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El Vicino

In May we went to 'our' village to show it to the parents of Maaike. So we drove there and after a half our drive with a lot of corners we were a bit drowsy getting out of the car. And there stood a friendly man in blue overalls.  He seemed Spanish we asked Maaike to talk to him. But she did not know what to say. So we looked at each other for a couple of minutes. 

Then he started to tell that the village is empty which we agreed upon off course. He also told that the village was being bought by some people. Maaike asked if she should reply and we said yes please do.

After telling the we are the mysterious people we are buying the village he started to tell a lot of stories.

His name is Gerardo. He was born in the village and now lives in Burgos and in the summer in Abajas. 

He knew about the buy because he owns a parcel of land and did not want to sell. He want to keep it for income and only wants to rent it out. So we talked about that for a bit and as we were interested in keeping in contact Tibor asked for his email address. Easy to keep in contact.

But to our astonishment he did not have one. As he explained he had difficulties reading and writing so could not make use of it. A phone was also not what he used so he replied I will meet you here, you will find me. 

He took us the south part of the village and explained he owned a house there, and then said goodbye.

We showed the village to the parents of Maaike. When we passed Gerardo again as he was working on his vegetable garden he came to us again and showed his the house he was born in. He warned for snakes, showed his part of land, then showed to church and left us again.

When we were almost done with our parents tour we set next to the river and there he was again. Telling more stories of when he was young he could catch fish with his bare hands. And that the water is now more polluted but he knew a place where you could drink water from a clean stream.

All in all this was a real nice meetup. We hope to meet him more so he can show us the stream and maybe some old photos. We probably will find hem next time we are there, our first neighbor!


  1. Wat a nice story and vecino! Hopefully in every abandoned town in Spain there will be a Gerardo, waiting for the resistance to come to revive the town.


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