October 15TH 2013
I am homeless, I am carless, I have simplified my life and I kind of like it. I have been in Spain for a couple of weeks now, enjoying the company of my family. I have enjoyed the beauty and solitude of the Spanish countryside. Berdejo, the small town where I have spent most of my time in Spain since I left for America in 1995 has been once again a perfect location to relax, hike, eat mom’s cooking and hang out. For many years I have been thinking about the day I would return to Berdejo without anybody waiting for me in the US, and I always thought I would spend a long period of time here writing, creating, relaxing, living… I guess the day is here now. It is a much different feeling being here in such a way; the feeling of freedom is intoxicating.
I have spent quite some time with my brother Diego and Rosa in Calcena, the small town in the skirt valleys of the Moncayo, the tallest mountain of the province of Zaragoza. They run a Hostel in this outrageously beautiful valley. I have been climbing, hiking, drinking, laughing and again living. I will spend more time with them in the future, probably all coming summer. I really love the place, it is so beautiful and there are plenty of activities to do all around the area. It has been nice just hanging out with the two of them; they are such a free spirits with such an appreciation for balancing their small business and their love for climbing and nature.
My brother Diego climbing in Calcena
The town of Calcena
Last couple of days I joined them to do some climbing in the Pirineos. We accepted the hospitality of my good friends Isabel, Martin and baby Fabian, old friends who live up in the mountains in a tiny village surrounded by magnificent views of the tallest peaks of the mountain range. I have felt old trying to keep up with Diego and Rosa, they are so strong and their passion for climbing is something I do not share at the level they experience it. I enjoy it; it brings great memories of my youth. It has also ignited the interest of getting myself back in shape. Now is the time!
Doing a via Ferrata in the Pirineos, scary but fun. Rosa in the background. 750 feet of elevation, almost a mile long hanging from iron bars
Spending time in Spain makes me think so much about the amazing beauty that this country holds. It is so different to anything I have seen in America. After spending four months surrounded by breathtaking landscapes all across the northwest of the US and Canada, coming to Spain and seeing such a contrast in landscapes makes me appreciate how lucky I have been, and how lucky I am. Also it has helped me decide to pursue my dream of creating a travel guide company in Spain to bring Americans to discover places off the beaten path that I feel privileged to know. Starting this coming Spring I will be organizing small group trips to the places in Spain I love with a passion, so if you are interested on experiencing places like the images below, let me know and I will start putting a trip together. It is quite simple, 1,000 euros ALL INCLUDED except the flight, nine days, small groups of ten people or less, do you want to know more? Email me through the blog or to [email protected]
Landscapes of the Moncayo
Hidden valleys of Spain
A typical stone village in the mountains of Spain
Is this Tuscany, is this a crowded tourist trap? No, this is "Spain, off the beaten path"
I still have a few more weeks left in Spain. After that I am on my way to Maui where I will stay with my dear Kathy, Brandon and Rylee for a few months. I am so looking forward to that. Another dream come true.
Life is good… and I am not taking it for granted!