When researching the best way to get to our next workaway in Catalonia’s Penedès region we found a cheap but very early flight leaving Seville and without even thinking went ahead and booked it. It was about a week later that we realised we’d have to leave Los Marines at 4:30am in order to make the flight and at that time there wasn’t any public transport. Paying for a hostel for the night would have also defeated the purpose of catching a cheaper red-eye, so after no luck with couchsurfing hosts we decided we would just catch a bus in the day before and sleep the night at the airport.
When our current hosts Sam and Jeannie asked about about our arrangements we explained our inconvenient situation and to our complete surprise they told us they would be buying us a room for the night. They said that it wasn’t only so they knew we would be sleeping safe and comfortably but to also thank us for all our hard work over the past month. We were so very grateful.
After our very comfortable sleep in Seville we rose early to catch the first bus heading to the airport. It wasn’t long after that we touched down in Barcelona and were on the train to Pontons, where we would be helping Michael and Sophie, two Aussies that moved to Barcelona over fifteen years ago, with their major renovations for the next two weeks.
As soon as we arrived Sophie gave us a quick tour of all that was happening on-site then assigned us our jobs and put us to work. Anita made a start on reconditioning some old furniture while I got started on the digging. We were visibly exhausted from our 4am rise so thankfully only had to work four out of a usual six hour day.
That night we were absolutely spoilt for food. We learnt that Sophie was an accomplished cook, food writer, food guide and restaurateur. Boy were we in for a treat! We drank and ate deep into the night as we all got to learn more of each other’s stories.
Over the next two weeks we spent a lot of time helping with the painting, paving, gardening, building new and reconditioning old furniture and basic labouring work like shovelling rubble and transporting materials. Some days were harder than others, but you always felt like you’d earned your beer at the end of the day.
In our time off we’d often take long walks through the vineyards and surrounding mountains, simply taking in the beautiful area of Alt Penèdes or sometimes even foraging for wild asparagus. Sophie and Michael would also take us to experience the best of the Catalan culture, whether it was to a small artisan cava bodega to taste some of the region’s bubbles, or to a local village restaurant to try calçots, a type of barbequed long onion which is served in a terra cotta tile and eaten with a romesco sauce and bib. I tell ya, these Catalans sure know how to live!
So after many long days, delicious meals and great experiences, it was time to not only say goodbye to our new friends Michael and Sophie but also to the beautiful country of Spain. Sure, we would have liked to see a little more during our time there, but that will just have to wait for next time.
Next stop, Portugal!