When there is no external need for a routine, you are really faced with yourself. For the last four days, I’ve been embroiled in a fog of my own making. It feels like some kind of creative constipation, if there is such a thing. I feel the need to do something that will stretch me, that will challenge me. It’s like a growling hungry lion inside me. This feeling can be lessened by battling with my bandoneon or by sharpening my wit on the intricacies of the portuguese language, or by writing this blog… but none of those quite hit the spot.

We travel on, and the days bring us some exciting discoveries: first of all, we come into the land of storks. There is an area by the sea where they nest on needlepoint rocks high above the waves. As we drop down south, there are more and more, until eventually there are nests on every high mast and we can see them in their hundreds using upwinds to spiral high up into the air. Secondly, we find a beautiful, quiet spot by a little stream, no houses and away from the road, where we stop for lunch. We haven’t been in such a spot since we’ve been in Portugal, as it’s generally more densely populated than Spain. But back to my brooding…what is it that’s going on for me? I’m not sure. Am I missing my work? Teaching Tango does  stretch me every time, challenges me to grow…

Ellen, a fellow traveller, reckons it’s about feedback. In our work, we receive feedback from the people we work with or for. When we travel, we don’t get this, except maybe from our partner.

I continue to brood about this… until we meet Antoine. Experiencing Antoine lifts me out of my fog and makes me smile again.


We’ve been told that the Algarve is full of campervans, and it’s definitely getting busier: Silves has one wild camping place by a roundabout – a carpark that is choc-a-bloc full – and an official Aire. So, for only the second time in our travels, we pull up at a dedicated place for campervans. For €4.50 we can park up for the night and have use of electricity, showers and washing machine. As we drive in, we notice a bright yellow campervan that says ‘spiritual questions’ in four languages on its side.

When I do my washing, I meet Antoine. I jokingly say, I have a spiritual question: What is happening in the spiritual world on Wednesdays at 8pm? As it’s then, I’ve been told in a dream, to meditate every week! Antoine invites me into his van and within minutes we are off the joking trail into deeper waters. He divines a whole number of things about me by letting his pendulum swing back and forth. What he says makes absolute sense, and I like his smiley, lighthearted and at the same time deep approach.

He insists that both Frank and I should be healers, more than we already are. He offers us an initiation ritual, to better equip us for healing others.

Almost every time I come in touch with people who channel energies from the other world into this one, I am told I must become a healer. It always rings true, but until now, I have always felt a yes, but not yet. This time round, I feel like the time may be right. Teaching Tango is also about healing, but what Antoine speaks about is taking it a whole level further.

When we partake in the initiation, we are given the task of asking the higher energies to sustain and help us when healing others. We have hardly started the initiation when one part of myself is off on astral slides, swirling and swooshing around the place above the campervan park, flying with the storks and zipping off to other places in Europe in the space of milliseconds.


I’m having a great time up there, but every time the part of myself that has remained in my body tries to remind the bit of me up there to ask the question we are meant to ask, the one up high naughtily pretends it cannot hear, or it has forgotten the question and just carries on flying all over the place. So when I have to return into my body, the question has not been asked. Antoine however assures me that it will have been heard anyway, through my being. I’m not so sure about that, it felt like my upper self was having a great time ducking and diving and playing hide and seek. It was great fun though, not at all scary, and very interesting to know what great energetic movements are happening above and around us all the time, like great swooping winds from one side of the valley to the other, with weird and wonderful shapes, sometimes big spirals, sometimes zig-zagging, and spraying colours along the way.

No, I did NOT take any drugs. We were literally just touching hands.


Both Antoine and Frank are slightly jealous of my experience… While Frank had also seen colours, Antoine had not seen anything. He says he often doesn’t see anything, he’s just the channel for energy to come through. To me it felt like I knew all along about these energies being there, it was familiar and it was nice to be reminded of them. They’re there all the time,  and we can tap into them whenever we want!

We also had a chat about the use of a pendulum. I might give that a go, I think it could work quite easily with me…. I’ll come back home a proper Totnesian 😉


You can find Antoine on the internet.

To view more photos of flying storks, beautiful beaches and sunsets, go to our flickr album.

Posted in Uncategorizedwith 4 comments.


  • Sal Goldsmith says:

    What a wonderful experience Ruth. I wonder if you are an Aries or an air sign and I also wonder if you were a stork in a life before – flight, elevation, thermals – maybe you have been tied to the earth for too long? Or just tied down too long. Your journey is opening up so many possibilities. In time you will know which ones to follow I am sure. I am passionate about storks, for me they are always part of Spain. Whatever they have in their saliva when mixed with mud or earth turns as hard as concrete. That’s why some churches do not welcome their nesting with such weight to bear.

    My God I have just looked outside and it’s snowing. We have had glorious sunny days up until now and wonderful sunsets. Spent the w/e in Lime Regis with an old friend – it was amazing.
    Loads of love you two Sal xxx

  • Felicia says:

    Hmmm, Ruth, sounds like you experienced an opening, a glimpse of what is/can/could be. Exciting and interesting journeying in so many ways! Warm hugs to you both xx

  • Vera Lees says:

    Dear Ruth,

    it does not surprise me that you are able to soar to dizzying levels quite naturally. It gave me goose bumps reading of your experience with Antoine.

    I have chosen a very earthy path with my silk quilt for my daughter. It has colours of fire and earth. Glowing.

    The storks were part of my childhood with the croaking frogs along the Elbe and Jeetzel.

    I was surprised that it is difficult to get away from civilisation in Portugal. Your spot will have been even more welcome.

    There is magic in the photos and in your narration.

    Thanks and much love, Vera

    • ruthandfrank says:

      Dear Vera, It is so lovely to receive your comments – and so soon after we’ve updated our blog!
      I didn’t know you are from the Elbe. My family is from Gartow. I grew up in Koeln but there too, storks were a familiar sight, before all swamps were drained and fields were straightened. It is great to watch them here, clap-clapping their beaks towards each other in mid-flight or dancing on the nests.

      Love from both of us, Ruth & Frank

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