Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Josh -Yogi camp, British Italy and the Pyrenees

New laptop. New camera. And lots more backup. Lets get started.
We are all feeling the loss of leaving Italy. It’s an amazing place and if you ever have a chance to go there, go there. From eating excellent Italian pizzas and going out to restaurants (not just baguette and cheesy cheese or ham sandwich) to visiting millennia old churches and villages.

After we struggled to leave our little nature spa in Abruzzo we drove on once more passing more beautiful little villages and passagiatas in towns until we joined the Chianti shire, aka: Toscana! We reached a town called Cortona that was full to the brim of Americans. I lost count how many times I got asked; “can I stroke your dog?” (Except with the thick American so written down it would be “caan I stroke your dwog?”) Dad tried updating our last blog but it didn’t work, Ellie and I (mother is always telling us to speak proper English, how delightful) bought 2 crystals (these now have their own clothes, tents, pillows, blankets, duvets, bed sheets, mattresses, beds, cupboards, and a swimming pool and a playground that are under construction. Mummy said we could make a village when we buy our new house because we want to make a collection) while Mummy took Moses for a walk -to dad’s delight, wearing a very Italian mini skirt.

Eventually at late passagiata our very English friends the Jago’s decided to come and join the fun. With 10€ in our back pockets we went wandering on our own, with our friends who we hadn’t seen for months. Our 3 days we spent with Anna, Simon, Anoushka (who beat me to life by 5 days) and Hatti (who lost to Ellie by 2 days) was cherished. We loved it.

After leaving Cortona we decided to go to yogi camp for a day or two (those days stretched to 120 hours each) with Godfrey, Mummy’s yoga teacher. We decided to do yoga as we were there (now we even speak like yogis) and we can now do things we couldn’t do before. It was an amazing experience but guess what, no photos. The yoga came with huge tents called domes, breakfast on weekends and silence until one. It was great and we made loads of cool friends. There was Peter, my mess about buddy, Jose Luis, my cake buddy and great friend, Benoit, the French entertainment (there was one time when Peter, Benoit and I went to buy building equipment. Here is a tip: NEVER LET THE FRENCH MAN DRIVE! With the wood Benoit knocked over 11 ironing boards like dominoes then a whole shower stand. While Benoit went red in the face, Peter and I were killing ourselves with laughter), Charlie, the English person that is learning to speak south east London, Ricky, the head chef, Ray, builder and Joker, Mark, my backgammon buddy and great friend, Liz and Kim, the people to talk to, Michelle, fellow traveller and home finder, Joe, the guitarist, Tsipi and Uzi and many more all great friends.

In two day’s we reached the Italian border. We didn’t bother looking on the map for the French border we just looked for the speed signs when we reached France they went down 40kmph. Another thing that happened was that as soon as we had finished singing Frere Jacques 3 driving incidents happen. First a car sped in front of us on a toll then a truck nearly crashed into us on the same toll and then a car over took us millimetres from our front bumper and then shot out into a petrol station. Everything happened in the space of 5 minutes. Forget what I said about Italian driving and (dare I say it) Sicilian driving……… AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!

It took three day’s to get through France. Three days full of French driving. We celebrated when we entered Spain. We celebrated and we relaxed (mainly because we were free of French driving). We admired the Pyrenees Mountains as we drove through them; the height, length, and just the pure beauty of them. We drove straight through the Pyrenees to a little town called Martinet where we had our first taste of Spain. It was a bit like the dinky Italian villages but the colours were more random.

The Spanish people have all been very warm to us and we appreciate it, we’re extremely thankful to Adrianna and Anna who helped us when we were robbed, but I’m not going to speak about that because that’s life, quell’é vita. We have been very surprised by Spain; it has rained a lot (those people singing “Rain, rain go to Spain and never come back to England again” -because it has been raining a lot in England from what we have heard- please stop), the greenery, and the wildlife.

Ok, believe me if you want to but be free not to. One day, in the middle of nowhere near San Sebastian we woke up by the side of a road and saw 15 eagles (obviously eagles because of the frayed wing tips and they must have had a 2 ½ meter wingspan) diving and swooping around a mountain which was pretty usual considering we’ve seen eagles nearly every day since we have been in Spain, and they were on our path so we drove up for 3 hours to get to them and get some close ups with the camera. We reached there and the eagles (which were golden eagles, which are the only type of eagle we’ve seen apart from bald headed eagles) left. Just as we were about to leave more golden eagles came. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40. 300 eagles came streaming in. You can believe or you can just think I’m lying, it is up to you. I know I’m telling the truth, we had pictures to prove it.

After Martinet we decided to go to my 9th country ever, Andorra. We stayed near a stream where we went skinny dipping and had bucket baths (another trick mummy learnt from India) and slid down more mini waterfalls. It was a fun time but I don’t think we will be going back to Andorra again. All it is is one big shopping mall with some ski lifts. In the lonely planet it says Andorra is famous for shopping, skiing and smuggling!

If you ever want to go to Spain and you don’t know where to go, San Sebastian should be high on your list. The statues are so random. We drove down one road and saw statues of heads with no bodies, bodies with no heads. Legs with one wing, it is just so modern. One of the first things we noticed when we woke up in San Sebastian was the statue of Christ on an island. It looks a lot like the statue of Christ in Rio di Janeiro. We went for a day trip round Sebastian on our bikes. It was so fun. There was a jazz festival but we were at the wrong side of town for it we still saw the fireworks though. We haven’t seen anything of Spain at all. It is such an amazing country and we have had some great experiences from it so far.

We have only been to 2 beaches in Spain. Dad bought me a skim board so I could learn to surf and Ellie a boogie board. Now on another rainy day with the sea next to us we are still doing it the Italian way. Sweet life, Dolce Vita.

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