Work and life on the Finca – a daily surprise

Hiking shoes, 3 T-shirts, trousers, the big trekking bag pack and ah – not to forget the sleeping bag nor the warm underwear! But why do we need so much equipment?

The answer lies one-hour bus drive away through fascinating landscape with lots of unknown (or at least for us unknown) vegetation. The Finca at which we are going to work, live and help is located on the slope of a valley with a great view of the sea.

Once we had arrived at the Finca we built up our tents, in which most of us are going to sleep during the five days. The location of those was quite unique, because as there weren´t any flat spaces, we camped in the greenhouse between some flowers.

At the Finca we helped in lots of different groups with a variety of tasks. For example, a group of us helped to built a new wall out of stones that marked the end of the path. At the bottom the wall was made up out of big rocks, which seemed nearly impossible to find, as nearly all available materials were already used for something else. But one of the Finca team members just pointed at stones that were dug into the hill and were half covered with soil. At first it seemed like an impossible task, to move the stone even a few centimetres. So, how do we get the stone out of the ground to its right place? The answer is easy: Teamwork! Equipped with lots of different tools we managed to dig the stone free and to roll it with great strength into its right place.

For the back part of the wall we used small stones, which had to be sieved, after some time with this task a shower was unavoidable, as we were completely covered with dust. To take a shower at the Finca ended in another great adventure. The showers here made us look forward to those, in comparison to the shower at the Finca really luxurious showers at the Thor. The shower is located in a building, or rather a tent like building (for it isn´t built out of stones or wood like nearly nothing here is) which is like a storage shed where our food is stored and everybody can come in whenever they want. Resulting to latter we had big shower parties. This was no problem, as nobody wanted to stay under the shower too long, as the water was cold and there weren´t many opportunities to warm up apart from curling up in our sleeping bags. But mostly, we were already warm after the walk from our tents up to the shower, as the path winded up the slope in many curves. Often the paths separated in many ways and especially during the first days we often got lost on paths ending nowhere or in a bush. Especially in the dark getting down was a difficulty, as I often forgot my torch in the tent and so I had to wait for somebody with a torch to go down or to find the way in the dark. After I had tried the last opportunity, I wasn´t that keen on trying it out again too soon.

Another work was tearing out Agaves. You might see this as an easy job, but these monstrous plants were so restive that it seemed as if they tried to stay in the earth as long as possible. They had thorns on their leaves of which we had to take care while cutting them. After we had gotten rid of all the leaves we had to pull out the roots, for which we used a rope. While pulling, we imagined we were pulling out our rescue boat, which made it even more entertaining.

On the last day we made a 20km walk to a beach. I found it very surprising to see, how fast the landscape could change its face. One moment we were walking through dry landscape with mostly cactus, the other moment we were in a humid forest full of liches, moss and fallen trees lying everywhere. I liked the forest very much, because it was quite untouched. Once we came to a viewpoint where we could see the village that we had to reach and it looked very far away, but the path was full of varieties so it never got boring and we reached Vallehermoso, the village in an instant. As a reward we were allowed to go swimming in the end. To feel the cold water on our body, which was full of an unpleasant mixture of dust, sunscreen and sweat was wonderful.

Concluding we all enjoyed our time at the Finca very much and learnt a great deal of new things. But nevertheless, we are all happy to be finally home again – home at the Thor