So much has happened the past weekend! We were in a hurry Friday morning, and as usual we packed way too much. But then again, what should you pack when camping in your house without water or electricity? For sure two apple pies for the neighbours. Since we were in a hurry I had to run down with Luna, some bags and one of the cakes. Once the elevator doors opened Luna ran after Thomas and down went the cake, luckily in a special pie holder but the contents were not in the correct location anymore. Luckily after that the day went a lot smoother. We arrived on time to meet in Caspe with our lawyer and the realtor, but when we had to sign at the notary office Luna was not allowed. Which means she doesn’t own one bit of the house, they don’t say for nothing “it’s a dog’s life”.
We shared the scrambled pie with the lawyer and realtor with a nice view from Caspe. After this the lawyer really wanted to see our place, so off we went. He was really excited, already offering to help and come visit.
Finally alone we were looking forward to meeting our new neighbours. So we went, with the non scrambled cake, to the closest neighbour. I don’t think we could’ve been luckier, he is a great guy who’s been through some hardships. He lives in Barcelona half of the time and built this house all by himself. He shared so much knowledge, and offered his help and tools to us. We’re super happy we were able to talk with him, in some broken Spanish, but to be honest without any problems.
He also told us there is another Dutch family living a bit up the road and brought us to them. It was really fun meeting them, especially since they have a lifestyle we’re very interested in. They bought an old pigsty about 3 years ago and have made it into a rustic house for them and their two kids. After talking for another few hours we went to our other neighbours, an older couple that also has a house in Caspe. We went with all of them to our place and showed them around, they showed us we already had (almost) ripe cherries, almond trees, grapes and apricot trees. We also have two terraces with fig trees so there’s a lot of food already! Everyone was so eager to share their knowledge and teach us how to maintain everything.
We were invited to join the family for dinner, and of course: dutch pancakes on the menu! Made with fresh eggs from their chickens, which we would like in the future as well. We’ve been vegan for a while, but seeing how well everyone treats their animals here and giving them space to walk around all day. Eating an egg every now and then would be nice. It’s really great to see how conscious they’re living and how welcome we feel.
We walked home around midnight and it was crazy to see the stars out here. We didn’t want to get our air mattress ready so we put some sheets around the bed that was there and slept there. It was a one-person bed so sleep was not great, but waking up with the birds and taking a walk in our garden was amazing! Such a breath of fresh air compared to the busyness of Barcelona. Clean air, no traffic and some fresh cherries from our garden (supplemented with some cherries delivered by our neighbour’s son) made for a good morning. After breakfast we measured the whole house and went into the city to order a fence and some tools. Then we went around to explore the city a little bit, it’s quite big still with nice cycling routes next to the river. Partially because of this the area is popular among the Dutch.
Our neighbour said our fence required concrete/cement footings in order to stay put, and we’re not set on the location yet so now we need some other solution to let Luna run around. We would like to use it after that for some other animals perhaps, so something more temporary is required. Luckily the tools we bought were useful, Thomas spent the afternoon with a scythe to cut back the weeds and grass overcrowding our driveway. This amount of green pleasantly surprised us when we arrived, since we thought it would be much dryer. The soil was wet and has some clay, but we’ll test it to see how we can improve the conditions. Luckily it’s filled with live and organic material! I swept the house, but left most of the spiders so they could eat flies and mosquitos. We took a short siësta and had dinner this time at our neighbour’s. He made a great veggie oven dish and we talked a lot about our project. We found out he’s a licensed contractor and agreed to meet tomorrow to discuss some of our plans at the house.
The next morning, our last one for the weekend, Thomas went to our neighbour and they came back with some fruit and other goodies. Walking around the property he gave some great advice on what we have to do for some ideas, but also how to organize the complete project. He’s offered to help us find the right material and explain certain tasks, on the condition he doesn’t have to do the actual work. We’re super happy with all this generosity. He said, if we work hard enough we might finish the house before the winter! But in all honesty this will probably not happen that fast. Although with some minor upgrades to the internet we’ll be able to work from there.
We’d love to stay longer, Barcelona has a lot to offer but there is no comparison.