Travel the world with Alfie and his crew members Jude and Ben

Monday, February 13, 2006

mule tracks and mums.....

I can't believe it's February....incredible! We're still 1000 metres up a mountain, and it's still beautiful.

Life on the mountain can be quite transient, Norah left in January to go back to Canada, although we'll still keep in touch. Soon after we met Esther and Niqa, and Luna the staffy! We became good friends with Esther (Dutch) and Luna and Lyla had many an adventure together.

My mum and Aunty Angela came for 10 days, I had planned all these day trips and expeditions, but when they got here they were simply overwhelmed by the beauty of the place and just wanted to explore the mountain - so we did! We walked right up into the sierra nevada just under the snow line. They also trekked up and down the arduous mule path that we use to get to Lanjaron for supplies of costa and veggies. We never fail to see at least one old boy and his mule, it's lovely. We also have a simple exchange of conversation concerning the weather or where we're going(a bit ridiculous when we can only be ging TO the village or FROM the village) if you show an interest in the locals and make an effort with the language they go out of their way to welcome you.

The weather's been lovely, but changeable. Inka recently came over for the weekend with her 2 dogs and we had loads of rain, which made life in the yurt very difficult! dogs, rain, people, wet wood and small spaces didn't complement well. But then we awoke on the Sunday morning to find a foot of powdery snow blanketing the mountain. So we grabbed the dogs and went runing around and came home to drink hot chocolate outside, it was magickal.

It's also starting to feel like Spring, the nights are still bitter but the other day we were digging in 35 degrees, IN FEBRUARY! The nearby ascecia overflowed so the neighbours were all out with their spades trying to stop any more damage to the land. Martin and Brenda are our nearby neighbours who have Mutley, a delightful dog who is head over heels in love with Lyla, in fact, there is a story to be written called "Mutleo and Lyliette", watch this space..... If we see Martin and Brenda out on their land they,re the first to offer a cup of tea out on the patio, whilst watching the sun go down.....anything to get away from picking olives!

Ben and i have been asked to run a retreat over the summer - just above Orgiva and Lanjaron. It's such an amazing opportunity, we've been there and it's so peaceful, and we'd even get a (modest) wage. But the more i think about it the more i feel ready ot move on. I'm getting itchy feet, Slovenia seems so tantalising that I want to keep going. We've met a lot of people who were travelling around Europe but found the Alpujarras and stayed, unable to leave, and I can feel myself being drawn into that spiders web. Everything has worked out for us here, people have looked out for us and given us opportunity after opportunity, but we must carry on exploring, there's so much to see.

We had a lovely meal lastnight with Jim, louise and Otto. They were living in Denmark and needed a big change, they had good jobs, a house, but took a risk and came out here. Life's too short to become something that is mundane, we find comfort in routine and that makes us afraid to take chances. Jim and Louise have a wonderful piece of land here and by gum they have a big job on their hands with building their house, but I respect their decision and can't wait to come back to see the land in a few years time. Me, Ian and Ben have helped them out on the odd day with clearing the land, and I have really enjoyed doing it. At some stage in our lives I feel we all need a bit of help, but at other times we can give so much by offering a bit of help, and little by little it goes a long way. I have also really enjoyed spending time with Otto, who's nearly four. Otto is a happy, fearless, content, charming little boy. He often pops down by himself to visit us, either for a spot of lunch, to paint pictures, or to pull Lyla's tail. We,ve also gotten to know Dea,s mum, Marienna who is lovely too. She is a rose genius and knows everything there is to know about the little beauties.

Ian's still here too, it's nice being the three of us! We've been picking olives for neighbours (AGAIN!) Met a lovely man called Harry who has said we can pick his olives, he,s another salt of the earth character, really genuine.

take care, over and out - roger.


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