There are a number of communities in the South of Andalucia where people have gathered to try out other forms of living together. We’ve been recommended to go and see some of them, especially those in the Alpujarras and down by the sea near Almerìa.
Our first stop once we leave Granada is a little beach near Motril, where we are told it is still possible to park right up by the beach and that we would be in the company of a few other vehicles like ours. A very steep dirt track leads down to a rocky beach with black sand. And indeed, there are a few more interesting vehicles here, but the inhabitants are quite different from us. Heavy duf-duf music, as we call it, pumps out of some of the wagons and everything looks a bit down and grungey, including the people. I’m not sure why I find this unsettling, apart from the fact that I’m not good around heavy use of dope.
Maybe it’s because we are united by the fact that we are travelling, but in other ways quite different, and sometimes being at such close quarters with some people, I reflect on my own life and start to worry about getting stuck in some kind of time warp of travelling without an inner light, without some kind of aspiration beyond just getting food and water and staying warm and out of the way of the police. It hasn’t got anything to do with what people look like but it is something inside. I had the same reaction on occasion when meeting some couples in their all mod-con ‘plastic-fantastic’ mobile homes, where conversations similarly revolved around a very limited number of topics. Frank assures me that there is no chance of me reducing myself and my life to that level…
We have a couple of photos on Flikr that convey the colours on that beach – shades of grey, but when the sun comes out there is colour too. The red dot is a sea anemone.
Anyway, we don’t actually mix that much with the other people on the beach – we came here to soak up sea air and help Frank recover from his heavy cold, which has had him in bed for best part of two weeks. We light the stove and open the doors, looking out on a windswept seascape. What a luxury, being lovely and warm inside, as well as having the fresh sea breeze wafting in. Frank sits on the bed and enjoys the sun, reading and sleeping. It’s been a hard month for him, having his mobility so reduced, first by a bad back, then a painful hip and then two weeks of a very heavy illness, which although it’s cleared, has left him very fragile and with a bladder problem. It’s a bit difficult without the usual support system of trusted osteopaths/acupuncture practitioners etc. around us, to get on top of all this, so the last month has been quite introverted in some ways. I have tried to still go out and dance, go for walks and see the sights around us, but it’s not the same though without my lovely man … Even when I know he’s fine resting at home, I don’t seem to be able to relax; there is this constant worry in the back of my mind.
The following day, we go Motril to see Miguel, a Naturopath. It is a very interesting session, and we leave with a lot of info how to support Frank’s healing process, including a Korean kind of Acupressure that is done with something not dissimilar to a crochet hook. That very night though, Frank’s bladder infection gets so bad that we decide to drive back to Granada and go and see the emergency unit in the hospital. The night is spent driving and waiting for the consultation, and by 7am we have a prescription for a course of antibiotics… it’s really the last thing we want to do, and it feels such a shame to go down the route of antibiotics, after Frank having worked so hard to shake the heavy cold on his own. But that’s where we are with it now, after having tried all sorts of other things first. We leave Granada once again, in search of another quiet place with clean drinking water, to spend a couple more days just resting and healing. This time, we find Beneficio, a community just outside Órgiva.
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