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Lanjaron, Spain

Written on: Saturday January 5th, 2008

A journal entry from: Europe

Hola!  SPAIN!
We´ve been here for almost a month.  It´s very beautiful.  We´re in Southern Spain staying in the Sierra Nevada Mountains 600m above a small town called Lanjaron, which is approximately 1hour outside of Granada.  Every morning I get up and my view is clear and of mountains in the background looking down on the town of Lanjaron. You can see the ocean in the distance, and apparently on a really clear day you can see Morocco.  We´re helpex-ing at La Casa del Viento, a holiday villa, where we pick olives and do odd jobs to help maintain the property.  In exchange, we get free lodging and food.  Ann is our host and she is very accomadating.
Spain loves their ham.  Jamon.  They have Jamon and Water festivals in Lanjaron every summer, they love it that much.  At the pubs they have something called tappas, which is just free food with your beer.  This is the only region in Spain that still serves free tappas.  Apparently they originate with some king that decided that people needed food with drink so people wouldn´t get all wasted during siesta and so they could go back to work afterwards.  Also, it was so you could used the plate as a cover to keep flies out of your drink.  Most of the tappas are jamon, but you can order veggie.  My favourite is tortilla, which is a potato omelette.  So delicious.
In the month we´ve been staying here we´ve gone over to Orgiva, a neighbouring town, to check out the market.  It was a nice hike over to the other side of the mountain and beautiful weather helped.  Daily, we have temperatures of about 20 degrees but the mornings and nights are cool.  For Christmas, Ann went up the coast and let us use her house for the three days.  We cooked a gigantic Christmas dinner, turkey and all.  I made a delicious nut roast that Ann gave me the recipe for.  Yum.
For New Years, we went to Granada and stayed in a hostel near the Alhambra Castle.  It is a very famous castle, very beautiful.  There was a party in the Plaza del Carmen, a center square similar to the one they have in Barrie every year.  There was a really cool Spanish band and it was a great night.
Tomorrow is Spanish Christmas where they celebrate the three wise kings giving gifts to jesus or something.  Tonight there was a parade in Lanjaron and the kings each have a float that they throw candy from into the crowd.  It was very colourful and had some great spanish music.  The vibe sort of reminded me of Carribana.
On Thursday, we will be moving on from this place.  We´re going to Granada for a night, then Seville for a couple nights and then on to our next farm in Northern Spain near Salamanca.  Our whole group is still together and we´re getting along well.
I´ve been learning some spanish phrases that help me day to day.  Like counting, and the days of the week.  Also, ´how much is it?´ and ´cheque please´.  haha.