Not in Valencia Anymore

When we woke up yesterday morning, I figured we had a 50/50 shot at ever seeing our stuff again. The pack up was slap dash, and so erratic I began to wonder if the big moving company I thought I hired was really a cloned website that had scraped the real moving company’s site. Then fooled me into hiring them.

Still, we rose before dawn and got ready to greet whatever was in store for us. We couldn’t control the outcome at this point, either way.

Jeff saw this in the parking garage of the hotel as we were leaving ‘oh the movers must be staying here.’

We had arranged to meet the sellers at 8:30 and walk thru the house, barn, and land. And we learned many new things about how different it is working and living on rural land in Galicia. It turns out, walking your cow is an actual thing. And it’s a generally accepted practice that cow walkers are allowed to traverse areas on the outskirts at the boundaries of your property. To ensure safe passage from one field to another. We have actual ‘cow paths’ on our property. We shall not fence this area or we will cause offense in the neighborhood. This, apparently, is ‘normal’. We assured the sellers we would never fence, nor pave the cow path. I’m not kidding.

The sellers also had a surprise for us. They had made us a full dinner with wine, and brought it along. Complete with descafeinada coffee and milk for after. And they asked/insisted that we must take a break at 1pm and they would take us out to lunch at a local favorite restaurant. We said ‘yes’ but we weren’t sure if we would be fully unloaded by then. They assured us this would not be a problem. They must have had a crystal ball.

Then, the first moving truck arrived. Joy and relief washed over me. We had a ‘small problem’ that turned out to be kind of a bigger problem. The sellers left everything in the house. Which we had not anticipated. So now, we have two houses worth of furniture. Luckily, the barn is big. We shuffled and shuttled. The two guys in the first truck were part of the crew that moved us in Valencia. I didn’t know which of those guys was coming here so I tipped them all – even though the pack up was a fiasco. Which turned out to be a good thing. Something told me not to wit until the end. With such a long distance move I wanted to cover my bases.

These two guys were the best of the crew,, and the last to arrive at el Compartimento. They are Cuban and were good friends. They unloaded that truck in record time, then assured me, repeatedly, that the other guy was coming in another truck. We all waited. Jeff and I took a walk down the road. Here are a few pics.

The movers wandered around, too. Pointing out what can only be described as a giant rosemary tree. We learned about their families in Cuba and saw photos of their lives there. They live in Spain without their loved ones, and send money home. There are no jobs in Cuba now with Covid. The tourist economy is dried up.

The second truck arrived. The driver was from Columbia. But he moonlights as an Amazon delivery driver. He was very proud if that. Then- wonders never cease, but the stuff from our storage space was on that truck! Again, they all pitched in and unloaded the truck. We helped and they were grateful. And we showed it again with a bigger tip than before. I think they were all surprised after how Monday went. But we were just happy it reached us in one go. The second truck was a one way rental and the company flew the Amazon driver back to Valencia. The Cubans would be driving back.

With our things secure in either the house or the barn, we began to unpack. But quickly it was time for lunch. The seller and family came to get us and we all drove to a bbq place that smelled so good my mouth watered. And the food did not disappoint. Three courses, three hours, laughter, wine and dessert later. We were stuffed. And we had unloaded almost no boxes. Then they asked me if I had ever had the traditional Galician liquor. It comes in three flavors: cream, cafe, or herb. I tried to say ‘No!’. I don’t drink much these days, but they insisted it ‘is very good for your heart. Don’t worry, Kelli. People say this all the time.’

So the liquor was served. Jeff declined as he was driving.

Holy Moly! It was sweet at the start but had the kick of a donkey as a finish. My face twisted into a knot and my eyes spun like a slot machine. Jeff laughed so hard he was purple, for the first time since Sunday. I’m pretty sure whatever diseases I might possess have been eradicated in one go. Who needs a vaccine?

Finally, it was time to go home. We needed a nap but we had a long day ahead of unpacking. Try deciphering Cuban Spanish written in scribble on cardboard boxes. We gave up and started opening the nearest ones and moving them where they needed to go. I found out I’m not 25, or even 35 anymore.

The head mover had put our bed together so we were ready to fall into bed when the time came. With aching backs and happy smiles. We slept like rocks. As my new friend, Martina (the seller’s daughter-in-law) told me when trying to convince us to take a 3+hour lunch on move-in day, ‘You have years to move into that house. Come have lunch with us!’ Good advice for life. Todays is a day for Advil and taking it slow.

15 thoughts on “Not in Valencia Anymore

  • Yay! Everything made it!! And look at all of that LUSH green! 💚💚 Beautiful! The only surprise in reading this is that you haven’t ever had Licór Café!! That’s the best of the 3, according to me. Skip the Hierbas … or try it and see if your eyes do the slot machine thing again 😂🤣😂. Congratulations! Parabéns!

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  • I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog a few weeks (months? who knows anymore). I live in eastern WA but was born in Galicia and most of my maternal family still live there. Your writing and perspectives are entertaining and enlightening. I’ve known about the camino my whole life (my parents were married in the cathedral) and was supposed to have gone last May.
    Congratulations on your move to one of the best places on earth!

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  • I read your post just after viewing pilgrim friend’s reservation for night #1 at Orisson in late September. All of us pilgrims have a smile in our hearts seeing those camino signs. I’m so happy for you two although my back kind of ached just thinking of the pain you two will be feeling. What a joyous beginning.

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  • We have the same walking rules in the UK, but for people not cows. Farmers and landowners have to maintain the footpaths and they cannot be closed or moved, ever! Take your time to unpack, you have plenty of that, and enjoy your new home. ❤️

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  • Welcome to your new home! What an exciting adventure with the movers and so.
    Take your time to arrive and unpack. Rome was not built in one day neither…
    All the best!

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  • So glad to hear the move ended on a high note. I smiled when I saw the Camino signs!! I didn’t know that you were moving near the trail. I walked a part in 2017, and can’t wait to return one day. Please tell us what you are planning with the farm? Will it be an albergue?

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