Andalucian Adventures 

    As a single traveller I consider myself blessed with friends who open their doors and hearts and share their lives and experiences with me. I’ve learned so much from staying with and ‘Being’ alongside people as they go about their daily lives. That, for me, is the difference between travelling and ‘going on holiday’. I love seeing, learning and understanding countries and people from the perspective of locals

This time I’m in the heart of Spain but I’m not travelling alone. Twelve of us have arrived over the last week from different parts of the world to stay with our friends Joanna and Nicholas in Las Pinedas, a village in Andalucia – think Seville and Cordoba and we are midway on the line between the two.

Joanna and Nicholas have generously opened their homes to this disparate band, many of us of a certain age, who are bubbling with joie de vivre and camaraderie. Our everyday stresses have been falling away, conversation flows and there is communal decision making and enjoyment of life, fuelled with local produce, from the market and local bodegas. It all has a quite delightful rhythm.
We are a rich mix of life’s experiences; couples, single adventurers, widows, widowers, family members and friends; some have brought work on their laptops, others,like myself,just want sunshine and rest, individuals fresh from serious international negotiations want R&R, but once ‘landed’ everyone appears to breathe and begin to let go. Then there is a quiet opening up to whatever happens next. If you could bottle this kind of holiday experience you would be sold out.
At the heart of it all lies the magical skill of Joanna, a friend of many years who has brought her friends and family together. If this were a recipe it might read “Take 12 fresh organic eggs…… ” Joanna is a Master Chef (literally as well as metaphorically) and life is punctuated with al fresco meals to die for where we congregate and discuss issues from Boy Bands at Glastonbury to gun laws in the United States, tattoos and the Greek economy.
The absence of young people, for a short time, is somewhat of a relief . The sound of birdsong is the a cappella background around the garden – those who choose music have their ear phones and iPods. Grand children and children drop in via Skype and Instagram with birthday greetings, messages and photos. Our group is techno savvy and willing to share.
There is conversation based on real knowledge as opposed to prejudice – and yes there is occasional prejudice which is challenged in positive and refreshing fashion. This is fantastic. I am enjoying myself. I am learning to live as part of a community and engage on a daily basis. For a single person this is such a gift. There is consideration, sharing, care and awareness of others’ limitations and abilities.   
 And if it all gets too hot there are two inviting pools waiting for us to take the plunge.

CASA UNO is on the web

LA POETA is the smaller house on the same site

One Reply to “Andalucian Adventures ”

  1. Dear Claire, what a wonderful time you are experiencing! It all sounds quite idyllic and delightful.
    After our short and lovely visit on June 13, I thought I would come over and check out your blog – so here I am.

    It looks like I’ll enjoy your holiday vicariously with you here online — we were supposed to go to Victoria on Vancouver Island for a couple of weeks this coming weekend. But we have decided to postpone it till September. While I am disappointed, September is a lovely time, and it will be closer to our move, so that we can look for a place to live, a little more realistically. So virtual Spain it will have to be!

    I left a photo on a Twitter post for you, and I’ll put the others from our short time together in a DropBox file. Are you comfortable for me to post them on Facebook?

    Sounds like the call of dinner is about to come – continue to enjoy your time there. I’ll come back and read later. So looking forward to catching up on your life.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s