A Travellerspoint blog

God and his MegaGun

The Oppression of Early Man

sunny 22 °C

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My daily life here pretty much goes like this, on a weekday; Wake up around 7:30, eat breakfast. Make some tea and sit outside or wander about. We get our boots, work gloves, and clothes from the ´Boutique´ (toolshed), and work begins at 8:30. We work until about 11:00 or 12:00 if it isn´t too hot, then take a break for some homemade lemon or maraquya juice. Resume work in about 15 minutes, and go until about 1:30. I usually shower, and then we have lunch, which Roser has been cooking for us... always delicious vegetarian food, she is really a great cook. After lunch, I try to sleep for about an hour, but I get frustrated and usually eat some more lunch leftovers. Then I paint until dark outside... make some tea and talk or play cards with Shanti until 9:00, and I go to bed to write or sew for a few hours until sleep.

Lately Shanti and I have been helping Alfredo built these two long strips of garden. It´s mostly shovelling and picking rocks... there never seems to be enough soil, and there are always too many rocks. When the days are sunny, it´turns into really hard work. Heat is something I am especially adverse to, so it´s a challenge to shovel for four hours. And the flies.

Shanti and I have been talking so much. I can´t believe we have so much to talk about, but I guess that is the nature of the human beast; chattering. We have a lot of jokes together now. One day last week we took the bus to Las Palmas. We waited for the first one for an hour, then took about five different buses, which must have taken an hour and half more. We spent the afternoon trying to find this beach that I had been to once before, but we had the hardest time... finally we got there, had some Lebanese food, and just laid in the sand for a while.

I was thinking about this blog, and how I´ve written in it so far. It seems like a fairytale almost, to me. I´ve mostly chosen to talk about the good things, because those are the ones I like to dwell on. But, this place has it´s downsides, and I amd still me. Life, I think, doesn´t really get better or worse, we just react differently. I could fill this blog with talk about the rats and barking dogs that keep me up at night, the ticks and the dog crap that are everywhere, or the day I got heatstroke. But that really doesn´t give an accurate picture of the place, or what I feel is important, I can´t write everything. I suppose this is just a disclaimer; I´m not in heaven, I´m just changing the background of a fairly ordinary life.

I have a flight booked to Granada on Tuesday. Shanti has one to the same place on the same day, but we are not flying together. She´s still awaiting responses to find hew next wwoof host, while I already have mine, in a town south of Granada called Orgiva. It´s owned by a British man named Neil, who I have already talked to on the phone and been charmed by his accent.

Posted by mythxation 23:24 Archived in Spain Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

The Healing Power of Scythes

A story about Shanti and the Cactus

semi-overcast

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Life is so random. Shanti is the new WWOOFer who has also come to stay with Roser and Alfredo. She is a slender, dark-featured young girl with bright, soulful eyes... (you can tell I have been reading fantasy novels). She is 21, and from Winnipeg! Both of our parents are teachers... we have some other shocking similarities as well. She is very down to earth, and open... she has only been here two days and we have talked very frankly to one another about some very personal stuff. It feels great to have another young person here to explore and do things with. Today she taught me some guitar chords after a fabulous session of cutting away the tall cactus hedging in towards an area cleared for a chick coop to be built.

Recently, I have explored Telde, which was kind of a seedy town. I visited some very old churches and streets, and got chills down my spine from the sense of history in these places. I learned that construction workers and toy stores are the same everywhere. I´ve also seen from a higher point, the volcano on who´s outer side we are on. There is a single house in the middle of the volcano, where a man lives with his cow.

I´ve done a lot of work clearing and lifting and levelling and piling. Physical work is so good for my body, mind and soul. It seems so strange because I am so arts and intellectual oriented, but at this point in time I would rather be a labourer for money.

I think I am ready to move on to my next WWOOF place, which is an olive and almond farm in Orgiva, which is south of Granada. It sounds very exciting, but I would also like to enjoy some time here with Shanti. I think she may want to move to Southern Spain as well. I finally recieved my new bank card, so I have freedom to do as I please... however I will not speak before I have money in my hands.

I hope everyone is doing well. Email me if you want to chat further, for the moment I have good internet access. And also, I would like to add a sentiment epressed well by my well-travelled friend, Graham S. If you find yourself wishing you could travel, or that you were me, or you are envious of any of this, then have it for yourself! Travel! Come with me! Meet me in Spain! By all means, do it if you wish it.

Posted by mythxation 09:14 Archived in Spain Tagged backpacking Comments (3)

A Gift from the Clouds

The double life of rain

semi-overcast 18 °C

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Water, water, everywhere. It´s in us, in our food, our air, and completely essential to the manifestation of life. So simple, and so important. It is often used to represent our emotions; it can be calm and reflective, or turbulent and agressive. A heavy rain can bring either disaster or the most beautiful blessing. Right now it is the latter. It´s so different because in Canada, rain comes often and is usually something that inhibits activity; ¨The picnic is cancelled, it´s raining.¨

Here in the Canaries it is so precious, so joyful when the sky gives an offering of rain to the plants and the animals. The thick layer of dusy covering the houses, leaves, and animals is washed away, and the plants swell with greenery. Roser and Alfredo have built some kind of system, which recyles the water that goes down the sink drains and from the washing machine, to be put into permanent hose systems, which water the plants overnight, and to be used from the hoses. Water, ye precious commodity.

It seems that lately in life, the big lesson for me, the big thing to learn and to adopt, is moderation. It is very interesting, this idea of rain. At the same time that it is such a blessing here, too much is always a bad thing. The Barranco, this area was are in, is like a long crack, a valley between two tall and steep mountain ranges. The valley area is only the width of a road in most places, so all the houses are on the mountainsides. And when the rains come, there is always a danger of a river washing through the Barranco, flooding away the cars and sheds parked along the valley.

Over the past two days I have worked hard, my project being to dig up this tremendously overgrown garden that was planted with tall pots into the soil... there were about 50 of such pots, grown over by vines, grass, and a few trees taller than I was. At first it seemed so futile, literally scratching at the earth with a pronged tool, but soon I was deep into the soil, and I have been covered in it since yesterday morning. It was satisfying. I thought a lot about life and truth, and my mind has cleared, just as I have cleared this little patch of land on such a big earth, ready to be filled with some seed and growth.

Also worth mentioning is a dance group I attended with Roser, they practise traditional Canarian, Macedonian, and all kinds of folk dance. I didn´t understand the words, but I learned the steps... I love dancing, I really do.
¨Dancing is what to do,
Dancin´s is when I think of you.
Dancin´s what clears my soul,
Dancin´s what makes me whole¨

-Dancing, by Aaron Smith (feat. Luvli)

Posted by mythxation 08:11 Archived in Spain Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Life in the Barranco

Where the best mangos grow

sunny 24 °C

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The past few days have been great. Life is very relaxed here, and time flies by very quickly. Roser and I have had so many long talks, about society, people, her country, our lives, emotion and just.... life. Last night was one such talk, joined in by an Argentinian man who had come to see this video of Krishnamurti, a wise Indian man. The video posed all kinds of topics for discussion... we mostly talked in English, which was a little difficult at times for Fernando, but worked for me!

A large part of the work I am doing is watering the many trees and plants, since the soil is so sandy, and everythig is growing on this hillside we are on. Avocado, mango, mandarin, goyabo, peach, plum and banana trees are all so new and exciting to me. We also do a lot of cooking, making soups, jams, and big lunches, which is the main meal of the day for the Spanish.

I went to the south part of the island a few days ago, and swam in the ocean on this very tourist infested beach. The water was quite warm, and I got a very good look at the crazy tourism.

Today I have a cold. It has been growing in me over the last few days, and last night I was unable to sleep well, getting cold and hot flashes. This is the delayed effects of last week´s airport adventures, no doubt.

Being here, and talking with Roser and Fernando last night, and thinking and reading has really made me question my direction in life. University? Ahck! It seems to be so contrary to everything I am begining to learn at this stage in my life, not just on this trip, either. The value of moving slowly, eating well, leading a simple life.... being open to the value of new experiences without pressure or stress. Ah well. Cést la vie.

By the way, listen to Bloodsport, by Sneaker Pimps. I have had it in my head for a week,

Posted by mythxation 01:16 Archived in Spain Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

How I lost all my money

The art of living in airports

sunny

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So I fly to London, Heathrow Airport. Arrive there at 6:00pm or so. I sleep in the airport overnight, behind this make-your-own-business-card-machine. I wake up, stretch, pack up my stuff, wash up, and head up to the confusing mass of check in counters. This airport is so disorganized. I ask three people who tell me three different places to go. I try using an automatic check-in counter. You need to insert a debit card, for verification that it is you. No problem, right? I scour through my back, looking for my money belt with €100 in it, and my bank card. It´s not to be found. I frantically open my big pack, search it through. No dice. I run around the airport, freaking out as only Angelas do best. I retraced all my steps, asked two lost and founds... nada.

I think it may be in my big backback still, there is a slim chance, but it is checked in baggage. When I get to Madrid, I check, and it´s gone. I emailled my dad, letting him know. I feel like a loser. Last I saw the thing was on the plane to London... can´t think about it now.

Anyways, so my plans to explore the city of Madrid for the two whole days and nights I had between my flights to there and the Canary Islands was thwarted. I slept in the airport. I only had €3 too my name. I lived on bread and water, pretended to peruse the expensive airport shops, read all the things I brought with me, wrote in my journal. I did everything except sleep. It was hard. People everywhere.

Last night, at around 6:00, this guy began talking to me. An old man, about 60. We were sitting at nearby benches and he asked me to watch his stuff. When he came back, we had a convo. He lives in Cancun, Mexico, born in Alabama, going to Paris for a poker competition. His name is Rageb. I tell him some vague outlines of my travel plans. He says he has some friends in Paris and Turkey and Germany, gives me his email address. I trade him books. I see him later, and he asks to buy me a cafe and something to eat. OF COURSE I say yes. We get talking about art and history, this book he wants to write. Then he tells me I should come and visit him in Cancun. He says, if I don´t feel safe, I can even bring my mom down. He´ll pay for it. He also invites me to stay at a hotel that night, with him. Just as friends, he says. He´s telling me I am brave, wonderful and intelligent, I remind him of girls he knew from the ´60s. He seemed nice enough, but that means nothing. He said he understood if I was uncomfortable accepting his offers, and I could decline.

So I did, obviously. But I still have his email address. I think I will drop him a line and ask him about some of these friends he has... he seems to know a lot fo wealthy families, form what I gather. He said if I went to Turkey, he could get a friend to find someone to travel with me, to make sure I am safe.

So I´ll drop him a line, someday. What harm could an email do?

So anyways, I finally arrived at the Gran Canaria today, and this place is a paradise. Roser y Alfredo are so wonderful and nice. I have the house to myself while they are out with other obligations. There are two dogs here, 5 cats. It´s this open style house built into a hill, with little trails and rustic stairs connecting separate rooms, all crowded with tropical plants, palm trees and big cacti. There are these free-range chickens running around down the mountain, and tiny towns tucked away in the hills, with winding roads from place to place. Amazing.

So now, to get my money back. This isn´t going to be that simple. Another thing, I packed way too much.

Posted by mythxation 09:31 Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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