This week we left a B&B in the Lake District of England (Perrin) and a free apartment in central Madrid (Sarah) and boarded a southbound bus to the arid, wheat-filled, 7,000 person town of Tobarra, Spain. (We can’t figure out where the other 6,950 people are hiding.)
We decided to leave behind our city lives to try out a wholesome month on a farm through a program called Wwoofing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). In exchange for our toil on the land we receive free housing and food. We figured serfdom was a good way to live on the cheap while learning Spanish and experiencing sustainable living.
Spanish natives warned that we’d last two weeks in the 100+ degree sun. We were up for a challenge.
Our three-hour bus from Madrid was full, so it was disconcerting when we were the only two people who disembarked at the Tobarra stop. When we entered the flat we were greeted by Mäns, a 22-year-old Swedish military veteran wearing only tight, black boxer briefs. He sprang out of push-up position to eagerly shake our hands (drenching our skin with his sweat) and then descended into sit ups.
Mäns remained in these briefs until 8am the next morning, when he grabbed a pair of pants and a flannel shirt of a hook on the way out the door. We quickly learned work on the farm would be conducted in casual attire and slow speed.
As we walked the two miles down the road to the farm we heard about our tasks for the week: cleaning horse stables, milking a goat, picking almonds, collecting eggs from chickens and more.
Stay tuned for a break-down of our responsibilities every day this week.