We left the Finca this morning with a tear and a smile. A tear, because we are really sorry to be leaving. If it wasn’t for our next commitment, we would have stayed for another month. We are surely going to miss Marion and Aldo, the animals and the Finca!

A smile, because we’ll be back in September. We decided to organise a week of yoga and Ayurveda for beginners this autumn in Andalusia. Twice even, for we want to be able to cater for as many people as possible, but we also want it to be exclusive, so no more than 8 participants per week.

Finca Rienda Suelta

Finca Rienda Suelta is located in the best part of Andalusia, and surrounded by magnificence. The landscape with the hills and the lake is beautiful in all circumstances; rain or sun, morning, afternoon or evening, it always takes your breath away. If you walk a couple of dozen meters up the path towards the big barn, you have a view of Zahara de la Sierra, one of the many lovely white villages.

Zahara

Even though we were there to work (both on the Finca and for our own projects), we managed to go site seeing once a week. Thus we visited the cities of Sevilla, Cordoba, Jerez, and the villages Algodonales, Zahara, Setenil, Grazalema, to name a few.

Horses, born and bred in Andalusia

During our first week, we both fell in love with the horses. Young Azahar stole Christophe’s heart, and Fontanera mine. We quite seriously considered buying them, but have to be realistic. Lacking both a home and a plan for the future, what are we going to do with horses?

The first couple of weeks, we somehow found the time to train almost every day with at least two of the horses. After the third week, that changed. Other activities took priority, and we had no more time to train the horses. Which is the only thing we regret of our stay. We did manage to ride out a couple of times, and that was wonderful.

Maintaining a finca with five apartments

As the tourist season progressed, we got more and more involved with the daily running of the place. And we understand very well that Marion and Aldo need workawayers, because even between the four of us, there was never a moment that all the work was finished. For there is always something to be done in the garden, and with the almost perpetual wind, you can always sweep the terrases and clean the pool.

We rapidly developed a good working relationship with Marion and Aldo, which permitted us to work independently so that Marion and Aldo could have some time off every now and then, and spend time with their son. Or just have a decent nights sleep 🙂

Hospitality

It was a great experience, welcoming guests to the Finca. With several of them, we had a really good connection. Some of them joined us for yoga in the morning.

Yoga with guests

With others, we spent several very enjoyable evenings on the terrace, sharing a meal and talking about whatever subject came up.

During our last week at Ranchilles, there was a group of six Dutch people for a short week of coaching with horses. We were in charge of several meals, the preparation of the horses for the coaching sessions, and I did a 101 introduction to horse communication with three of them one afternoon. That was a super experience for all involved. I love introducing people to horses and giving them the experience of really connecting to a horse. Horses are such sensitive beings, it never ceases to amaze me how they respond to us.

Marion and Christophe took the other half of the group, the ones who had (some) prior experience with horses, out for a ride. That too was a huge succes and fun to do.

Packing up to leave

The group left Sunday very early and we spent the last two days preparing for our departure, whilst also taking advantage of the place. Sunday morning, we went to Ronda and visited the fiesta there. It was fun and we found some nice things to offer to friends and family when next we visit them. We also and for the first time, did a siesta outdoors on the lounge chairs at the pool. Better late than never!

Sorting all our stuff and packing everything into the car was quite a challenge, but we managed wonderfully. Yesterday, by way of good bye, Marion and Aldo invited us to lunch in Zahara. We spent two very cosy hours with them and their son on the terrace of El Cortijo eating a lovely vegetarian couscous.

And now, after just over two months, we’re on our way to Gavà, in order to catch a flight to Tenerife on Thursday, for our next adventure. Still, we will miss Andalusia, and in particular the Finca with its animals and people. Thank you Marion and Aldo for you trust in us, and ultimately, your friendship. We’ll be back!

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