Days 4 – 12 Catalonian Mountains
We have set up office, and although we have no wireless network, we have cables, so manage to connect directly. Some work here and there. Some games for WeeR and we are pretty content. Not quite able to completely relax yet after such a hectic time at home before we left, we are all the same appreciative of the break from the norm – and glad to be free of the confines of the car.
The sun isn’t too fierce and I can feel the batteries recharging almost immediately. We venture into town and the first shop we find is the organic shop! Everything costs much more than our organic supplies back home – we can only imagine organic produce is not so common here. We also have to make a trip to everyday supermarket to stock up on some essentials like tea and juice and water.
The town of Olot is lively – and there’s a lot of construction underway. It seems very affluent and we wander like tourists until we find a suitable bar in the main square and manage to order tapas only after tracking down the manager Bernard who has spent 5 years in New York and has faultless English. We are somewhat ashamed of not speaking the language, and resort to French often, as we are on holiday after all, and it seems wrong to be speaking in English.
Back at our house we are aware of how much “stuff” we have. Both with us and back at home. This is a simple life, and I grow to appreciate it more every day. Why did I pack so many shoes? We vow to unburden ourselves more.
It is not a wholly idyllic location. Despite the wonderful countryside and the medieval villages, we are living next door to a lumberyard. The noise from this lumberyard is substantial on our first full day here, and we’re somewhat disappointed, as we were in search of peace and quiet on this leg of our tour. In the end, we are not to be completely disappointed, as the noise is not constant. We do also get to meet the owner (he helps us when the electricity goes out after the weekend thunderstorms) and he is a lovely, kind man. it is difficult to be mad at him for working so hard.
It is a special place this valley. The clouds sometimes come to meet us – and the sun often shines. There is also rain – and abundance of trees. So many trees can only be a good thing, yes? There are wonderful ‘free-range’ cows. They come to visit our garden every now and then. Delightful chimes emanate from their cow bells and they munch relentlessly on the clovers and grasses in the field next to us. We stroll up to the 8th Century church and send some prayers for our family directly to the gods.
Every available piece of ground is used to grow something. The farms seem to grow in the main corn (not the sweet kind – rather that for feeding the animals or grinding for polenta) and almost everyone grows vegetables. The crops are abundant: the volcanic soil must be bursting with the right minerals.
The weather is manageable here – although often dramatic. The storms bounce off the mountains and we have some trouble with electricity and internet connections. Perhaps we need to take time out from the computers after all.
Before we go – we must visit the coast and take in some sea air to complement our mountain air. Our host couple leave us instructions to a magical small beach with no development. We share it with mostly Spanish families and a few French. After all, we are not far from the border.
Life is good. Perhaps we could stay longer?!
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