Tuesday, 8 November 2016

HelpX at Orgiva Tea Gardens - Day One

It took me ages to write this post. I blame McGill.


Yesterday was a long day: I was up at 5.30am and on the road by 6am. The journey went something like this:
  • London Overground
  • London Underground
  • Southern Train to London Gatwick
  • Airport related boringness
  • 2.5hrs Norweigan flight to Malaga
  • More train
  • 3 hour bus ride to Orgiva
  • 2km ride in Land Rover to somewhere in the mountains
The scenery on the bus ride was a mix of towns, villages, farms, sea, mountains, trees, damns and a lot of bridges. This would probably be a good point to show you the pictures I took but I didn't take any. 

I didn't get here till after dark so Bernie gave me the grand tour this morning. There's so much here that it becomes hard to describe in just one blog post but I'll try to give you an idea. There are many paths, the typical Spanish olive and orange trees, dangerous looking cacti, a vegetable garden, a big concrete water tank with something like 1 million litres of water and then there are the animals. Two llamas, two pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, pheasants, two cats and two dogs. Apparently llama poo is very valuable. Who knew?

After the tour, I was put straight to work clearing wheelbarow loads of dead vegetation that had been cut back from the overgrown yucca plants. Everyone stopped at 10am for breakfast and then it was straight back out to clear some weeds from the Llama enclosure that get stuck to their coats. After that I was tasked with potting up some very large cuttings from the yucca plants. If you're not aware then let me tell you that yucca plants have very sharp pointy leaves. My arms and legs are pretty scratched up but I managed to keep both of my eyes. Work finishes at 2.30pm when everyone comes in for a big lunch and the rest of the day is free to enjoy the warm Spanish sun.


My hosts, Bernie and Kay, are absolutely wonderful: very kind, chatty, patient, relaxed and lots of fun. There are also three other volunteers here at the moment and meal times have been very sociable with some fantastic food. I'll admit that I was nervous about coming out here and staying with complete strangers but I feel completely at ease now and am looking forward to the next few weeks.



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