After three full weeks here on the island I am starting to feeling like it’s somewhat of a “home”…. aside from the fact that my Spanish is still VERY beginner and I can barely understand anything people are saying! I WILL LEARN it – but Youtube videos only go so far. At least I have some very important basics down… I can greet someone, ask for a bus ticket, order a glass of wine or beer, and call someone a son of a bitch – you know…. the essentials!
Life here is very humble. The moment you step outside you are greeted with landscapes of towering mountains dotted with caves, colorful houses decorating the hills, and greeted with a smile by passerby. I’ve met quite a few locals now and they are such kind, caring, and generous people to say the least. I rarely hear anyone truly complain about ANYTHING – well at least not in the degree and quantity that I would hear from people in the USA. From what I’ve witnessed, they simply enjoy life…. their families… great meals… good wine… cold beer… and MANY MANY laughs!
One of the reasons I lusted after travel for years was I had an intuition there was a better way to life than what I was used to living in the states. Now don’t get me wrong… I loved my life there as well and realize I was fortunate in my experiences, education, relationships, etc… BUT the stress, pressure, and cadence of “getting things done” is what was like a thorn in my side. Now that thorn is quickly being removed and the wound patched up as I am delightfully witnessing the beautiful world around me.
AND to think this is JUST the beginning of what I know is going to be a life changing experience for me…
My only true main concern is that I may just never want to go back “home”… I look at a map and think “I have a lot of “work” to do!”. (Note to my mother: I will come back home at some point to visit so don’t worry TOO much haha).
Day 41 (15) – May 28
Expenses – 29 Euro (Cable car pass to El Teide & 2 beers afterwards!)
I posted separately about this so check out the previous post for AWESOME photos ❤ It was like I was on top of the world… unreal!
Day 42 (16) – May 29
Expenses – ZERO
Rainy day – worked in the morning, exercised (I do it on the patio outback which has these awesome views of the mountains), took a 2 hour siesta (this is UNHEARD of for me! I can usually nap 15 minutes max… island life is rubbing off of me), went to dinner at my new friend Alejandro’s house in Tejina one village over and met his friends Jorge and Danny… ate arepas and papas frittas and had many many laughs! They taught me some key phrases in Spanish…. and by key I mean curse words haha!
Day 43 (17) – May 30
Expenses – 2 Euro for wine and papas locas in Tejinga
Worked in the morning, took a nap (cloudy weather again!), went with Aljenadro to meet David (both boys I met at a Couchsurfing meetup the week before!) in Tejina, watched Bad Neighbors at night and just relaxed (went to bed dreaming of Zac Efron)
** Note – the joy of long term travel is you can have days of not really doing much exploring… because there is always tomorrow, the next week, or the next month! I remember taking week long vacations and just PACKING in activities every second of the day as to try to see, do, and eat as much as I could.. I would go home more tired than usual and need to recover from my vacation — that whole “needing a vacation from your vacation” deal is NO bueno!
Photo from a lookout point – overlooking Tejina (in the close middle) and Valle Guerra (far right)
Day 44 (18) – May 31
Expenses – 15 Euro (lunch at a guanchicha, wine at Café Brasil)
Worked in the morning, went with Alejandro to La Laguna to meet his friends for some drinks. Next we went to a guachinche and ate a ton of food (only 6.50 Euro). A guachinche was originally a room in the family home where the wife of winemaker offered some tapas taken from the family kitchen to accompany the wine… now over time it has become more professional. The one I went to could be compared to something like a fire hall meal… it was a small bar that had a large room in the back. When we arrived the place was packed with locals and the aromas drifting through the air were incredible! We chowed down on carne fiesta (party of meat), ropa vieja (which translates to old clothes – aka leftovers – it was potatoes, meat, peppers and sauce… SUPER yum!), and calamari. Of course the wine was flowing and then we ended the meal with leche y leche which is a coffee beverage of milk and milk (evaporated milk on the bottom, coffee in the middle, then milk on the top. I saw a bunch of people drinking it throughout my adventures so I had to try – it was so good!).
After stuffing myself I came back to the hostel and rode the bike to La Barranquera to take a nap and pick up sea glass. Feeling like a fatty from my earlier pig out sesh, I decided to work out then take bike ride to Café Brasil (ALL uphill) to meet Bruno and Alejandro for a little bit. I ended up staying later than I had planned so on the ride back it was dark out… which wasn’t an issue until I hit the part of the road where there were no street lights!!!! It was PITCH BLACK! I could barely see the white line in the road but I did manage to make my way back. As I was riding through the desolate streets I couldn’t help but have a huge smile across my face…. it was just one of those “moments”.
Day 45 – June 1
Expenses – ZERO
Worked in the morning then pool party at Lagarto ALL day! A restaurant in La Laguna, Latopa, was celebrating their third anniversary so they organized the party. In the beginning of the party we (the volunteers) were just enjoying the calm of inside and having some drinks… when we went outside I was like HOLY crap! There were a ton of people already. Throughout the day there were 200+ people! The atmosphere was awesome and everyone had a great time. I ended up jumping in the pool with my clothes on AFTER I had just went in to change into warmer clothes.I came outside and my two co-volunteers were in the pool with their clothes on so naturally I didn’t ask questions and just jumped in!
Day 46 – June 2 –
Expenses – ZERO
Cleaned up from the pool party – totally had a flashback to when I was pledging the sorority and we would have to clean up after parties. Luckily the night before a lot of the trash was picked up… BUT the amount of cigarette butts I picked up off the ground was atrocious (I HATE smoking… despise the smell… I just threw on some gloves and finished the clean up as fast as I could!). On the bright side… cleaning up was a good workout!. Later in the day I went to Jover (natural pools by the sea) to lay in the sun for a little bit… as if i’m not tan enough already!
Day 47 – June 3
Expenses – ZERO
MMMMMmmm my day off, sun is shining…. time to go be a beach bum! I biked to La Barranquerra and spent ALL day reading and relaxing (and picking up sea glass of course. I think i’m an addict… I will be bent over inspecting the beach for a WHILE and just cant stop myself!). I think I sweated off five pounds!! I came back to Lagarto and laid in the hammock & went in the pool…. I was in the sun til 8! I’m pushing the limits on how tan I can be. I see my reflection in the mirror and am like WHO IS THAT? haha