Saturday, 16 June 2012

Jimena De La Frontera - Week 2

Back to work, and geez did the sun feel like baking us today! Definitely the hottest day we have had so far, I would estimated it to have been around 37 degrees, found out later that it was 39.5, it felt like a summers day in Melbourne, where you have the hot breath of a wind and as soon as you step outside into the sun the heat is just so intense.
I spent an hour or so in the morning watering the gardens, the onto the hard slog of white washing the outside walls of the farm. They don’t’ use white paint over here, they use limewash, so you just slap it on and it blends in when it dries, while wet it looks awful but slowly turns a pure white colour.
The bad thing about this stuff is that you have to repaint your house every year to keep it looking bright white, lucky most of the houses are tiny here, but this farm house is pretty big and its going to be a big job for all of us to get it done.
You have to wear sunnies too cause of the glare you get off the walls, but I only have my $400 Oroton sunnies and they didn’t enjoy getting splashed with lime that’s for sure. Also I have very limited clothes as it is and I had to sacrifice a pair of shorts and a t-shirt to the cause. Also if you are working in the direct sun then you also get burnt a lot easier from the reflection off the walls, so I lathered in so much sunscreen but due to the heat it just sweated off again within minutes, managed to escape any burning though, but definitely getting out my bandana tomorrow.
The day went really slow, just cause of how hot it was and how hard the work was but eventually 2pm rolled around and I jumped straight in the pool, I could hear my skin sizzle as the water hit it, so awesome to have a pool, it is the only one in the town apart from the public pool up in the village which I don’t think even has water in it at the moment!

Went up the house as per usual for lunch, however Fi left Dan and I in charge of the kids cause Fi & Mark had to get back down to the farm to get some rooms ready for new guests coming in. Poor Dan isn’t really a kids kind of guy, and they know it, so Daisy got naked and was running around singing songs (reminds me of someone I know when they were that age) and not eating, the 2 other girls were yelling over one another to try and get our attention and Toby was at a mates place.
Eventually I persuaded Daisy to eat some sausages and then while dancing around the kitchen I managed to get in a few spoons of mash, maybe wasn’t the most graceful of lunches but the food got into the kids and everyone was happy J
Headed back down to the farm to go swimming again, I decided to lock myself into my courtyard for some much needed removal of tog lines, so after a good dosing of sun in the nude, I got in the pool and did some more lessons with daisy.
She can now do 3-4 breaststroke type strokes (froggie she calls it) completely under the water now, so she is motoring along, meanwhile Cristian who is a year older cannot go near the pool without his armbands on.
Tonight I decided that I would have a night at home, just to unwind and chill in my own space, well own space including Frizzel, the 2 remaining puppies and Persil the lamb who will not stop bleating!
Whenever I open my door she comes running full pelt in through it, then just stands there in the living room with this stupid look on her face like she doesn’t quite know what to do next.
She is at the running and jumping around the place phase so if she is up the hill a bit and sees you, she will run as fast as she can jumping and twisting as she goes, if she is on the tiles then it normally involves slipping over too and all the while bleating as loud as she can at you. In my time here I have really come to realise how dumb sheep really are.

White washing yet again, it’s horrible stuff, my hands have turned officially into man hands, like builder hands and its awful, the nails are going a yellowy colour and my hands are the driest they have ever been, even wearing gloves doesn’t do anything cause it’s so hot that your hands sweat and then your fingers turn to mush anyway. Gross!
The aim of the game is to finish this white washing business as soon as possible so I can move on to bigger and better things, like gardening, this heat and the vibrant white of the walls is starting to wear thin.
George arrived tomorrow though so at least he will bet experience what I’m doing and we can be sick of white washing together, me thinks its going to be a drastic change for him not having worked for over 6 months and just living to jump, looking forward to seeing how he copes J

George arrived today, so great to have him here to share this Spanish experience with.
He got in around 5.30pm and I feel like his first impressions of the farm were positive, thought that the house we were staying in was nice plus the pool was great.
We just chilled out down the farm with the dogs and Persil, then later that evening after the sun had gone down we went for a swim cause it was just way too hot to sleep. Me and my hatred for any form of insect or arachnid that decides to end its life in a pool meant that I had to spend 10 mins with the net scooping up the many dead carcasses out of the pool before I would enter.
Then we saw something swimming, through the water, frogs! At night time the frogs come to the pool for a swim, there would have been about 4-5 frogs chilling out either on the side of the pool or swimming through it. We even managed to catch a few as they tried to swim away, great swimmers but unfortunately we are human sized and they are tiny frog sized so they couldn’t make for a speedy get away.
Once cooled down we headed for bed however the mosquitos that night decided there was no way we were going to get some sleep!

Georges first day on the job of white washing the farm, I think it got to about 3 hours into it before he said that he wasn’t sure how long he was going to be able to keep doing this for.
A self confessed work ethic of zero, built to solely jump off stuff and hopefully one day get paid to do it styles, not quite coping with the thought of working to earn food and board J
We got through the day ok though, had lunch up at the house which to be honest was pretty disappointing in comparison to all the other lunches we have had, poor George was served a bean soup with a splash of macaroni thrown in, he must have thought then and there what the hell he had gotten himself in to. I tried to reassure that our hard work does pay off for good food and that tomorrow would most likely be back to normal after Fi did a shop etc.
George was asleep in bed by 8pm, absolutely wrecked from his first day at work, I stayed up and read my book for a while.

White washing day 2 for George, and at the end of the day he was seriously talking about how long he things he could do this for, reckoned he could do another week maybe and then see how he is feeling after that J
We had a pretty massive job to do today, a courtyard/patio area that involved battling against a super thorny bush that attacks you when you least expect it and an awkward height of a wall that needed 3 different levels of work, very time consuming.
At about 1pm we were both well and truly over this painting business and set ourselves onto this horrible overgrown thorny bush that we had been battling the whole day, so completely attacked it and chopped it back by over half, we got cut up a fair bit in the process but it looks awesome now. I have 2.5 blisters to show for my hard work and was totally looking forward to lunch.
Unfortunately lunch was a disappointment again, and I felt so bad for convincing George that it was worth coming down here for the awesome food and accommodation, the accommodation side of things lived up but the food not so much.
Today was plain spaghetti with butter and garlic on it, oh and a handful of olives, not quite the meat and 3 veg we were getting up until George arrived!
After an hour or 2 we walked back down to the farm, hung out with the 3 girls for a while, and George had Daisy jumping off the coffee table with a pilot chute in her hand, base jumper in the making there.
The girls a pretty full on, each one of them wants more attention than the next so they just yell and scream everything and anything that they are saying, feel sorry for the guests that are staying in the other houses on the farm. Every day they have screaming kids running a muck around the property, screaming their heads off at each other in play and in fighting, so all the time, including in the swimming pool, so as a guest you could never just chill out in front of the pool in the afternoon cause everyday there are a heap of kids causing chaos there.

Rock concert day – Just chilled out for most of the day, its hard to do much else in this heat really. In the evening we held the rock gig at the farm, George was on serving a curry and I was taking money and working behind the bar for a bit.
Frizzel got the feed of her night that night, George was slipping her a few platefuls of curry and rice under the tables and she scoffed it down and wouldn’t let any other dog near her.
The band was ok, they just did covers and the singer wasn’t flash hot but it was entertaining anyway. I was waiting the whole night for the chainsaws to come out like the picture on their ad, and they did, for one song, they weren’t turned on and they basically slowly danced around with them.
I think Fi broke even in the end, so she reckons its not really worth the effort put in to do another gig there again.

Mission to Ronda for George to do BASE
Starving we had lunch at a place that seemed to look ok and they solsd ice-cream, even better.
However we paid 10euro for a paella and 7.50 for a pizza and it was terrible, small and was just bad.
George tried to complain using google translate, but they didn’t really care and just made us pay.
We went and checked out the bridge and see if it would be possible for George to jump from it, but unfortunately there is no landing spot there. However the cliffs on the edge of Ronda were definitely jumpable, apart from all the powerlines!
It was super windy so we had to wait for a while and just kept looking at the winds and hung out in the park, George nearly got his hand bitten off by an angry horse and we found an ice-cream shop that was bitterly disappointing, at this point George just wanted to be back in Italy ha. We got to the point where he would have to jump soon or we would miss our train by the time he walked back up again etc.
So we threw lots of rocks off and sticks etc, and found that it was windy at the top of the cliffs but not at the bottom so he decided to get geared up.
I went to my filming spot and my heart started racing as it does, this jump is a lot lower than the 300m one I saw him do first in Italy, this one is about 120m then the powerlines to factor in also.
He climbed over the wall and stood on the edge, and then when the wind died down he jumped off, the gasp on my video describes how I felt at that moment.
But he was fine and then he had to navigate his way through the powerlines to find a landing spot and he did.
As he walked back up the track, I waited at the top and waiting there also were 2 policemen, I was hoping like crazy that they weren’t waiting for George.
But he got to the top and we walked straight past them, then down the road a few hundred metres we walked past another group of cops and about 10m past them they called us back and was asking what we were up to.
The cop said that someone had called them to say someone had committed suicide off the cliffs wearing a red t-shirt, George was wearing his red Skydive Abel Tasman t-shirt, probably not the most conspicuous t-shirt to be wearing doing such activities….
At first we tried to deny it, saying that it is too windy to jump etc, then they asked for him to open his bag and in there was his open rig and they knew that he had jumped. Then another cop said that someone told him that they saw a parachute flying off the cliff, so there wasn’t much we could really say to that.
We then changed our tact to saying that yes he did jump but that it is legal in Europe to jump off cliffs but not off bridges and buildings etc, they couldn’t really understand us so had to call into head office to see if it was legal or not. They took our passports and details, and we just had to wait there.
The cop said to George ‘George, you just can’t jump off cliffs!’, Georges response ‘Why not?’, Cop – ‘Because…its dangerous’.
At this point I thought we were going to miss the last train to Jimena, so we told them we had to go and they eventually just let us on our way.
We had to walk from Jimena train station to the farm, over half an hour walk in the heat and starving, felt like forever, but once there I whipped up an asparagus risotto like Giovanni taught me.
End of week 2 at Jimena, about to start week 3, I think this week coming will be close to the end for me and definitely for George!

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