A very long post
Being lucky in finding awesome hosts while traveling or conducting HelpX was something that I should be grateful for. I also thought it was sort of special skill. 😀 😀
Despite the series of unfortunate event on the road, I could still feel thankful for them coming as the side effect. When I lost my baggage at the very first time I landed on Barcelona, I got a helpful and understanding host at one of the hardest conditions in finding one. When I run out of money in Seoul, my friend, Irina insisted to have me staying with her and lured me with a shared job for the two of us. When I didn’t seem making it in Japan, I found amazing hosts at the very least moment to find them. It was all the same in Lobras. I didn’t even know what was Lobras until I saw my future host put the exquisite views of their land on helpX website, and then I decided to contact them at my last moments of arrival to Barcelona.
When I told my host in Barcelona that I was preparing myself to go to Lobras, he asked more explanation because he was clueless about my reasons for going to Lobras. I got no better explanation than being tempted by the beautiful sights of the land, and he was like, “Okay, are you sure? Because even me, I have never gone to Lobras.” I just replied, “I tell you about Lobras later.” And he went, ”I will be waiting.”
In few days later, there I was, in Lobras.
It occurred to me, until the very end of my day in Lobras, I regretted nothing about spending a month filled with daily hard physical 5 hours various tasks. It came with plenty of amusing, interesting, self-relaxing, and self-contentment things, which I think could make pages of blog if I would write it one by one here.
I won’t write it all, but few bold things that make me longing for Lobras, especially at the time like I am now.
Unstoppable self-explored of cooking skill
This was the hardest part at first. Before coming to my host’s massive land, I already acknowledged that they would not prepared the meal for the helpers, but fridge full of contentment ingredients to cook. However in my case, cooking was not my expertise. I wished I had had partner. Unlucky me, no one else, but me. On my first days, I didn’t have any interested in the meat-full and vegetables-full fridge because I survived with the simple fruits and ready-to-eat food.
As the time went by, my worn out muscles and tired body asked more than those kinds of food. Even Maja, my nice host was surprised because I didn’t ask more ingredients, but fruits and tomatoes on my first week. I hadn’t really cooked. She later suggested me to cook by watching some cooking tutorial videos or to acquire the skill from any helpful sources.
I forced myself with the help of any video and blog of cooking tutorial, and then it came to my surprised, I developed so many weird yet delicious edible dishes, including that was supposed to be banana cake, not delicious banana crisp.
Maja also wondered how I did survive with my hopeless cooking skill. The answer was the power of internet and being desperate. LOL.
P.S. in the rest three weeks, Maja frequently asked me to come over their house for free cooking lesson of Scandinavian ways. 😀 ❤
Unlimited olive oil, tomatoes, and salsa de tomato
This one. This one is kind of ultimate longing. Coming back to Indonesia, especially Jakarta city makes me longing more and more for unlimited stock of olive oil, tomatoes, and salsa de tomato. Looking through the rack of bottles of olive oil in any supermarkets in Jakarta always succeeds to make me dizzy. The price is expensive. I always recall those times when Maja mercilessly poured out the olive oil on to my hands for healing my cracked skin due to the cold and dry weather. Meanwhile here in Jakarta, even if I could buy it, I don’t think I would have the heart to use it. Olive oil likes a very exclusive stuff to me here, when I did everything with unlimited olive oil in Lobras. It was beyond cheap. Lobras was one of the best olive oil producers in Spain, might be entire Europe. The same case with tomatoes and later made it for salsa de tomato. My fondness to tomato is on the level that I can use tomato in any kinds of meal. Mercilessly.
Pour as you like wine and beer, and sometimes steaks!
I forget when exactly I started drinking liquors because such as drinking was out of my list. I used to be so religious, not spiritual, so I didn’t allow myself to have one until at some point I had my own enlightenment that drinking was okay, hang over was a big NO. Since then I have allowed myself to drink, minus the hang over.
Besides “prepare your own meal”, “B.Y.O drinks” came along with the agreement of host-helper. So, I equipped myself with cans of my favorite beer right before heading to the mountain.
As our relationship had gone well, my hosts frequently asked me to come over to their home after working hours and later continued to dinner time, and further later for the second round of drinking time accompanied by meaningful conversation, which usually started with culture.
Although they first stated that B.Y.O drinks rule, when it came to drinking time, dinner time, and also the second round, Kristian and Maja always offered me generous portion of beer and wine, and I truthfully and consciously realized that moment when Kristian went out to their separated-bodega for re-filling the big bottle of wine to re-filled our endless empty glasses. My eastern culture sentiment didn’t allow me to refuse (hahaha, what an excuse), so I gulped it all down, until we thought we needed to stop for the next day, the vineyard work was still waiting for us.
Those awesome midnight conversations over glasses of drinks were one not to forget. Hardly forget.
The farm itself produced the organic wine, so did its surroundings environment. I was really spoiled by everything organic and organic picked-from-your-own-farm-vegetables-and-stuffs.
Need no to compare anymore with the costly all organic labels in Indonesia, which makes me going un-organic, but friendly budget vegetables and meat. 😀 ❤
Coco Channel, Daddy Cool, Paloma, and Palomo, and cats, Punkis and Luna, also those prolific chickens
As far as I remember, there was in Lobras, when I started having that bonding moment with the dogs. I will remind you that I was once so inconvenience with having babies and any pets around me for a long time. I did live with my sister’s dogs in our house, or my dad’s various pets, from duck, pigeons, chickens, dogs, and many others, however I hadn’t given them any attention. I am still surrounded with growing up babies, though.
After spending times in Maja-Kristian house, I started growing fondness especially to their four four legs friends; Paluma, Palumo, Coco Chanel, Daddy Cool. I thought it grew naturally because I didn’t make any effort. I just appeared in front of them every day, they asked for one or two strokes each time. I did it. That was how it grew.
There was even this one bi**h, as what Maja called it. She kept on checking me every single day. I later realized she always came at the sime time (she didn’t even read clock), each same morning and evening. It amazed me. When I came to Maja-Kristian’s house, Coco channel often came to me and sat in my vicinity.
As for Palomo, he always came to me every morning I worked in vineyard. He might make sure that I was safe and sound.
As for the prolific chickens, I couldn’t ask more from them. One in every two days, I came to their dents and took their organic tasty eggs. Oh, what wonderful times spent!
My daily exquisite sight and fresh air
Being part of Sierra Nevada mountain range, I don’t think I need more explanation how awesome my daily sight was and how fresh the much lesser polluted air of its surrounding. It was addictive morning routine for me to start a day by walking out to the humble veranda for enjoying the fabulous sight and air.
I could list thousands things, but I stop here. Otherwise I couldn’t sleep of longing!
Life always seems much-much-more awesome back then than now, when you don’t have it anymore, Yuna. Though! Learn your lesson! (not only about this one).
Moreover, I saw them put the vineyard and the whole things on sale. It was remarkable memories for me, but I support their decision.