Again with guests present our lives become very similar to hotel workers who do gardening on the side. Last week Los Gázquez hosted three Australians, a Malay, an Italian, a Singaporean, a Zimbabwean-born Brit and a Fin. We washed and washed and washed and then weeded and weeded and weeded.
On Tuesday we added the weedwacker (called a strimmer by our hosts) to our list of power tools we’ve used while traveling. As Austin was recalling that she used to weedwack as one of her chores growing up, David realized that he is experiencing a kind of second leaving-the-nest feeling. We have embarked on this travel mission that includes many unknowns. But somehow it is a little like we’re back in the phase of being home the summer before going off to college. Here we are in the refuge of this family, being cooked for, given a roof over our heads, being included in daily activities, watching kids, living within the structure of family life. Energetically it’s as if we’re preparing to leave our parents’ homes and set out into the world, unsure of what awaits us. Within a few weeks we will be off into the bigger world, fending for ourselves and deciding what we should do with ourselves.
Our trip so far has been spent almost completely within the 50 acres of this estate. Neither of us have minded being out here, away from urban life and pavement. Though on Sunday we took a ride on a dirt road to a nearby town called Maria where there is a weekly farmers market, and on this particular day, a procession that seemed to include everyone in town. In fact, there were few observers to the parade besides ourselves. The parade was complete with a big marching band and a float carrying a statue of Jesus riding on a donkey.
While in town we visited the same cafe as last time. We again ordered dos cafes con leche. The cafe was full and bustling. Old men and women and families were eating calamari, drinking beer and wine, talking loudly and enjoying themselves. We felt very welcome and included, even though we didn’t talk to anyone.
Donna told us that for years she had wondered about Maria because unlike the other two nearby towns, Vélez Rubio and Vélez Blanco, people in Maria have money and possessions. She informed us that the mystery was solved when a local showed her the giant farming equipment. Someone in the town owns many giant tractors and machinery with plowing capabilities and the townspeople drive them all over Spain to make a living for the town.
To get our legs and bodies ready for miles and miles of walking on the Camino de Santiago we decided to walk the 14 kilometers home from Maria. We passed many pine trees on the way, which Simon later told us are not native to Spain, but were brought here from Syria to make turpentine, before it was synthetically produced. We ate cheese and chocolate along the way, and returned home without blisters just in time for a phone date with Erin and Nathan. We have decided we need to walk more.
Also we tidied up the workshop.