San Antonio toca la guitarra

Once again, physical problems forced me to slow my pace. Blisters this time, and they kept me in Lorca for a week. However, otra vez, it proved to me that setbacks are never just setbacks. My host Antonio, who took me to the hospital after I arrived a week ago on Tuesday, immediately assured me that I could stay as long as necessary and that I shouldn’t feel the least bad about it. He liked the company, he said, even though we had only met two hours before. 

The blisters on the back of my feet had blood in them, so at the hospital they told me that piercing them could cause an infection. I had to sit and wait for them to disappear.As long as necessary turned out to be a week and as Antonio predicted at the beginning of that week, the company turned out to be great. I don’t normally write full reports on my meetings on my blog, mostly because of lack of time, but for once I will.

I have told many people how amazing it is how close you can become with someone in one or two evenings. There is no doubt in my mind that I will stay in contact with many of the people I have met on my journey and will see again if I have the chance. But obviously, the more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know a person and the more you learn about what their daily routine looks like. If a connection is there, a week is enough to see a friendship grow. 

Antonio is a guitarist and singer and has played all kinds of music with just as many bands. He writes his own songs and works on them in his home studio. Of course, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass. If you are going to spend a couple of days with someone that you have only just met, it is only natural that you start with the common ground. I had a sketch for a song recorded on my iPhone. It wasn’t more than four chords and some mumbled words on a partial melody. I had recorded it only a week earlier in the artistic chaos of the living room of my host Lu Lava in Hornillos. That experience is a history by itself, but that is for another time. The second day of my stay with Antonio I finished the lyrics and we made plans to make a simple recording. You can listen to the end result at the bottom of this blog.

Antonio works for the municipality and is responsible for the sports facilities in the city. While he was working I could use his computer and internet and relax the feet. If he wasn’t working we set out to see some part of the surroundings. He took me to the top of the mountains around Lorca where you have a great view of the valleys on both sides of them. We had dinner with his parents and brother twice in the weekend, warm people and very welcoming to a guest that could only understand half of what they were saying and communicate even less in return. But the language barrier didn’t prevent the father and me to share some jokes while drinking Orojo andred wine. Antonio’s mother cooked food that reminded me that in the end, no bakery or pastry shop can ever beat home cooking. Love cannot be bought, but it is precisely the secret ingredient to any good dish, especially the traditional ones. I will not soon forget her Empanada.

On Saturday we went to the family house on the beach in Aguillas. Antonio treated me to some tapas in a place packed with Spaniards who also knew where best to go out for dinner. We had a great conversation about the dreams we have and how you can make yourself confident and capable enough to chase them. After that we met up with some of his friends and danced and drank till 4:30 in the morning. The hangover the next day made sure we didn’t forget all we had done the night before. In the afternoon I met his band at their rehearsal and through them I now have two nights secured on my way to Murcia. That is where I will meet Antonio again when he has a concert there with his band. 

My feet are ok now, so it is time for me to move on. This time my host and I both have a souvenir, because of the recording. If this all was a setback, I’ll have many please!

   I walk the line by Wijnand Boon

Did you ever have an experience where you were helped beyond the reasonable by a stranger or have you ever been that stranger? Leave a comment to share your story!

Wijnand Boon