Friday, 15 July 2011

The Mulberry Harvest

After a fun couple of days in the beautiful city of Granada we headed down to the town of Orgiva for a last minute helpx appointment with our host family Anna, Chris & their two adorable children Frankie & Savy. Their beautiful home was nestled on the side of a mountain with the most amazing views and was made up of a series of giodomes (large yurt-like tents). It was a fifteen minute trek from the road so we decided to leave the van & opt for the on-site accommodation – a mattress outside on the decking. Doesn't sound great but it really was & once we'd gotten used to the sound of crickets & covered up from the wildlife, sleeping under the moonlight and stars was bliss.

Days were long & tiring but never dull & I spent a lot of my time occupying the kids while the others got on with more serious work. John's new favourite toy was the big petrol strimmer which he put to good use on the land. I was a bit concerned when he came back & mentioned he'd slid star-shaped down the big slope on numerous occasions but he assured me that he only went 20 or 30 metres at a time. The other main task of the week was the mulberry harvest from the many trees dotted around the land. After a half hour stint we looked like we'd been in a bloody battle with the red juice everywhere but it was great fun climbing the trees & collecting as many as possible to make fruit bars, crumbles & juice. The mulberry's tasted amazing and if we'd have been doing it for money John would have been sacked a long time ago as he ate 99% of what he picked.

The guys also had another place down in the valley – a lorry beautifully converted into their 2nd home. They kept it on a friends land that was also home to at least 20 other vehicles – caravans, horse boxes, trucks & vans – all home to other friends. The place was pretty incredible and the van suddenly felt tiny in comparison to some of the other things we saw. We spent a couple of days down there helping them sort things out before their long drive back to England to work on the festival circuit. 

 One our last night there was a party (which we liked to think was held in our honour) which transformed the space into it's own mini festival & gave us chance to see Anna sing in her drum and bass band. After helping Frankie put on some make-up I miss judged my exit from the lorry (pre drinks might I add) and hit the deck face first so I now have a bruise the size of Spain on my left leg.

We grew really attached to the family and were really sad to say goodbye to them on our last day. Orgiva is a really alternative & laid back place with a load of people who've just decided to opt out of modern life and live in yurts, tents or whatever they can on the land. It's an amazing place and even having been here only a week it's opened my mind to so much stuff, we'll be sure to visit again.

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