Dream Or Reality?
A cockerel crows on one side of the valley, a dog barks in reply from the other.
You open your eyes.
Distant mountains shimmer in the haze. Green hills tumble down towards the winding river, clothed with Eucalyptus trees and green grass. Bamboo lines the waters edge.
A small boat floats past loaded with a red sofa, soon after, another, this one with a large pot plant sitting in the stern.
A windmill straight out of Don Quixote, sits lazily on a hill above you, its bare wooden arms motionless in the still, warm air.
A tiny bird with a red head lands close by, it turns its head to look at you, then starts warbling as if you understand its musical language.
A man sits, eyes closed, tapping lightly on a Bodhrán whilst another strums a painted guitar and sings quietly of Cornish tin mines.
A ferry goes backwards and forwards in time. Clanging church bells ring different hours in competition. You don’t know which is right.
A huge fort floats in the evening sky, the setting sun reflecting orange off its whitewashed walls.
You drift powerlessly between two countries over and over again. You’re a citizen of neither.
The sound of gurgling water and chirping cicadas lull you back towards sleep as you stare at a universe of bright stars and planets floating in the clear dark sky above.
The ‘real’ world is a fast fading memory.
Is this a dream? No.
The sights and sounds are real. They’re a taste of what we’re experiencing during our first days here on the Guadiana river.
Over the coming weeks I’ll make some attempt to describe them in more detail. It won’t be easy.
One year ago today we reached our first port of call after leaving Falmouth. It was Braye Harbour on the island of Alderney.
We’re 1000 miles and a world away from there now, we’re the same people but different, we’re happier, healthier, and more alive.
And we’ve only just begun our journey.
Dream or reality?