Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Quick Pit-Stop in Barcelona and a Sneak Peak into Next Month's Peasant Life in Piedralaves

Left Marrakech, Morocco and made a quick pit-stop in Barcelona for a couple of days. Spent one of those days hiking up Montserrat, a mountain about 1 hour outside of Barca.
The monastery high up in the hills of Montserrat

Pek, one of Jessie´s old dog friends before he moved to Barça with his owners. Unlike my dog, he doesn´t mine carrying shit on his back
A tiny hermito (refuge) high up in Montserrat
After Barcelona, I headed to Piedralaves for a week. It's a tiny pueblo in the countryside, about an hour and a half outside of Madrid. I'm here with the father of a French friend of mine who I met last year while volunteering at the Tibetan Refugee Center in Kathmandu, Nepal. He's showing me the ins and outs of his country home (turning on power, turning on water, land maintenance, and most importantly pool operation and maintenance). The house is 2 km from the main town (and about 15 km from will I survive without Vitamin I) and is located in a wide valley. The entry to the house is a long dirt driveway flanked by trees. On the property there are newly planted fruit trees, flower beds, and a 2 year old olive garden (still needs another 3 years to bloom). The house has 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, a separate workshop, a parilla (barbecue hut), and let's not forget la piscina.
Mi casa nestled in the hills, for 1.5 months starting in June
A green field next door
So I basically have this big-ass house for a month and a half starting next month on june 1st.....all to myself.......I am resigned to the fact that I will be one or a combination of possible things. Leading a peasant life tending the land (mowing the lawn, planting and watering, etc.), being a cabana boy (cleaning the pool and tanning my speedo-clad body), and also working on my own projects (a book and/or a film). I will either become Henry David Thoreau in Walden, Ernest Hemingway in Cuba, or Jack Nicholson in The Shining, or a combination of all three. But I'm not completely isolated (feel free to visit though, so I don't go crazy. My neighbors are this old guy Juan Gonzalez and his dog Yeti. Nobody around here speaks English (yeah, I think it would be a good idea for you to visit), so I'm anticipating my Spanish to improve greatly. There's also lots of cows and frogs to keep me company, and a bonus of a cleaning lady stopping by once a week.
One of my neighboring cows. This one I call Marta
Over the last couple of days, me and Philippe (the owner of the house) have been working the land. A couple days ago, at about 2:30 PM, while mowing, I started to get in the groove of working, when he shut me down for siesta. It's an unwritten rule that you can't make loud noise during siesta time (about 2:30 to 5:00 PM) since the neighbors are taking their siesta. I have to remember that Spanish time is not necessarily getting the work done, buy not pissing off the neighbors when they're napping.
Yesterday I transformed this pool from a green mucky, frog and beetle infested, smelly swamp, into a newly painted lovely piscina that I will appreciate a lot more than any other pool when I jump in it in June, since I scrubbed it completely clean by hand. I think that was a run-on sentence.
Starting June 1st, this will be my peasant to join me?

He's muy popular con la gente en el campesino, Dónde está Che Pelotas?

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At 1:48 PM, Blogger andrew said...

the peasant life looks fabulous. give me a call when you start talking to the cow, and I'll do my best to visit.


At 8:53 AM, Blogger andy ristaino said...

dang they is puttin you to work.


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