This week we welcomed Peter and Ann who were visiting us from the other side of the Pyrenees (Around Toulouse). Although they made a short stop on their way to Tarragona we enjoyed their stay.
I helped Peter find a calm/wild camping spot to spend the night after we had a joyful evening with steaks, wine and lots of laughter (and serious conversation).
The next day we showed them the Village and took them to the lake at the bottom of the mountain.
🔗The first hike - Lost Robbert 😳
In addition to getting back to work, now that the internet is finally working, we wanted to make it feel like a holiday spending time by doing fun activities and spending family time with the kids.
The first thing we want to do is get familiar with the mountain we're on and its surrounding area. On one of those walks, Marcel convinced the neighbour's dog 'Rudy' to join us on our walk taking us to the local peak of our maintain enjoying a nice pick-nick with a beautiful view.
I promised Robbert we'd be on time for an important online tournament he was following which turned out not to be the best idea. Because of the heat, we were going much slower than anticipated and time was running out for Robbert to make it to his game.
As the walk was following a single path, and Robbert (12 years old) guaranteed me he knew the way back, we allowed him to take a (2km?) hike back ensuring he'd be home on time. After we finished pick-nicking and took our time to get back to the house, we discovered Robbert wasn't home yet. 😟
People in the village came to help us find him (they must think we're dumb city people) and I took the chance to test out how well my off-road pick-up driving skills were. I drove up to the top of the mountain we hiked and found Robbert in a slight panic but not eaten by bears yet :)
On the car ride back he did tell me that he was worried because I told him:
If you get lost on that side of the Pyrennees you can walk for days and not find a single house. People have died getting lost.
I was just trying to make them cautious when they explore the woods. Remember your way back to the house!
So we've been getting family Catalan lessons every second day. We found a great teacher from the village that has an awesome way of teaching us starting with the essential basics for small talk/beginner conversation. It must be hard teaching such a diverse (age-wise) group of students but she's nailing it.
Progress is slow but steady. Annelies and Robbert are the best students in the class and making impressive progress while Marcel is having a hard time being focused for anything more than 15 minutes.
The nice thing about this side of the Pyrennees is the availability of water. Lakes, rivers and small ponds. So many places to spend a day in nature while the kids are playing in the water. Someone from the village gave us some tips on the most beautiful spots and on the first attempt, we hit a home run.
We found this awesome place next to the river. It was surrounded by high cliffs, the water temperature was amazing and all throughout the river there were big rocks the kids could play with.
Later that week we found two closeby swimming pools that are awesome: not too many tourists, a nice bar/friendly people and not too expensive. Sadly those swimming pools are closing up at the beginning of September.
Robbert and Lucie wanted to learn how to dive. I tried to explain them my own way but that came with a lot of frustration hitting the water time after time. Youtube to the rescue.
After watching the video in the swimming pool bar the kids were eager to get this over within 6 minutes. Turned out it wasn't as straightforward as advertised where the biggest challenge was getting over the fear of going head-first.
Within 30 minutes Robbert had evolved to diving standing up while both Marcel and Lucie were trying to catch up. I think if we practice for a few more days they'll all get it :-)
As we took out two floors from the old house we had so many old wood beams that were previously supporting the floor. It was time to take out the chainsaw and turn them into firewood for the next winter.
Enjoy the timelapse.
Notice how the chickens are not afraid of a running chainsaw and are fighting to eat the first worms/insects when picking up the last beams of wood.