I was waiting in Brussels on the airport all day and next to me, there was a guy who professionally drives a truck in France. He told me about spilling hot water onto his leg while driving and his employer didn’t want to pay for the treatment, so he sent him back to Slovakia and he was pushing him to sign an agreement that states something like: “I don’t want to be treated in France, but I want to be treated in my own country.” Of course, he wanted to be treated in France! His leg looked terrible and it was already one week since the accident. His employer bought the cheapest flight ticket and the plane was about to leave 1 week after the accident. This guy needed to wait several days for his flight. The employer also didn’t pay for the baggage, so this guy was not able to get out of Brussels and he was waiting there for 2 days for a new flight ticket – saving some money again. His leg was getting worse and he had to wait for the treatment.
He also told me about his girlfriend and his son. His girlfriend cheated a lot on him and she created imaginary stories that went that far that she told him that the doctor had told her that their son needed to go to the sea so that his ill lungs get some treatment. He trusted her, but it was all imaginary illness. She just wanted to go to Croatia and that was it. In there she drunk a lot and cheated on him again. That was the end of their relationship.
We had all afternoon together. He told me a lot and I was listening. It felt like he needed someone to listen. I told him about my work and he asked me if I can free his tablet’s storage for him. I was transferring plenty of files and 90% of the files, it was porn. It reminded me about the song in the video below.
I arrived to Malaga about 10 pm. Originally, I was about to sleep in the airport terminal, but I didn’t like it there. I also wanted to hear the sound of the sea as soon as possible. I went outside and I continued towards the beach.
As always, my predictions about the distance were very distorted. I went through some park with high trees ponds and bush. It looked like some natural reservation, it was night and I was trying not to think about what lives in there. After 2 hours I arrived to the beach and I ate what my sister gave me back in Pardubice. Ooohhh, it felt good. She made me some toasts, gave me a ham, a cheese and some bread. With the sound of the sea it was a great place for a rest. It was not ok for sleeping though. I went into the water, but it was very cold. It was more like saying “hi” to the sea :). I was searching for a place to sleep and after 1 km, I found a small building.
I went inside, set up morning alarm and tried to get some rest. It was so cold. Most of the time I wasn’t sleeping and in the morning I was very surprised because at about 7 am, it was still dark. I stayed there for another hour and than I packed my backpack and continued towards Decathlon to buy some stuff for my friends in El Chorro. Sun appeared at about 9 am. I explored Malaga, went to the beach for a while, bought some food and then I continued to Alora via train. I was told that walking from Alora to El Chorro takes about 2 hours.
My GPS showed me 3 hours and 12 km, but the thing is that it didn’t count with the elevation. It took me all the way up to Alora, than all the way down, up and down, up and down. My left foot had been already strained before going to Spain, but I was somehow able to walk with it 15 km on my back in a zombie-style walk.
After two hours of walking, my second leg got strained and I was walking in a Donald the Duck style. It was one of these moments when I had to overcome my pain and just continue in my journey. When I was about to give up, I put John Butler’s Ocean into my headphones and energy appeared again.
After 4 and half hours I finally reached the camp. It was in the middle of the forest and in there, there were people from Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. In the middle of the camp, there was a camp fire and few people were sitting there. Girls from Switzerland – Anna Lena and Eliane and 4 girls from Slovakia. They asked me about my school but I felt like I was not able to explain all the concepts clearly without some basic knowledge about the system. I told them about consciousness and how it could be possible to create something similar inside of a computer. The next day I came up with some examples and it was more comprehensible. They were studying biology and I really enjoyed talking with them about evolution and genetics.
Another day, we were learning some Spanish with Karolina and we did some hiking around our camp to see all those rock and cracks climbers in here are looking for.
Next day, We were chilling and singing, doing some beatboxing. We were enjoying this perfect time in the forest with all those trees around us. Just the sounds of wind and few sheep further away. In this perfect moment, we saw a police car underneath us. What should we do? We thought about an escape plan but we didn’t count with policemen coming from the other side where there is just a small path. They came to the top and when we saw them, we realized that we have to get rid of our aluminum pot because we made some tea on the campfire before and it is a evidence of using the fire. I thought that throwing it on the hill beneath us is going to solve it, but the pot just continued rambling down and it made plenty of noise. Luckily, these policemen were talking with Olga, polish girl that was cooking there some food on her gas heater. She told them that she was just cooking food in there and she didn’t stay there. One of them came towards us and asked us for our passports. He didn’t know any English, but we understood. We told him that we just went for a walk and we don’t stay in this place and that our passports are with our friends climbing on the cracks. We just played stupid and after some nasty looks he just left. We thought that they are going to come again to check the camp. We went for our backpacks, we took the necessities and left our tent, clothes and sleeping bags in there. If they take it, we can somehow manage. We didn’t want to pay some fine for the fire there. We saw them on the road when we went away from the camp, but they didn’t see us. We waited in a closeby restaurant, so that we can tell our friends about the police. When we saw our friends, they told us that it is quite common that police comes, but they never come back. Maybe in one month. Me and Karolina, we forgot that we are not in Czech Republic and that in here it works differently. When we returned to the camp, it felt different in there. This police experience changed the feeling from this place. I moved my stuff outside from the tent and I slept beneath the trees and stars so that if they come, I will be outside. Senses focused on the sounds around me. Karolina didn’t want to sleep outside and in the same time, she was scared staying in the tent alone and she didn’t want to sleep outside. After some time I moved back and I stayed there till 7 am and then we moved outside together and I packed our tent. We thought that if they come, it would be after 7 am. They didn’t come in the end, but there was still this fear that they might.
We stayed in the camp and we were talking and chilling with another people from the camp. Everyone creating something. Drawing, singing, writing, … I remember standing with my back leaning on the tree and I felt all it’s movements. I felt connected. I was humming Janis Joplin’s version of Summertime. Anna Lena was drawing into her diary.
Karolina went to buy some veggies in Alora and she met two german guys that took her back from Alora to El Chorro. She told them the story about policemen and they offered her and me a place to stay. They rented a small house and they had some place in there because their friends were coming later. We felt that we need to let them know, but we didn’t want to leave our camp so soon. We walked about 3 km to their place to tell them that we are not staying that day, but that we will come the day after. We thought that we will just go and say this, but in the end it was a very nice evening that lasted till 2 am. In the beginning we were very polite and reserved, but after few beers it felt like we knew each other for a long time. Benedikt used to study physics and we talked about consciousness, space, quantum-physics, quasars, etc. I enjoyed talking with him so much. Stefan was the funniest guy I’ve met. He was smiling all the time. Beautiful people. The next day we said bye to our friends in the gypsy camp and we walked with all of our stuff to our new friends place.
We stayed with them for 3 days. I was trying to find them climbing one day so that I can make some photos for them and there was this beautiful dog. He looked like a zen master with his calm looks and in my sentimental mood I needed to stroke him a little bit. I was getting closer and he was still sitting on his place without any movement within his calmness. Suddenly he bit me when I was about 10 cm close. I reflexively removed my hand from his mouth and I just left that place.
My diary still have this blood mark, so that I remember this incident. In the end I was fine. Just some blood. With Benedikt and Stefan, we cooked together, we had plenty of beers together and in the end it was hard to say goodbye.
Me and Karolina, we were looking for some place where we could volunteer. We discovered that there is Olive Branch B&B close by, we went there, asked for a job and we stayed there for 2 weeks. We were cleaning rooms, showers, toilets, tents, we helped in the kitchen, … It was 3 hours of work per day, free food when we were helping in the kitchen and huge dinner for 2.5E when we weren’t. The portions were huge. Most of the times I wasn’t able to finish my plate and I just kept what was left for the next day.
There were plenty of people coming from Switzerland, UK, France, US, Izrael, Czech Republic, … Most of the times people from coutries where there it is too cold for climbing during February. I met plenty of new friends. There was an old electric guitar. I fixed it and played every day.
The owner of Olive Branch also had an acoustic guitar, I was borrowing it and I always found some place on the rocks where I was alone and I played. Once I was so eager to play that I forgotten about my iPhone in my back pocket and it didn’t survive all my body weight on it. It happens. More and more times I was able to sing without worries about not being good enough and then everything just sounded right. In there I also met Thomas from Canada with whom I played chess a lot and I was able to see his strategic mind. We discussed a lot and we found out that we both want to ride a motorbike to Asia. He still needs to buy some, but I am ready to do that. We were staying in a tent and I will always miss raindrops falling on the tent. Sometimes I was just lying down in there and listening. Sound meditation.
Our main chef Simon had a cozy room with detailed pictures on the walls. He also had small fireplace and we were sitting there on the sheepskins talking about philosophy and art, about Aristotle and Arabic transcription of his works, about Mucha and Dali. Natasha, a girl from Netherlands, she was about to build her own earthship and Noan taught me how to play gipsy jazz on the guitar.
The other day there was a party close by and there were just climbers in there. Breakdance battles, samurai fights on the roof, jumps, kicks, beer and fun.
I am really glad for this experience. This idea of volunteering attracts me more and more. You can stay somewhere for a long time. You can easily connect with others because you share some common goal. You meet plenty of new people and you can just simply choose some place where you would like to stay and ask for a work in there. Economics without money. Simple exchange.
I needed to walk with my backpack in the nature. I found out about GR7 trail to Tarifa and one day I packed my backpack and I my new adventure started. More in the next post.