started as a warm up and was refreshing after lounging around in my hammock all day, eventually leading to a much more intense acroyoga, practicing difficult balances and paired manoeuvres. I’ve always wanted to try this and it was awesome!
After the long session of practicing new stretches and aerial manoeuvres we relaxed back at the area we set up camp, to our left was the campervan and the right were my hosts Ana and Aitox. Between us was a phantasm of lights, decorations, burning incense, hanging cloths, hammocks, balanced stones and rugs, all designed to create an enclosed garden which felt so much like home over the course of the coming days. There was a definite sense of family between everyone as the area was shared, cared for, and nurtured by all.
Before the grand fire show the benches near the river were cleared and two large white table clothes were laid, with decorations across the tables, burning incense, bunches of herbs and olives all round. Mountains upon mountains upon what looked like entire continents of food were put out, and everyone ate, very well…
The majority of the food was all vegan and the odd fish dish was present, it was a great feeling to eat a large amount of food totally guilt free and feel so great afterwards,
unlike the stodge of a large take away or similar.
The perfect after food entertainment ensued with the fire show starting across the water, there must have been a good crowd of 20+ people all gathered on the shingle ridge.
They performed their act on the bridge opposite in the pitch black, there was nothing but the soft hug of darkness and the velvet sky strewn with burning planets and stars
highlighted across the dream inducing milky-way. Reflections of fire caressed and danced across the water as if trickling a small finger down the waters back, occasionally
slipping and protruding the blanket of night. There is little more I can say about that performance other than the trance I fell into watching the lights and indulging in the
violin being played next to us, truly enriching the already mesmerising experience.
The remaining night was spent sat back in the stone circle in total silence, a crowd of 20+ people, all soaking up the music and the endless light show that was above us.
Two groups of people played drums, violins, a cello, guitars and tongue-harps, If I wasn’t so phased by the entire day and drank so much then perhaps I would of gave a hand in playing, it is safe to say that it was only a thought and I would never have got my hands to work! The morning followed suit, with yoga in the morning and far too many hours spent asleep in my hammock to the sound-waves of the water preventing me from waking.
I leave soon to go to Orgiva, and take part in a month long yoga retreat in the mountains. I’m looking forward to reflecting on that weekend and taking from it all the parts I want to use to adapt how my future goes. I’d absolutely love, cherish, explode with joy at finding a community of my own just like the one I shared, or perhaps I’ll simply come back. What have you all been up to? It doesn’t have to be something so busy and different, even day to day life in a small town can bring about great new stories.
Fingers crossed the yoga retreat will have some signal so that I can upload posts using my phone network, I look forward to writing less, but more, and starting a book in the next few weeks.
I’ll keep you all posted! Adios for now – Namaste