Africa is calling

A perfect place to write…

Sitting by the pool

I’m sitting on a lounger by the pool overlooking fold upon fold of dry shrubby hillside with almond and olive trees nearing their harvest. It looks like not much has changed around here for hundreds of years, it gives you that feeling. Do you ever have that thought from when your foot touches land off the beaten track, as to whether or not anybody else has ever placed their foot there before? Or if so, how far it would date back? It’s an interesting thought isn’t it!

Looking back…

Me outside Canillas de Albaida

I recently finished a book titled A Little History of the World by Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich. Now, my knowledge of history as a whole has always been poor so an insight to the history of the world was a perfect chance for me to improve my knowledge slightly. Having read this beautifully summarised history of our past, it sparked an interest inside of me. Not only is it great to know about how we came to be where we are today, but it makes me appreciate how easy we all live right now compared to that of our ancestors. Without knowledge of our history it is easy to take for granted how far we have come, and the things we have today.

Another year passes…

Chocolate birthday cake

Today is my birthday, I’m 25! Normally I would be attending the annual Creamfields festival – probably dancing as we speak, yet here I am doing quite the opposite, sitting, relaxing, on foreign plains. We had a grand meal yesterday evening, fifteen guests attended, the food was great, and the wine was flowing – Mark and Tom never disappoint with that. The meal ended with chocolate cake, and my piece was decorated with a candle – apparently one of those you can’t blow out yet I managed to prove the product wrong on my first attempt! What did I get for my birthday I hear you ask. Well, my mum sent some sweets which are in the fridge slowly being devoured. Mark and Tom bought me an insulated cup, and some tea bags which I will use in abundance – thanks guys! We also have a fine selection of meats waiting to feel the heat of the barbecue – can’t wait for that! Like the rest of the Brits, I love barbecues!

Danger always present…

Fire in the nearby village

The heat of the day is rising, and I have sought refuge in the shade. After six months in Spain, the burning sun has lost it’s appeal – especially now I’ve achieved a full body tan. I’ve witnessed full well the dangers of the sun, not just for the body, but for the ever increasing risk it poses on the dry land around me. Only recently there was a fire just outside the nearby village. Watching it destroy the landscape, and all the nature within was frightening. I’m sure many a time there is a lesson to be learnt from all of this. I count myself fortunate that I weren’t hiking around the area that day, it was only two weeks ago when I hiked up La Maroma – the highest peak of the Sierra de Tejeda mountain range.

Another challenge completed…

Hiking up La Maroma

Reflecting on that day, it was a great challenging hike which I thoroughly enjoyed. With outlooks both inland, and to the coast, you feel a great sense of achievement having climbed so high above sea level. The only thing I regret is not having a decent pair of hiking boots. Although surprisingly my Dr Martens have held up to the hard rocky terrain of many a mountain, they were not designed for hiking, and therefore are quickly reaching their end. Maybe I should invest in some rustic boots worn by the local herdsmen in the Atlas mountains of Morocco – talking of which is my next destination.

Leaving Europe for Africa…

Beautiful sunset over the finca

If you take the ferry across the Mediterranean sea at the most southerly part of Spain, you will enter the neighbouring continent of Africa, and shortly arrive in Morocco. It only seemed logical to make the journey giving it’s ease of access, as there are various ferry operators running routes into Morocco all day long. It also continues nicely my southerly journey as I leave Europe for the first time to see a whole different type of living. As usual my plans are loose. I won’t be volunteering, but will be making great use of hostels, and CouchSurfing – focusing mainly on people’s generosity and good will. I have contacts in Marrakesh – a busy town just north of the Western Sahara desert – whom I got aquainted with here, so I’m sure a longer stay will be planned there. With a map of Morocco, and a curious mind I will begin my journey at the start of September. My French will be tested as it’s used in many parts of Morocco, therefore I must start practicing again. So I will wish you all bonjour et au revoir.

Until next time guys, peace and love, Jonathan x

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2 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    Good luck in Africa matey – I’m officially well jealous of you now. I might have to come and meet you somewhere for a bit at some point next year!

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