Camping in a cave sounds good in theory….adventurous, mysterious, maybe even romantic when you share it with a significant other! I am here to report that it is none of the above. Even the eternal optimist in me is having a hard time conveying the uncomfortable experience that is cave camping. I will do a quick verbal vomit of the experience and then move on to even weirder experiences of the day:
– HARD ground
– rocks in your back (there was no possible way to get comfortable)
– creepy noises (animals and such)
– wind making it sound like people were “out there” <– bad people who are going to kill me of course
– loud ocean waves (like REALLY loud)
– my mind was thinking crazy thoughts ALL night to the point where I didn’t even want to close my eyes haha!
Ok I think that about sums it up. Overall I would totally do it again… I love a variety of experiences (even the ones that leave me sleepless)!
After I had my 10 minutes of beauty rest it was time to get up and start the day! We had a quick breakfast before Juan said that we needed to have “the talk”…. I knew what was coming…
To hike or not to hike — THAT was the question! He hadn’t really been able to get a hold of the boat people so we either had to start hiking back (5 hours mind you)… or take a risk and wait to see if someone showed up – and if they DIDN’T, we would be hiking back late in the day. Lucky for us we didn’t need to contemplate this decision too much because his friends magically showed up!! Juan was down by the water when he saw a small boat rounding the coast and heading our direction and he immediately knew it was his friends – YIPEE!!!!! It became a scramble to dismantle the tent and get everything packed up and head to the little marina area (which was attached to this abandon seaside complex that used to be a hippie community back in the 60’s but a gas explosion blew up part of it). The boat pulled up and with my backpack in tow I had to leap onto the boat. NAILED it.
The winds were kind of strong and the ocean was a bit choppy so I did my best to enjoy the ride and not feel like I was going to be thrown overboard. I enjoy the ocean… I do… I like boats and whatnot buuuuuuuuut — lets just say I’d choose dry land over the sea if faced with that decision :-). We arrived to the boating area of Las Teresitas where we had to leap from the boat onto a steel later that would connect us to the dock. I may have been soaking wet and utterly exhausted but I was excited to be back on land and rejoined with society!
We got the bus and headed back to Juan’s house to shower, eat, and nap a bit before I had to embark on the 1.5 hour + bus journey back to the hostel. I arrived at my bus stop and started my walk down the road to the hostel… contemplating whether I should just jog (Side note: does anyone else do this? I get tired of walking so much so I’ll jog instead. I jogged in flats the other day just because I wanted to get home! Tore up my feet but I got there in a jiffy haha!). Right as I was about to begin my jog a tractor pulled up beside me. The old gentleman said “Lagarto” and pointed to the back trailer part. I knew he was our neighbor who owned the field behind us because my old roommate had told me a story about when he picked her up and then took her to the field and gave her wine.
A word about this tractor… it was literally two wheels with an engine on top, with long handles leading to a seat (where the driver sits), and a small cart-like thing in the back. I probably could have jogged faster than this thing was going but I got in anyway – it’s all about the adventure right!? WELLLLLLLLLLL instead of going home (where I could finally sit still and relax)… he made a turn and headed to the field which is directly behind the hostel. I had no idea what was going on given I still can’t really understand Spanish. He led me into the field and was unlocking a door to this shack. Inside was a makeshift kitchen where he pointed to a table and motioned for me to sit. Bird cages with finches hung from the ceiling, a small kitty danced around on the floor, and a 30 year old American girl just sat there not knowing what to do.
So there I was. In a shack. In a field. On an island. Not understanding 90% of what this old man was saying.
It sounds like it could go terribly wrong but the one thing I’ve come to learn about Canarian people is that they are the most kind and generous people you will meet. All around goooood people. The only awkward thing for me is the whole communication barrier. I’m a conversationalist… so it makes me feel weird that I can’t really express myself of have a pleasant exchange with random people (unless they speak English).
The old man joined me at the table after pouring us two glasses of wine (which was homemade!). I managed to get his name, and that he lives close to the field, has 5 kids, and is “solo” (which I’m guessing implies he isn’t with his kids mother). Aside from that I was scrambling through my Spanish lesson notes trying to put together sentences. He did his best to understand and vice versa…. but he kept cracking me up because he would say something, look at me, then say “noooooooooo comprendo?”. Yup, yup – no comprendo fo sho.
He then fed me some tuna, bread, and potatoes. The tuna was phenominal!!! So delicious. I wasn’t that hungry put I ate it all and he gave me more… even though I was saying no thank you haha. “Otra, Otra” he kept saying (which means “another”)… and would fill my wine glass and give me more food! After a few glasses of wine and a plateful of food, he grabbed a flashlight and walked me through the field to the gate that connects to the hostel. YEAAAAAAAAAAAA home sweet home!
Time to cross off “Getting drunk with an old man in a shack in a field” off my bucket list… just another day in the life of a traveler.