On the road through Spain

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. I’d say I’ve been busy, but that’s not really true 🙂 . I’ve actually been writing quite a bit, just not for this story. For another one, a slightly bigger one, that is (I think/hope) soon to come. But until then, here’s what’s happened during my last bit in France and driving through Spain!

To begin with I’m superhappy that the gift I was given by my colleagues has finally found it’s way to me! It’s a beautiful beach yogamat.

Finally, the beautiful gift from my colleagues has arrived!

It was time for the work bit, but like I said I haven’t been that busy. The time at Progress has been a pretty interesting experience for me. One of confrontation (with myself), of growth and fortunately, of a lot fun too.

The first week was a bit of a struggle.

I was finally around people and didn’t have to go anywhere. The crew were a nice group of people. Most of them had known each other for a longer time, so they were all quite close. I, being sort of semi-crew (I did have ‘work’ to do, but it was independent of everything else) found it difficult to fit in. Fitting in, however, is already a concept I am struggling with, since it implies that something has to be altered to fit and how can I be someone else than who I am. Like I said before, the atmosphere at the camp was one of relaxing, partying (and the hang-overs that come with it) and generally just doing whatever you liked (I will spare you the details, because there are too many and I didn’t keep up… ;)), so not much structure. That’s great for a holiday, but for me, who likes a bit of structure and wanted to work, that was a bit of a challenge. I can do the relaxing bit, partying I can do to a certain extend (yes, I am getting older and I am really happy about that) and doing whatever I liked was different from what most liked to do.

Unfortunately for me, most of the people there were still studying and didn’t want to spend money on extra things. In the end, I did teach some really nice yogaclasses, at the beach and in the forest. I also gave a few massages and all was really well received. For that I’m incredibly grateful, because that’s what matters most to me.

Besides the work, I met some lovely people.

The sights in San Sebastian.

I spend some days/evenings with them in San Sebastian. Relaxing times with pinchos, nice walks, ice cream for dinner (they have really awesome ice-cream) and dancing after the fireworks that were there during la grande semana. I have to say that the Chinese really know their fireworks, it was impressive! Unfortunately, during our last evening in San Seb, one of the girls sprained her ankle pretty badly, so we ended up in the hospital. Luckily everything worked out fine.

One of the guests became my meditation buddy. We would go to the river at the beach, (almost) every morning and sit together. Him on his longboard and me on my bike (which was awesome to have at the camp!) while having great conversations about life. I remember that the first time we sat was quite special to me. I’m used to meditating on my own, I’ve been doing so for about 3 years now. Having someone sit beside me (instead in front of me, what I’ve done in several partner meditations) felt really different. At first a bit unsettling, someone who I felt was in my space. But soon that settled and there was just this extra, calm presence next to me.

The sights in Bordeaux

Sadly, they had to leave, but fortunately there were other people with whom I spend most of the last week. We visited Bordeaux, which was lovely and I joined them to smoke a joint one night. I hadn’t done that in about 10 years, so I was curious to see what that would be like, since I’m now much more aware of my body. It was interesting to notice all that happened. Increased sensations and everything slowing down. I’d like to say I’m a pretty calm and relaxed person already, so the slowing down bit felt a bit annoying. My skin was tingling, which was nice, but my lungs didn’t feel too happy. It was a good experience, but not one I would do again soon.

The Huchet river in Moliets that flows into the sea.

Since I wasn’t too busy, I also found time to read again and write. I borrowed ‘the subtle art of not giving a fuck’, great read! Very to the point about life and how to spend it well, there’s only so much time we have and we tend to waste it on ‘stuff’ (things we shouldn’t give a fuck about). I also read a Dutch book, which is called ‘liefdesbang’ (lovefear). About how commitment and abandonment issues ruin relationships (lucky for me I don’t have those issues… *rolling eyes*, incredible how familiar it all sounded). Currently I’m busy with ‘loving what is’ an audiobook by Byron Katie, about how the mind creates stories that interfere with what is and how that messes you up emotionally. All these books I can really recommended if you’re interested in digging deeper into life, it’s all about practice.

All in all, I can say I had a really nice month in Moliets.

As you can see, the board is short!

Even though I left a week earlier than I had planned, because I didn’t have enough work to cover the costs.Made new friends, had lovely conversations, great food, some nice trips and learned a lot, about myself and from others. The surf wasn’t always great, but it was fun. I even tried out a shortboard, which is something different than what I’m used to, total beginner again!

 

 

 

A random shed, for a pretty decent rave party

Then I went back on the road again. Enjoying the different sceneries and the peace and quiet. Although my first night, I had found a spot that was said to be quiet and in the middle of nature. When I arrived, there was music playing, a bit further down the road. I figured that was another van. I went to sleep, to wake up to a load of noise and arriving cars at 3 in the morning. Apparently, there was some small, but pretty loud rave happening that lasted until 9 in the morning… I had a look the next day and found a pretty random shed, where they had held a pretty decent party. Interesting start of being on the road again…

The next day I entered Spain and went up into the mountains, to spend to nights in a calmer atmosphere, surrounded by free roaming horses and sheep with bells around their necks. It was pretty stormy at night, so the wind rocked my van and the rain and thunder was rolling in as I went to sleep (Lotje is pretty steady though :-)). The view however, was awesome! I could see the south coast of France and part of the Pyrenees.

Here’s Lotje on top of the mountain surrounded by the free roaming horses.

After that I spend another 2 nights in the hills in Asturias, also a beautiful area in Spain. The remainder of the trip through Spain felt a bit less impressive. I drove through Santiago and then down towards Portugal. To many villages and industrial areas. Still, there were quite some hills, so Lotjes engine was working hard and I was driving longer distances. At some point, I lost the pressure of my brakes, not cool. Fortunately it came back, but I wasn’t feeling too comfortable. The cooling liquid issues I’ve had, I can deal with. I just need to refill after a long drive and dry out the sensor, but braking issues are not so nice. The good thing is that I was on my way to stay at a surfcamp of a friend of mine. So, I figured he might be able to help me find a garage and explain the problem, since my Portuguese doesn’t really go further than ‘bom dia’, ‘obrigada’ and ‘pastel de nata’. So let’s see how that goes!

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