Day 31 of Our Trip, Day 2 of Clean Laundry

Dear Fodenvensel Friends,

We would like to take a moment to say that we are very happy to know that you are reading what we’re laying down. It makes us feel more connected to home and friends and family. We thought we would also fill you in a little about our plans. As this blog title suggests, we’ve been here for about a month. Our plan was to be in the south of Spain during February and March while the weather in northern Spain is cold and wet and then walk the Camino de Santiago at the beginning of April. It turns out we have really been enjoying our time at Cortijada Los Gázquez and Simon & Donna have asked if we’d be willing to stay through mid-April. Although that will change the timing for our walk we have decided to stay. Since David may only be in the EU for 90 days within a 180-day period, he must leave for 90 days before returning to walk the Camino. Austin will accompany him on his 90-day walkabout because we like to stick together. At the moment we are considering other places to go in order to refresh our time in Spain. Right now we’re considering Morocco, in part because it is so close and also because it’s Africa! We are also accepting recommendations and suggestions, and if anyone has a connection someplace we would like to know about it! (Dear Israeli family, we would like you to know that we are thinking about stopping over at some point to visit with you.)

We left the United States with the idea that we might travel for at least 4 months, maybe 8 months and possibly a year or so. At the moment, having found a situation we really enjoy and being so full of ideas, we feel quite optimistic and open to a longer timeline. (Dear Mom, we are sorry for this.)

And now for something completely different:

We can’t tell if we have done a thorough enough job conveying to you the vast amazingness of the geography that surrounds us here. Every day, all day long the beauty of our surroundings is astounding. When David goes outside at night to water a tree (due to water conservation efforts gents are asked not to use the loo unless necessary – ladies are exempt from this rule) the sky is so dark we’re pretty sure there are more stars shining and twinkling than there have ever been before. It’s fun sharing pictures with you and it is difficult to communicate how picturesque every direction, mountain, hill, tree, sowed field, forested area, big open blue sky, billowing clouded sky or blowing snow storm is. The homestead is located within a national park called Parque Natural Sierra de María-Los Vélez and the driveway is several miles of winding mud and gravel. Sometimes when the wind blows it’s like putting your ear to a seashell, except it is a special sea storm shell. And sometimes when the wind blows in just the right direction it carries the sound of bells from distant flocks of sheep moving across the hills.

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8 thoughts on “Day 31 of Our Trip, Day 2 of Clean Laundry

  1. you two are so very cool. even if you are wearing dirty underwear. how is that by the way ?? 🙂
    David- how’s the coffee situation?

    most exciting plans unfolding it sounds like…
    Love from me!

    • Hi Allisone! We hardly notice anymore the grimy film that coats us.
      Thanks for asking about coffee time. It’s going very well. Our hosts provide decent freeze dried coffee. I’ve been using a stove-top espresso maker and in the last few days the blender and butter for my bullet-proof coffee craziness. (An interjection from Austin: our hosts find David’s coffee concoctions and food combinations to be very entertaining. “Are all Americans this way?”, they ask me with confusion and concern in their voices. Rest assured I am doing my best to represent the rest of us well. But for some reason they look at me funny when they notice I take drastic measures to prevent my foods from mingling…) I had at first used milk but it seems to feel a little funny in my stomach (the milk seems pretty processed and most that we get is shelf-stable before opening). Then I tried using cream but it has a bunch of thickeners. So back to butter and the blender. I hear fresh goat, sheep and maybe cow milk is available nearby, but due to limited fridge space I am holding off on trying to procure any.

  2. This is my favorite post to date. That’s a really a lie, because they are all my favorite, but this one is especially poignant and beautiful.

    • Erin, Thanks so much. That feels so good. The picture on this post is us in the forest waiting under a tarp for the rain to stop so we can start chainsawing again. The rain didn’t let up so just when we were thinking of walking back home Simon arrived in the Land Rover and we got an off-road ride back to Los Gázquez. Fun! Miss you!!!

  3. oh my, everything sounds so delightful and exciting! I must admit the envy I sometimes experience while reading your post, as they remind me of my years of travel and the call of wind blowing me in that direction. It is so wonderful to hear you all are having such a great experience and that you will be staying on with your host til mid April than on to who knows where for 90+ days. I would recommend going to Croatia, although I have never been before, but from what I have heard it is unbelievable. They are currently not in the EU til July 1, 2013 so maybe this would fulfill your visa stuff David. If that is where you decide, check out Land of Falling Lakes via google search and you will be pleasantly surprised by its beauty! Morocco sounds great too though 🙂 hehehee. Sending love to you all from Portlandia and beyond!

    • Sprouts! Thanks for the comment and the ideas. I think we will make it to Croatia in not too long. We’ve also heard that Georgia is a really special place to visit. Have you heard anything about Georgia?

  4. It’s a state in the South of a country called the United States of America. I’ve been there once, almost got arrested for protesting a US military base, the people were really nice though and the food was good although extremely deep fried in lard. Oh, you’re talking about the country, whooops! I have not heard much about Georgia, but what I do know is that it is an extremely biodiverse country, where you may even have a chance to sea a Lynx or go for a swim in the Black Sea. There has also been some tension there in years past between regions of contention with Mother Russia, but that seems to have waned a lot since the crisis in 2008. It also has a rich cultural history, with this said I think it’s a great place to check out 🙂

    • Sprouts, We like your comment. Like Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips said after almost every one of Beck Hansen’s songs at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, “Nice one, Beck.” You make Georgia sound even more interesting.

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