At the Hippies in Beneficio
The night was quite and relaxing. :) The fisherman, which was fishing around the corner, was still there in the morning. The bushes around us protected us a while against the sun. So we could sleep a bit longer… but Julia doesn’t bother about the sun in the morning anyway. I do.
We packed our stuff, after we got up. Our target was Beneficio. The Hippie village which was not in any map. We had an approx direction. In the village Orgiva we had to turn in direction Bubion and after to Cannar.
We found it so far. But then, they said, we have to take a turn to the parking of Beneficio. The road sidled up the mountain. After a while we reached a viewing point and we stopped, to have a look and saw in they valley some strange houses and a way. If this could be it? We turned around and tried our luck. And really was it the way to the parking of Beneficio. In Orgiva we saw already some Hippies (easy to recognize :) ). Direct in front of the parking we met 2 people, which confirmed that after the next rock will be the parking place and that we are right here. So, we drove further and saw straight the parking.
Well, ‘parking place’ are maybe to nice words for that. It was a dirty place. Everywhere dirt and rubbish. A few caravans and self-made houses. We was at the right place. We was reading before in the internet that it is not save on the parking for the cars. People are stealing. So we didn’t wanted to leave the Kangaroo uncontrolled.
We decided finally at least to have a quick look together in the village. It is located a few minutes by walking, in the forest. We started and after 10 minutes by feet we reached the main tipi.
The people here was watching us and we probably looked even more curious.
We got a bit closer and Hatidscha welcomed us and invited us in the ‘living room’.
We had to leave our shoes outside of the tent, of course. In the middle was a big fire place, in which was 2 big pieces of wood burning. Around the fire place was some carpets. The tent was so smoky that you could cure a ham within a short time.
Julia had a chat with Hatidscha and I was listening a bit and had a look around. Hatidscha was probably end of 50 and comes from Marokko. She spoke French and we guessed that she is from France. I had a very strange impression of her… I guess she was a bit (more) gaga. There was 2 more men in the tent. The chief and another one, which was just chilling around. They spoke just French and Spanish, as far as I could understand it.
We had to leave the tent after a few minutes. Our eyes was burning and we smelled like smoked meat already. We said Good Bye and continued to explore the village.
Further up the hill, deeper into the forest. Then we saw an advertising from a bakery… painted on a piece of wood. That is something we didn’t wanted to miss. We crossed the small river on a self-made bridge and came closer to the next house, in which we expected the bakery. We got welcomed from a big, wild balking dog. But nobody else seemed to be at home. The dog seemed to be a good strong dog… so we decided not to come closer and to turn around (it was anyway nobody at home).
We went back and continued to follow the path. Passing huts and many different building styles and made of different materials.
They used everything. Stones, wood, plastic… everything which was available. Some looked better and others really bad. The last house was, for me, the most impressive. A round stone house, which looked solid. An addition to it was painted purple wood. The house had the biggest property, which I saw there. Direct at the river. In the garden was hammocks hanging, flowers was planted and it looked at all very cozy. That would have been something for me :)
We heard the owner was Baba, which is here the spiritual guy. And like that it looked somehow… spiritual. The way is splitting here into 2 even smaller trails. We guessed that this is the end of the village and went back to the parking.
We saw everything basically and wanted to leave again. I wasn’t impressed from this first impression (especially with meeting the people at the main tent). Julia thought the same and was also ready to leave again.But we decided to wait for the 2 people, which we met at the beginning, before we reached the parking. We liked this both somehow a lot already and wanted at least to have a chat with them.
They wanted to walk to Orgiva, that is what they told us. It’s a little long walk. We heard that today is market day in Orgiva and that most of the people of Beneficio are in Orgiva today. That’s why we didn’t saw many people in the village.
We made everything ready for chilling on the parking.Took our chairs out. I had finally time again to read my book, which I bought at the beginning of our trip. From time to time was some people passing us, which came back from Orgiva. Everybody was friendly greeting with ‘Ola’ or ‘Hello’.
Almost all people here have a rasta hairstyle. But from all other aspects are the people very different here. Some skinny like hell, others normal (no big). Men, woman and children. All kind of ages.
But it strikes me also that many people here look dirty. That is not so nice and a bit … deter
Some came by feet back from Orgiva, others with the car (which was packed and old).Somewhen, after hours, came also our friends back. They was walking. We intercepted them straight away and started straight a chat :)
They was very likeable for us. They was not dirty, clear in their mind and we liked them (sounds strange, but it is like that :) ). They said that they are just 4 days here in Beneficio. They are traveling with a camper.
Nice camper. A Peugeot J5. 20 years old, but nice. Bedroom, bath, kitchen and living area. Well, a normal camper. In which they are also living in Beneficio, till now at least. He is Spanish and she from UK. Unfortunately I forgot always their names. Julia as well :( We was talking a longer time and decided then that we just park next to each other and that we stay over night on the parking place. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about the Kangaroo. And we could talk today a bit with out new neighbors. We did it exactly like that.
We converted our little camper as well and continued our chat with our friends.
Another guy joined us and also his name I forgot. But we baptized him later Einstein. Because he had already, for his young age, many grey hair and even looked a bit like Einstein. He was also German, from Berlin. Einstein was living since 4 weeks already here in the village. He have a tent near the waterfall. The both guys was playing a round chess and Julia was socializing with a girl from the other car.
Later we had all together a chat and around midnight we went to bed.
The big advantage to park in a valley is that the sun is not shining straight away on the car in the morning. I could finally sleep relaxed until I woke up by myself, not because it is hot like hell. That was great!
I don’t know exactly when we got up… around 11. We started very relaxed in the day. Till suddenly a Police car stopped in front of our car. Julia was still in the bed and I was sitting next to our car on a chair and reading my book again. The was pointing on the camper next to us (from our friends) and asked if it is my car. I would have likely answered ‘Yes, I like to sit beside another car! ^^” … But said instead just ‘No’. Then came our friend already and they started to talk in Spanish. After they finished the Police drove slowly to the end of the parking space.
We asked our friend what it was. He said that the Policemen said that it is forbidden to camp here and anyway it is not allowed to stay here, because it is a national park.
The Policemen came back and wanted our personal data and they made pictures of our car. They said if we are still here next time they come we will have to pay a fine.
That didn’t sounded very nice. Especially that nobody know when they will come next time. And it would have been stupid to ask it.
In the meantime a few people from Beneficio arrived as well on the scene. A big chat and discussion started. Generally they are right, but just half. It is allowed to park there, but just on one side of the road. Because the border of the national park is exactly on the road. It looks like the police dramatized the fact a bit to get the people away there. And the people there can’t prove their fact, because of lack of money.
They said more interesting facts, which would be to much for here.
But they said as well that the Police comes every 1-2 weeks. That calmed a bit our worries. But we was anyway thinking to leave. Because a fine of 300 Euro would be very bad for our travel budget.
It was just noon and we didn’t thought that the police will come back straight away. So we decided to stay at least until the evening. Also I could say that we are just visiting the national park and that I am photographer and nature friend. :)We wanted again in the village. To the bakery and I wanted to had a shower under the waterfall. Never done it to take a shower under a waterfall :)
So, back to the bakery with the big dog. Today was someone there. Our both neighbors was there already and some other people. The big dog was more or less lovely today and just snarled short, when we arrived. Later he even loved to get stroked. :) Even the horse war there.
Earlier, on the parking place, came someone with a horse. On the horse was a beautiful woman riding. It looked amazing. She was wearing a white dress. Looked liked in a story. And the horse belongs to here. The bakery son is the owner and the girl, which was riding on it, is his girlfriend.
But there is no bread today. He could only offer us a goat cheese. 5 Euro per piece. That is a lot. But the fact that it is handmade and from Beneficio… I bought one. Better leaving 5 Euro here then anywhere else. (And as we found out was the cheese a dream of a cheese!)
We had then a longer what with Peter, his name. A very interesting person. His parents are separated. His father came 8 years ago, from Slovenia, to Beneficio. Originally was he Sheppard. But here he was raising his own small farm and is baking now and makes cheese and is selling eggs. The eggs come from his approx. 30 chicken, which live here. He is buying the milk for his cheese. Beside the chicken he have also 2 geese and 5 … something, 1 dog and cats.
Peter came 6 years ago and was living until a few month ago in the village. Now he is living close in his own thing (don’t know if flat or house). He couldn’t stay in Beneficio with the horse, he said. And it sounded like he have ene more animals.
Then he was showing us his old house in the village, which is on the same area then the one from his father. A round cottage, made of bales of straw. Inside plastered with cast. The diameter is approx. 6-8 Meter. Inside a kitchen, corner to sit, stove and a bed in a drop ceiling. Everything in the house are things he found. The building costs for the whole house are 500 Euro, he said. The rest came from the forest or things which other people was throwing away.
The house looked dirty. Things which people through away… No proper building materials. No construction which makes it easy to keep it clean. Everywhere can (and is) be dirt and dust.
But as longer we was in the shack and as longer Peter was talking about it (and himself) as more cozy it became. This shack has a soul. It was stable and it was visible that it was build with love. With things which was available.
He told us also that he is living as less as possible from the society. Meat and fish he is hunting by himself. He is eating what he was killing. I like it.
After the long conversation with Peter we went further. To the other bakery, to try if we get bread there. Here is a woman baking. We saw here already on the parking. Stefania, a thin Italian lady around 40. Stefania is living already 16 years in Beneficio and is earning her money with bread and making pipes out of ceramic.
She was just outside the house and we was asking her if she made bread today. She said it is just in the oven and it will be ready in one hour. Great.
The hour we spend down on the parking again. I was still thinking about the shower in the waterfall. If I really should do it… naked and without shower gel. :)
After one hour we went back up. The bread wasn’t ready yet. We went with her into her kitchen and was talking a bit more with her. She said that she is living already 16 years there. She have 2 children. 6 and 10. Both grown up in Beneficio. But they went to the school in the neighbor village. Then there was problems with it.
Her house is also very interesting. The many tools on the one wall got my attention first. The sleeping places looks like small caves. Of course a kitchen with an oven, to make the bread.
Then was our bread ready. She apologized and went in front of the door. Then we could hear a loud yell… I couldn’t understand what she was screaming, but the whole village must have heard her voice. Bread is ready… :DWe remembered that we still wanted to go to take a shower. So we left our bread with Stefania and went for a shower. The waterfall was a bit more up the valley. Actually it is not really a real waterfall. Here is an approx. 10 meter high wall, where the water flows over. But the wall is angular, so the water hits the wall already a few meter down again.
I was the first one. Dropping the clothes and then slowly stepping forwards, with the flip-flops. Because of the falling water I couldn’t see what is in front of me in the water. But it was ok… no deep whole or something bad in the water.
The water was a bit… fresh :)
I made it quick. Shower gel or Shampoo is not allowed of course. Logical.
It was an interesting experience. Would do it again :) And I was – more or less – showered.
After the shower we was passing the spring. The Stefania was asking if we can bring her water from the spring. The drinkable water comes here from this spring, direct out of the stone. Impressive. A mini cove in the rock, from where the water comes out. In front is a small reservoir, in which the water gets collected and from which it flows in a big reservoir (which is used also for a bath… and in which swim even gold fishes). On the overflow from the small to the big reservoir is it easily possible to catch the water in bottles. There I was filling the bottle from the baker woman.
Back she was happy about the water and we about the bread :)There was news already again, when we came back to the car. Seem like here are always news. Unfortunately not good ones. Gandalf, the dog of our new friends got bitten from another dog. There are a lot of dogs around. Also many stray dogs. Gandalf is a beautiful dog. He had some smaller wounds around the eye. That was not good and the both wanted to park their camper somewhere else on the parking, to be further away from the other dogs.We was thinking what we will do. To leave straight away. Who knows when the Police will come again. It was already 7pm again and we didn’t expected the Police to come anymore this evening. Tomorrow morning maybe…
We decided finally to park again next to the other both and to stay until next morning and then to leave early. And that is how we did it. We was parking at the beginning of the parking space. It was quite here. Not many other cars was parking so far away from the entrance to Beneficio.We made the car ready and went soon to sleep.
The night was ending again with my alarm clock. In the night was someone else parking next to our car. The other both also just got up, when a left the car.
In the car next to us, I thought it is empty, was also movement suddenly on the back seat.
Also the Germans on the other side seem to wake up. Someone was looking through the curtain. But it seemed like they needed more sleep :)Even our small cat came, to say Good Bye. Julia invited her even to come into the car, to cuddle.
Then we packed slowly our stuff and said Good Bye to our friends. This Good Bye was the first on this trip which made me a bit sad. I liked this both very much. At least we shared our email addresses and Facebook.
Then we started to go back on the road, without any other meeting with the Police.The street down to Orgiva again and this time to the south. On snaky roads (again) through the hills… till we passed a dam. We stopped to make some pictures.
Then further on the freeway to Gibraltar. We left the freeway at San Roque and had to continue on a normal road till La Linea de la Conception. Here is the border to Gibraltar.
Unfortunately didn’t told me Inge that I have to turn soon and to change the lane. Later wasn’t it possible anymore to change the lane and I had to make a big round… which didn’t happen anymore. Because on our was a Mc Donalds…
Yes, we stopped and got stuck there again. We could see from the parking the rock of Gibraltar already. But we got the permission to stay on the parking of Mc Donalds over night… what we did. I needed to write a bit again.
in 2013…this place was still ok …now it sucks a lot…have to be nuts to camp there or even stay few nights with a tent into the village…summer or not.
Thank you for your comment. What has changed since then, that it sucks so much? Have you been there recently?