About disinfectant, gloves and wine...
Updated: Mar 28
It has been 12 days since the start of the lock down in Spain due to Covid-19.
Along with most people, we are spending our time in the confinement of our home, in the company of the kids and our dog Bella (YAY!).
As most of you know, walking the dog and going to the supermarket are just about the only things we are allowed to go out for, 1 person at the time.
Some days it feels like we are all stuck in some strange, futuristic movie. I mean, the simplest of things have become a whole undertaking, take going to the supermarket for instance:
*Don't buy too little cause you don't want to go too often, don't buy too much cause people will think you're hoarding. (We are 2 adults, 2 teens and a dog. I do my mom's (+cat) shopping as well but I still feel selfish for filling up my trolley).
*Wear gloves at all times! Make sure you have your hand sanitizer with you in the car!
When you get to the supermarket, look around if the coast is clear, get out of your car, stand in line (at a safe distance) until the guard lets you in.
Worry about not having a mask, because everyone else seems to have one!
*I have a little conversation with myself about where to get a mouth mask and briefly consider knitting one.
Try to not come too close to anyone, to not infect or be infected.
Buy only what you really need!!! Ooooh! Look! Chocolate! Yum!
(Quickly grab those two last bottles of your favourite wine before anyone else does!)
Pay with card, get in your car, disinfect your hands, the steering wheel etc., drive home (keep your ticket in case the Guardía civil pulls you over!).
When you get home, put your clothes in a bag, disinfect your credit card, phone, etc., unpack, disinfect again, wash clothes, shower. And above all! Don't be paranoid! Keep calm and just be thankful for the extra time you can spend with your family!! ; )
*which I am. Just not so sure if my 2 teenagers feel the same being locked up with loads of homework and being forced to play monopoly and other 'boring' games. : ))
All jokes aside, even if Corona temporarily puts life (and work) on hold, we are fortunate enough to live in a beautiful country, we are in good health, and we hope the same for all of you!
Everyone understands the urgency and necessity of the situation. Staying safe, protecting the vulnerable and staying home is the only option for now. We keep ourselves busy with all kinds of things, from ironing (which is something I can now unfortunately no longer postpone till infinitely) to schoolwork, yoga, TV (Thank God for Netflix!), board games, reading, and fighting over who´s turn it is to walk the dog.
We are lucky to live in a small village where we still get to wake up to nature, and amazing views every day. We have a terrace so when the weather finally gets better we can sit outside. My daughter and I can't wait to do yoga on the terrace, we don't have a lot of space inside and are knocking each other over trying to stretch sideways.
Bella seems to understand that right now, we can't go for our usual long walks trough the mountains and she sticks to her imaginary quarantine line.
In spite of realising that this lock down is necessary for everyone and that it is the only thing to be done right now, we do fear for our business at times.
As we had anticipated we had a difficult start, tourism is almost non existent in this part of Spain in winter. We did have some tours from the beginning, each and every one with wonderful guests, and month by month things slowly started to look up. As tourism hadn't really started yet we mainly did trips with people living here, partly or permanently.
We travelled over the Alpujarra mountains to Sierra Nevada, enjoying amazing landscapes, almond trees in bloom, natural splendor and beautiful white villages.
Together with our clients we discovered the second biggest geode in the world, and the biggest one that can actually be visited. The geode of Pulpí is an amazing natural phenomena in our own Almería province, a mineral geode measuring 8 metres length times 2 metres height fully covered in huge gypsum crystals.
We took people to one of our favourite parts of Almería province, the UNESCO protected biosphere reserve Cabo de Gata on both our Cabo de Gata and our Highlights of Almería tour. Such wonderful tours for us to guide, as this part of Almería has so many hidden treasures that it is almost impossible for people not to love it.
We were fortunate enough to visit these and other amazing parts of Almería, Malaga and Granada. We met wonderful people who gave us support, positive feedback and the confidence that we had made the right choice in starting our company.
Some of the reviews that warmed our hearts:
A few days before our planned Granada tour, the Covid 19 crisis got a lot worse very quickly in Spain. We had to cancel, for the safety of our clients and the safety of the most vulnerable in our society. Two days later we were in quarantine. What was supposed to be the beginning of our busiest period got reduced to nothing. For a small starting business something like this can be disastrous, but it doesn't have to be.
We don't know how long Spain will be in lock down, what exactly the effect of all this will be on tourism and the country, and what the future will bring for us.
We do know that we are not alone in this, people stand together and support each other now more than ever. The people who most deserve it and who are often taken for granted, doctors, nurses, police, cleaners etc. are now honoured and recognised. The world takes a deep breath.
As for us, we can not wait to show you around our beloved Almería again. Helping people discover the many extraordinary things this part of Andalucía has to offer. That is what makes ours the best job in the world. There are so many amazing things to explore in this part of Spain, so many hidden gems and undiscovered corners. When all this is over, they will still be there, so will we, and we hope from the bottom of our hearts, so will you.
In the meantime we will keep on perfecting our tours, investigating, brainstorming, dreaming...and be as ready as we can be to offer you your ideal tailor made private tour, as soon as it is safe for you to go out and enjoy the world again.
We believe, and many with us, we can overcome this, Spain will overcome this, and will flourish again.
Stay positive. Stay healthy. Stay save.
Els and Morné