You can read Part One here.
You can read Part Two here.
I am finding it very amusing to re-read all these old diary entries that I wrote right at the beginning of our adventure. It’s nice for me to remember what it was like when there was nothing here but us and our little canvas tents, how frightened we were to be up here so far away from other humans, how unused to the sounds and smells of nature. Throughout all the hard times we’ve had on the mountain, the thing that has kept me going was a feeling of awe and gratitude that we can live in this spectacular place and I think that feeling truly came alive that first night, seeing the Milky Way through the tent flaps and realising that there was nothing better than this.
“…. Sunday night.
I’ve been packing up, frantically, all of our various bits of debris and junk that we’ve spread everywhere over the last week at the place we’ve been staying. In the morning our new friends Kurt and Sandra will be picking us up in their gigantic 4×4 and taking us, and all of our debris and junk, out to our finca. We met them on the first day when we still had a car and now that we don’t have a car they have been happy to help us out. In fact, it turns out they run a business helping expats manage their fincas when they are away and they had no objections helping us manage our finca while we were here since we have no idea what we’re doing. Kurt is already bringing us water, a water tank to keep it in, firewood to keep us warm, and wooden pallets with which to build literally everything we could need but not much we really want.
In the morning, the first step will be to transport us there so that we can finally put up the canvas tents that we have been storing and staring at for so long wanting to open them! Needless to say we feel mightily relieved and excited that tomorrow night, the first night of Chanuka – the festival of miracles, we just might be sleeping on our own land.
End of day 1 at the Freedom Farm
It’s 9:30pm and I’m so exhausted I can barely write these words. Kurt lived up to our expectations as a literal human machine, the only problem being that we cannot keep up with him. I spent most of the afternoon at the finca with Sandra putting up the tents, whilst Nic went shopping with Kurt. Then everyone left me here and went out to get the leña (firewood) and the agua (water). He didn’t bring Nicholas home until well after dark and here I am in the wilderness surrounded by boxes, the temperature dropping fast in the mountains and nothing to drink, nothing to make a fire. He came back just in time to stop me burning the complete works of Oscar Wilde to survive. Now we all huddle together in a pile under every blanket we own, Skip is my little spoon and Reggie is the little spoon to Nic. We ate crisps for dinner and chocolate cake because that’s all we had that was ready and didn’t need to be prepared in the dark. We are trembling with cold and with anticipation. Just as I closed the flaps of the tent, before we got into bed, I got a glimpse of the night sky swirling away above me with the clearest Milky Way I have ever seen and the forest around us ever so still and quiet, what we did today surely counts as a Chanukah miracle.
Well it’s day 2 and the honeymoon period is over! I went to bed so early yesterday because it was so cold that I’ve woken up at stupid o’clock, cold and hungry. Our makeshift bed from yesterday, which was actually just a bit of memory foam, was only good enough for collapsing on and does not sustain enough comfort for actually sleeping. So now, wrapped in all my clothes and wearing a headlamp I’m walking the terraces with Molly and Skip, kicking the football and collecting pockets full of almonds. I can still see the milky way stretching above me while Nicholas and Reggie slumber on, lucky them. Still, it gives me a chance to reflect on the events of yesterday. Once again our calamities become causes for celebration and we learn to accept help from strangers, something that you just don’t do in England. I’m thinking about all the wonderful people we’ve met since we arrived, Marta the circus lady, Patricia the birthday girl, the almond brothers Sergey and Alberto, not to mention Victor our agent, Alberto our builder, and of course our current saviours Kurt and Sandra. I can’t really understand how you can travel a few hours on a plane and suddenly the people are open, kind, helpful. The first thing anyone said to Nicholas when he moved to Leeds was “go back wherever you came from!”. It couldn’t be more different here. It feels wonderful but disorientating and I can’t shake the feeling that at a certain point people will figure out we don’t deserve all this kindness.
Standing here in the mud and cold I wonder what new adventures the sun will bring when it arrives…”
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