Welcome to the poorest part of Catlunya.
Not exactly a positive greeting. I looked at Adria’s worn out jumper and at my sleek long black coat as I got into his battered white van and prayed that we weren’t going to possible sales yard of used caravans which I saw from the bus down the hill. I apologised in person for being a day late. I had missed the one bus to Sort from Barcelona because my phone was still on English time. It wasn’t a problem and we drove past the crammed campsite of tin and further along to the small village of Montardit de Baix then down the hill to campsite, L’Orri Del Pallars where thankfully space and trees greeted me. They were the same, bare, gnarled, twisted trees that I’d seen as my bus journeyed through Catalunya. The sky was brilliant blue and my heart smiled as Adria parked his van by a tiny caravan parked by the river. I could smell the freedom I’d left behind in Turkey. I had been back in the UK for 6 months during most of this time I’d felt stifled.
Now if I’d of told my parents and probably anyone else that I was meeting a random Spanish guy in a tiny town in the Pyrenees and was going to spend two nights with him in his tiny caravan, they wouldn’t have been best pleased but as I got into the little van, my guts reliably informed me it was all going to be fine. The trust of the traveler is a value lost when the only strangers met are those who are trying to sell us something.
We got straight to it. I helped Adria prepare his English speech for his up and coming exam. His talk was on yoga. Adria was very much on his own journey. One that involved a regime of yoga, studying, learning the harmonium barefoot whilst eating his macrobiotic diet and living alone. Completely alone in this post apocalyptic Pyrenees campsite.
I feel like we’re in some sort of post apocalyptic film.
Adria wasn’t too amused.
You know, this winter has been hard for me.
I wasn’t surprised. Whilst I was rejuvenating in the green space and blue sky I imagined how it would be night after night alone in a small caravan in winter darkness.
…. but I like to do my own thing.
He certainly did yet was comfortable inviting people into his life. This was only my second Workaway experience but these two experiences are all that is needed to assure me that this is a great way to live. Complete strangers inviting me into their homes and lives in exchange for something I could give.
I felt the first warm sun on 2015 on my skin as Adria instructed me through a yoga routine and as we ate our buckwheat salad by the river. Winter reminded us that it was still it’s time as the next evening it began to snow as it got dark. I snuggled under my blanket in the tiny caravan whilst Adria practised a mantra he was learning via YouTube on his harmonium. Together we felt the changes of a new season coming.
Adria was a soft and kind hearted young man, diligently pursuing a meaningful life for himself. I am so pleased to have met him and to have chosen to have these experiences thanks to Workaway.