Ever seen a moth bigger than a massive bar of chocolate? I have
Ever seen a beetle as big as a cricket ball? I have
Ever seen a toad as big as your face? I have
Ever had a threesome with a dwarf and someone in a gorilla suit? I have……
The first three all occurred on WWOOF Farm number 3. The last one was a crazed night on Madge and ‘arold which I’d rather forget but haunts me on a tri-annually basis….. for some reason.
Farm number three was dealt with some time ago and our journey has continued at a pace faster than Norman Pace from Britain’s favourite comedians Hale & Pace. In fact, its gone at such a pace that I haven’t been able to keep up and so this blog is about 6 weeks behind the times. But hey, “it’s not all work, work, work”!
So, twas my birthday at Fargassa and I had some bleedin´ phone calls, didn’t I?! Fantastic they were, too, how humbling to think that I´m thought of by people at that special time of year. Reminds me of a saying my Nan used to have…
I was made a dinner of my fave variety, including fake meatballs, anti-meat lasagne and a massive cake made of cheese from New York. I also had a special birthday chair, decorated with beautiful flowers and other natural oddities, although the tree snake was a tad too much, me thinks. Add some wine, a mental night rock climb to the edge of an abyss with my fellow WWOOFers and a swim in the local river at 4 in the a.m, pitch black, freezing cold and mildly Jo Mangled and all in all, a wicked 32nd was had. Next year I wanna be 26.
A few days later, we had a party in my honour and everyone from the other WWOOF farm up t´ road came down and we had a right royal knees up. Some dudes managed to smoke 16 joints in one night. They were proud, bless ´em! I managed to drink 16 times my own body weight in Gin, Vodka, Rum, Beer and River Water. I didn’t think the river had any alcohol content, but the next day it was measured and since I was in it, it’s been bottled and is now France’s second best selling alcoholic beverage behind Lemon Hooch! What are the chances of that ´appening, eh?!
And that was pretty much it from Fargassa. Apart from some genius work from yours truly in the form of managing to irrigate a vegetable garden using 150 metres of black piping going up-hill, a river flowing down-hill and the love from The Universal Law of Nature (I’ll tell you about that later). Amazing. Although, the threat of 25 lashes was hanging in the air if it didn’t get done. Bit like The Passion of The Christ really, without the tall skinny dude
And just before we left, we had a go on the most amazing natural water slide I´ve ever been on (cos I got to go on loads in Bethnal Green). We had to climb a sheer rock face (it was as twittery as my bottom has ever been), swim in ice-cold, Man-Eating Water Boatmen infested waters and climb down Glass-smooth rock faces with 40 foot drops onto jagged rocks below (I think I spotted some Alligators splashing around too) to get to the slide. But boy was it worth it! A 15 foot slide into relatively unknown territory 20 foot below! I´ve heard that girls like guys with skills. The word DALGLISH springs to mind.
And then we left, with Gregory Puncher and Astrid Mejia in full escape regalia, hiding in Bruce’s illegal-immigrant hiding spot, as we two wheeled down the road, breaking out of the shackles of WWOOF France forever and to the coast where a boat was supposed to be waiting for us to take us to a Pacific Island and a life on the run. Instead, we managed to land back in Argeles Sur Mer, where we’d been just before we left for Fargassa. It took me hours to calm my companion down cos he thought we were on our way back to Fargassa for another 3 week Mountain Moving trial, courtesy of déjà vu. “No”, I said, “We’ve just come back to Argeles so we can stay in a Car Park tonight, without a toilet for 1 and a half K´s, just to get used to being bum’s again”. The he tried to half inch the keys from me and when I asked him what he thought he was doing he said that he’d left some recently trimmed toe nails in the chickens food bin back at Fargassa and he didn’t want to think he might be responsible for them chocking to death and so he was gonna go back and besides, 8 hours of massively-piss-taking-chain-gang style rock-digging didn’t seem to be such a bad way to pass the 85 degree days after all. Plus, there was all the lettuce you could eat and the slime from the slugs within which contained some amount of protein that got you through til the pretend 4 o’clock tea that never seemed to materialise. “Calm down”, I told him, “Bowel control is a case of mind over matter”. The next morning, I was up at 5, pegging it through the streets of this quaint sea-side town looking for anything that might resemble a hole to hover above, hands gripped firmly to my buttocks, sweat gushing from every pore, face bursting with the fear of God, naked but for a pair of off-pink, previous-white-but-washed-with-a-pair-of-new-red-leg-warmers boxers, like a very young and devilishly ´ansome Dick Van Dyke, legs a-splaying, elbows duckin´ and a weavin´, praying to the good lord Mary Poppins to come save me. She didn’t. But I still fancy her anyway. And I made it…….. sort of……
It was with very heavy hearts that we said goodbye to our co-travellers Greg and Astrid, the epitome of two people in MASSIVE Love but as we are experiencing on this journey, many goodbyes are hard, really really hard. Which leads me to massive philosophy number 11!! Although saying goodbye to people can be really sad, difficult and a li´l tear inducing, it says everything about your experience with those people being HUGELY positive and love inducing and so I guess you can say, the harder the goodbye, the better the friends you have just made and so goodbye doesn’t ever have to be goodbye, just ´See ya later´… (meaning you will see them later, not being a commoners way of saying goodbye, as in ´goodbye, I’ll never see you again´…)! You get me, right? And really, there are at least half a dozen people I have met on this trip that have made the goodbye very difficult and so that’s half a dozen new friends I have made and so I’m all the better for it.
And of those that I may never see again from the last farm, Chetan was indeed the most heart wrenching of the goodbyes. A comedy genius, a beautiful person, a man of zero ego and huge heart who I and the BFG fully still miss to this day. When digging into mountainous rock in blistering heat started to feel like ´real´ work, he’d be on hand to either produce a wonderful quip or philosophical debate which made you realise that actually, this is bloody great and we could be doing something awful like working in an office and getting paid a fortune or being a famous musician and having women throwing themselves at you (is that an indication of the things I think are most important in life?!!) Seriously, he was a legend and if our paths again should cross, a smile broader than Sam Fox’s Bristol Barrelled chest would spread across my Chevy Chase!!
Ace of Base…
Oh, quick book check, I’m currently reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, in preparation for my Meditation Retreat (www.dhamma.org for info), as well as Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I haven’t finished either so can’t update you on them, but will in due course. Suffice to say The Tibetan Book… is as helpful as a hot bottom to a rear of the year contestant and Uncle Tom’s… is about as well written as a Charlie Brooker piece. That’s all I can tell ya, soz
So, our journey continued along the coastal road of the Costa Brava and what an amazing drive it was. In 3 days, we took in the towns of Roses, Tamariu and Tossa de Mar, the last two being two of the most romantic places I have ever set foot and so I shared a couple of romantic walks with my very masculine male body building colleague, checking out more lovers loving and wondering why I´ve always passed up the chance of true love for a life of longing for true love! Seriously, by day, Tossa de Mar is maybe a li´l like what it sounds like but by night, JEEEEEEZ, if it doesn’t make you wanna get on bended knee and say “I s´pose I better do the decent thing and marry ya then, aint I” then I don’t know where does.
But Barça was where our itchy feet were longing for and Barça it was that we arrived in soon after, albeit sitting in traffic for pretty much most of the 8 hour journey, the first traffic we’ve encountered since we left blighty 5 months previous. After much midnight driving, going up and down the same roads, looking for somewhere to park our rusty steed, we settled on a spot and quickly turned in for the night. About 6 hours later, we awoke to what could be described as some heavy machinery making much noise but what I would like to describe as a Spanish Bastard trying to drive his JCB up my arse, whilst his mates punch me repeatedly in the eardrums with giant sized comedy boxing gloves made of iron. We had inadvertently parked next to a building sight. Still, not to be put off, we headed to the beach, leaving Bruce in full splendour on the streets of Barça. I wanna point out here that it is customary when one is driving such a vehicle, that every two days, you move said beast to a new parking spot so as not to piss off the local five-0. So it was, that on day two, as we were heading back to our beloved hermaphrodite, preparing to move the cheeky bugger, that we noticed something rather disturbing and wholly new to our lives as seasoned bums. “Something strange is afoot at the Circle K”, we uttered. Which was strange cos there are no Circle K´s in Spain. And as if by magic, the back door of our beautiful wagon was wide open, rear curtain enjoying a rather novel dance in the evening breeze. “Shit”. I said. “Shit”. My esteemed companion did… sorry, said. And so it was that we found all the contents of our home turned upside down, no doubt by dirty little fingers and good for nothing minds and started the process of seeing what was missing. And as it turns out, the thieves seemed to have rather good taste for a bunch of FUCKING PIKEY GYPO´S. All that was missing was a very cool and favourite jacket of mine and some of my D&G smells. I loved that jacket…
And wow, what a place we chose to park in. Many conversations with locals since have revealed that Besos de Mar is in fact the pikyest place one could ever choose to leave all of their prized assets, un-secured. It used to be the main Gypo area of Barça until it was all knocked down to try to eradicate the filthy buggers. However, like a good mouse, they managed to find another way in and before long, they had all taken up residence in each others toilet bowls. Great government plan, kick out all the ruffians, knock down their flea infested pits, build some swanky tower blocks that remain empty and mock the said pikeys with what they’ll never be able to afford. Still, it’s not like Bruce is the Abu Dhabi of motor homes. More like the Alf Garnett, without the racist undertones.
And I guess that was a lesson that we never quite took heed of, as less than a week and some stringently updated security manoeuvres by us later, we were taken in every orifice again, returning to find more filthy fingers had rummaged through our bags but this time had taken nothing. ´ow come they got nuffink´, I hear you say in mock-Eastenders wonder. Well, you see, we are smarter than the average bear, myself and my travel companion. We have found a li´l safe in our hot box that no thieving tyke will ever find. We also take most of our important stuff with us whenever we leave. Smart, huh?!!
Anyways, we assumed that as they had nothing to take, they would leave us alone and that they did. Plus, my travel goliath paid for us to spend a night in some secure compound frequented by normal motor home holidayers. They even had hot showers. Very hot showers. In fact, I have an all over body scar, thanks to just how hot these showers were. HELLO, THIS IS SPAIN, ITS HOT E-FUCKIN-NOUGH, ya get me? Do they assume we’re all sweaty travellers who don’t wash for days on end and so need boiling water to burn off the scum that covers our festering bacterial bodies…?
Apart from these unfortunate turn of events, Barcelona is pretty damn nice, even if it does smell of fresh Great Dane faeces almost everywhere. I have a few friends here, two fantastic Catalans, who are of the greatest comedy value of any ladies I have ever met and a Brazilian, who is also super nice and lets me use her shower on the odd occasion, as well as showing me her friends and a good time to boot! Our first week was spent with two WWOOFers from the last farm, Roland and Raphy, two of the tallest and un-teenager looking Dutch teenage geezers you’ll probably ever meet (thought I doubt you will). And here again, were two of those people that when we eventually had to say goodbye to, it was a sadness of gargantuan proportions that filled our dark, throbbing hearts, although I was spared the tearful final wave as I was being entertained by said Brazilian, but in spirit, I was bawling! We had some pretty royal nights out with these guys and especially for two people almost half of my age, they were absolute leg ends of the highest order. The most mature two teenagers I have EVER met, made me realise what a twat I was when I was their age. Seriously, there was absolutely no time when it became apparent that we weren’t of the same era. Brilliant guys, I still miss them greatly.
But no sooner had they disappeared, then a giant English Crabb appeared in our beloved vehicle, going by the name of Paul Jonathan. There’s nothing better than a friendly face appearing on the horizon when you’re travelling and as this friendly face was one that I’d seen many times over the last 13 years, I knew we were in for a treats.
Treat 1) Watching said Crabb fall asleep in a nightclub, sitting bolt upright.
Treat 2) Watching said Crabb go from milk bottle white to red milk bottle red in 24 hours due to the big yellow sun that frequents our Spanish skies
Treat 3) Watching the Crabb brighten up our weekend with japes and crazy capers. I like Crabbs. Tastes like shit though
We also made another friend here, although he is kinda borrowed from a family member. Mr B, with his amazing theories on everything from lesbians to Nazi’s (there is no link there, don’t bother looking for one), is a source of great amusement as well as being a source of women for which my cohort is most thankful for, or soon will be if he gets his filthy li´l way. Anyway, after accompanying us on a few nights out, along with Marta Calvo and Belen, the greatest Catalans ever conceived, which, within one, my co-traveller decided to find solace and 40 winks on the sofa of one of the loudest clubs in history, then pretending, when the bouncer moved in on him, to be stretching and looking for some lost coins from his very deep pockets, Mr B has gained legendary status.
And so, after a sad ´Crabb´ goodbye later, it was back to being a non-sexual male couple with my cohort and nothing to look forward to but daily swims in the med, topping up an already awesome tan on the golden sands, meetings with scantily clad beautiful ladies, with which this city has more than its fair share, in fact, more than any other city I’ve ever visited and living on the side of THE busiest non-motorway road in Earths history.
Who said travelling was easy……