March 10, Gone Camping

I arrived in the Deserts of Southeastern Spain a few days ago. The town I have come to is named Tabernas. I arrived* by bus at around sunset, but then I missed my bus stop and ended up in the middle of nowhere.. More so than Tabernas is already in the middle of nowhere. With poor communication between my English and the bus driver’s Spanish, it took a bit and a good lot of stress for me to communicate to him what it was that was going on, which was, as it was, that I had no idea where I was or what to do to get back Tabernas. The driver was very kind and, in the end, gave me a ride in his personal car back to Tabernas. Fortunately, that is where he lived. Here i met up with Jules. Jules is my Workaway host until the 24th of March. (Workaway is a program where, in exchange for labor, a host will provide you with housing and food. This makes traveling much more affordable because you need only pay for the costs to actually move from one spot to the other.) At his place were two other workaway peeps; Katia (center) and Victor (left).

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The next day, after work, we set out into the heat of the desert to find a place to camp for the night. The hike was long, and really not all that bad. The scenery was blowing my mind. Mountains and desert… A massive difference from the flat, swampy/tropical nature of Florida. As the sun lowered toward the horizon, the blue sky began to change hues. Beautiful purples, royal blues, and golden shade of orange. We were nearly there, with an hour of light to spare. As we rounded a hill, we came upon the tourist attraction of Fort Bravo. A very strange old-western village of the USA that happened to find itself in the deserts of Tabernas, Spain (which is where the majority of the USA Western movies were filmed). We decided, as there were no barriers, to walk through the town to continue on to the other side. “Salida! Salida! No possible!” Shouts came from behind us. The three of us, clad in backpacks, blankets, and an obvious intent to camp, saw a scooter slowly approach us. On it were a lady and a gentleman who were yelling (politely) for us to exit. We tried to communicate to them that we were just passing through and were not tourists. Our camping spot was just around the hill beyond the fake town, perhaps 15 minutes walk. Our communication failed due to our weak Spanish vocabulary. We were escorted out by three vehicles (THREE). “Escorted out” means forced to walk in a 90 degree angle AWAY from our destination, down a long, long road, and outside a gate (to which no other barriers connected). There were no walls preventing us from simply walking out of the town into the hills, and being forced to walk down this road and out of this silly gate was nothing short of ridiculous. We humans are masters of fake borders and and imaginary lines. No matter. We shall trek on. So we did. Avoiding the town, we rounded jagged, crumbling hills which took us further away from our camping spot. The sun had set by this time and we were about 40 minutes from the camping spot. The remaining light of the blue hour dwindled to darkness just in time for us to arrive at our spot. The moon was already out, the stars were bright, and the mountains stood in every direction, hiding us from the view of others. The world surrounded us in all of its splendor and beauty. We ate dinner on our blankets, I played flute from the top of a rock, took long-exposure photographs, we told stories, made jokes, and enjoyed each-others company. The night went by, and the stars glided above us. Beneath the nearly-full moon, the stars, and the eyes of cat-sounding birds, we slept.

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My sunrise shot came out blurry….

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Until next time, photographing sunrise in a perfectly composed location is just beyond reach.
Follow me on instagram for more frequent visual updates! @TheBrettTomadin

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