Magical place in the mountains - part 1

The unexpected is often that what will be one of the best things...

So was my two weeks stay at Anne's B & B Casa Ana in the mountains of Andalusia in Ferreirola where I helped Anne. I had a short but great time there. 

At her B & B I got to know to very interesting and open-minded people. 

Anne the owner is such an interesting and warm person who made me feel very comfortable. I loved her coolness at a quite stressful day and her British humor. Yes, I had a nice time.

I split my story at her place and will write about it in two posts. 

In this post I write about my arrival, a brave polish girl, living with an ancestor of a real pirate and that I learnt that Ketchup is a great hair product and that plumbers don't wear pistols...

Every morning I got this nice view over the mountains. What a magical place...
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Welcome to the paradise

Like I mentioned Anne wrote to me on Workaway and asked me if I am free in mid May and could fill a gap of two weeks. It suited perfect for me and I agreed!

I have to admit that I just checked out Anne's homepage but nothing else about the surroundings and where exactly Ferreriola was located. I just jumped into the bus in Granada and was excited and relaxed :-).

Anne picked me up in Pitres at the bus station or rather on a place where the bus driver let you out which they call a bus station.

A nice English woman with a bob cut and a friendly smile. She told me that she was a bit late because her helper Ania had an appointment at the dentist and it took longer then expected. For me all was fine.

Actually I hoped that she needed longer because I already seated myself in a bar close by and ordered a coffee.

Suddenly, a Spanish guy came over with his dog and asked Anne if she could give him a lift and she agreed. She spoke pretty good Spanish with almost no accent.

I could understand quite a lot through my talks with Yeray in Alicante. But having proper chats are difficult for me. It is still a mixture of French and Spanish in hope somebody will understand me...

Finally, we reached Anne's B & B and she opened the door to her paradise...

Secret garden

Well... I already knew the photos from Anne's homepage but I never expected that her place is so beautiful.

I followed Anne in the garden and I was stunned by its beauty. A lot of beautiful and colorful flowers, orange trees, a big nispero tree and the amazing view over the mountains. I could notice the slight smell of flowers in the air. 

Like a paradise...
Based in the middle of the mountains...
Silence... For everyone who is looking for it. I really appreciate it now.
From a ruin to a dream

Anne told me that she bought the 400 years old house as a ruin in 2002 and renovated it completely and started it some years later as B & B.

Before she bought the house nobody lived there for over 30 years. For the people in the village it was quite a highlight and they came and watched the progress of the construction work.

Anne proudly showed me some before and after photos. Actually, ruin is good... There was almost nothing at all. I couldn't even say that the stone building in the photo had been a house.

I was quite impressed about the results and about Anne's strong ambition and her great ideas and patience.

Anne showed me the rooms of her B & B. Every room is very beautifully decorated with love for details.

Well, I felt in love with her B & B. I just thought: "Wow! That will be my workplace for the next 2 weeks. Great!"

When I went into my room I took the following photo of me.
I'm so happy in that photo!
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Workawayer among themselves

After the tour I had some time for myself and sat on one of the terraces when the workawayer Ania came around.

A nice blonde girl from Poland who might look at the first view quite fragile due to she is smaller than I am and petite. But on the next day I saw that I was wrong when we went for a walk which means a bit hiking...

Interesting mindset match

It is very interesting that it is very easily to talk to people who also do workaway or rather have this kind of life. The aims are often very similar especially if you are in the same age.

It turned out that Ania is almost one year traveling and does workaway. She has been first in Italy, after it Norway, in England and at the moment Spain. In the next months she will go back to Poland. She planned a real Gap Year. She told me that she is an English teacher for companies.

Anne already told me that Ania would leave in two days, which I found very sad because it was very interesting to talk to her.

A paradise without snakes is no paradise

Before Ania left Anne invited me and her to a lunch in a nice village. On our way Anne stopped suddenly the car. First I didn't know what's going on.

Well, a bloody snake crossed the street!

What!? I didn't know that snakes are living there. My stomach turned for a short moment. Jap I am like Indiana Jones... I hate snakes.

Anne told me that they are harmless and very shy. Hmmm. I was not really convinced. Obviously snakes belong to the paradise...

Around the next corner we had to stop again. But this time because of some farmers who were moving their animals. I prefer things like that more than a crossing snake...

Better than crossing snakes and cuter...
A crash course for hiking and women talks

In the afternoon Ania and I went for a walk and she explained to me how to read a hiking map and the meanings of the signs at a path. She was quite experienced and jumped in sandals (!) from stone to stone whereas I had some problems to find my balance on the moving stones.

I found the hiking crash course very interesting. I didn't have proper hiking equipment with me but I thought my shoes should be fine... Well, it was not that comfortable but it worked.

Here are some impressions from the surroundings.

Great landscape for hiking
They look similar like snakes but they have legs, hence they are my friends :-).
A lot of those guys taking a sunbath on the stones there.
Reminds me on old Terence Hill and Bud Spencer movies... 
By the way: a lot of those movies were made in the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia.
Great place for meditation. 
Years ago this place was a platform for the farmers to spread the seeds on their fields. 
They just stand there and throw the seeds in the air and let the nature work.

We talked during the hiking crash course about different topics. And of course men etc. I told her about my open-minding and great experience in Alicante with Yeray and other things.

We had great fun when we talked about our stories.

Sharing is so great!

I felt very good to talk with her because my best friends are of course not there. And it suited very good with Ania. Well, that is the disadvantage of the life I have now... My best friends are not there... But few years ago it was without Skype and WhatsApp even more difficult.

Ania is also a pro in CouchSurfing. She had a lot of great experiences as host and CouchSurfer.

Goodbye and see you

In the next morning Ania left very early. She trow her backpack on her back which looked huge in comparison to her appearance. Anne and I said Goodbye to her and she left the door into the darkness to the waiting taxi...

What a nice and brave woman. I will never forget her performance when she imitated her experience in England with an English chef. I still have to laugh about it. Take care and hopefully it will work out that we will meet again.

Maybe I will be one day your CouchSurfer :-).

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Getting used to the life in the mountains

I had in the first days very interesting experiences when my body got used to the new environment. For example my eyes needed really to adjust to the view. I mean that I can see now very far.

In a city it is almost never possible to see that far all the time. It took me actually some days to get used to it.

Also to the height. We were around 1300 meter high. I needed a couple of days to get used to it as well. The first week I felt a kind of pressure in my ears and head. When I went for a walk I breathed very shortly.

Very interesting what was going on with my body. But at least no chilblains anymore :-).

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Living with a real ancestor of a famous pirate

I really loved working with Anne. She is a very interesting person and has also an interesting background.

Before she bought the B & B and decided to change her life she was a music promoter in London in England. Her job was quite stressful and even her business was pretty well she decided to gave her former life completely up and lived for a while in America.

Anne is also an ancestor of a famous pirate: Captain England. No surprise where her braveness and love for traveling comes from.

Inspirational chats

What I loved about her that she can enjoy everything what she likes. For example great writings. She could forget all around her when she read a nice poem or text. I liked to chat with her about different topics and philosophies.

Our chats were very inspirational for me. Through her I got some great ideas for my blog and future plans.

Member of the Anti Cinnamon Club

I told Anne that I eat everything apart from cinnamon. Well, it is quite better now but still not my favorite flavor.

Anne told me that I could join her Anti Cinnamon Club. She created it in her time in America because there they added tons of cinnamon to everything.

The Americans had obviously problems with British humor... Someone came to her and asked her how many members she had. Now she has one. Me!

The coolness of a pirate

I still remember a day on which some things went wrong for Anne. Something fell down and was broken, a toilet in a guestroom was broken and had to be fixed etc.

But Anne was quite cool. Even when last but not least the pot with food boiled over.

She just looked at the pot and said in a very calm tone: "Well, that is one of these days..."

I found her reaction just so cool that I started laughing. I am still very impressed about her coolness. That is real pirate blood :-).

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Water with chloride + bleached blonde hair = green hair

One evening Anne and I had dinner when she said: "Jeanine, did you notice you have green streaks in your hair?"

Well, firstly I thought it was her British humor. I went to the mirror and I was shocked!

Some streaks were really green! Not even slightly green really green. Oh shit! The great work of the hairdresser in Alicante was a mess. And I had green hair!

My friends know how picky I am with my hair... I remember when I had to go to school and my hairdryer was broken. Well big drama at home! I rejected to go to school...

Ketchup as first aid

Anne explained to me that this was caused through the chloride in the water in Ferreirola. She said that Ketchup would help. Ketchup?

Interesting. I gave it a try. I had no chance at all and I wanted to get rid of the green streaks.

Hair rescuer: Ketchup

Unfortunately, I didn't take a photo of my green hair. I was too desperate at that moment.

I put the Ketchup on my hair and let it there for around 10 min and washed it out. I used my water from a bottle instead of the water from the tap.

I was so curious if it worked... In my mind I already made plans what I will do in case it wouldn't work: How far was Alicante again to rescue my hair? Where I could buy Aspirin as second solution (I found this on Google)...?

The Ketchup cure did work! My hair had almost its former color. What a relief!

Better red than green

For the rest of my stay I only used water from a well close by which contained a lot of iron and colored things red but I prefer that color instead of green.

Contains a lot of iron which could color things red. 
But better red hair than green hair.
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Great that my Spanish is bad

I mentioned that one day a toilet in a guestroom was broken and had to be fixed. That was this day when a lot of things went wrong for Anne.

I was in the garden when suddenly two Spanish guys came through the door. They wear clothes which looked for me like working clothes like plumbers or something like that.

They came straight to me and said something in Spanish. I couldn't understand and just explained that I will come back with Anne.

I went into Anne's house and interrupted her conversation and said: "Anne there are two Spanish guys outside. They seem to be workers like plumbers. Maybe for the toilet."

Anne looked a bit confused but followed me to the guys.

Plumbers with pistols...?

She spoke to them in Spanish and I could have a better look at them.

Well, I could read on their clothes 'Guardia Civil' which I have not seen before and now I saw that both of them were wearing a pistol...

Oh man I was so happy that my Spanish was so bad! Imagine I had said: "Hey guys! Finally you are here. There is the toilet to repair...".

Anne told me later that it was better that she didn't know before that it was the Guardia Civil.

The guys wanted just check her licence and after it everything was fine.

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To be continued...

That was the first part of my great experience at the magical place in the mountains.

In the second part I will introduce the nice guy who repaired the broken toilet. A real 'Malocher' from Bochum in Germany.

Once more I got the proof that the world is village...

I also learnt how to make perfect pan cakes from a Canadian chef. I could already use this new knowledge at my next host Alain in Orce where I was after Anne.

And I had a small talk with Chris Stewart, the author. I have to admit that I didn't know that he is very famous until my lovely friend Peter commented on my latest post that I should read a book of Chris Stewart who would live in Andalusia on a farm...

Moreover I know now through a uncomfortable experience why the siesta time starts at 3pm...

Hasta luego!

Thank you for reading my story. I had a lot of fun when I wrote it down and thought back about the funny moments I had.

Nice place for creative writing...

It was really a great match with Anne. How perfect that she needed someone to fill the gap.

I say to myself since Kilrush that I only attract people who are good for me, easy going, relaxed and open-minded. There you are... It works! :-)

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    f (Wednesday, 05 November 2014 20:56)

    Ania Zielinska12 June 2014 21:29
    Oh, thanks for bringing back last days of my stay in Ferreirola! Pity we didn't have more time together...and that i didn't have a chance to see your green hair ;-) long live ketchup, the rescuer!

  • #2

    f (Wednesday, 05 November 2014 20:58)

    Jeanine 13 June 2014 12:24
    You are welcome! Thank you for your funny performances :-).

    Hahaha yes my green hair... I wish I had taken a picture... All the best!