Travels in Asturias: Villamayor

If you’ve been waiting for an exclusive Asturias, Spain living post (better than me pontificating on life, which is exciting to me and hopefully informative to you) this one is the first. Today Jesse and I accompanied our yoga/Quigong teacher on a hike into the heart of Asturias to a place called Villamayor. You can see by the pictures, it is a stunning place of beauty. You may also be asking yourself, your yoga/Quigong teacher? That doesn’t sound like you, and it doesn’t. But I wanted to meet people, and do fun stuff, and so how did I get to have a yoga/Quigong teacher?

If you check out Jesse’s blog or you know her, you may know she is a yoga teacher who went through yoga certification training and was just getting started teaching classes when Covid hit. She continued doing zoom classes but it was not the same, until unfortunately, the studio she worked at closed. I have done some yoga with her in the past, but I am not very stretchy and don’t like to hold poses. Jesse does give me good stretching tips, which I need because we walk a lot in Gijón and I get sore thighs and calves, and the stretches and poses she has taught me is extremely helpful in alleviating these pains.

In Los Angeles we avoided meetup groups and really, making friends, because we worked a lot. I attained enough social acquaintances through work happy hours to quench the need of human interaction. Then, on our weekends, well, we wanted to spend those together exploring Los Angeles, and I also had a foster youth I spent time with every two weeks, so that filled my weekends. But here in Gijón, we have no jobs, and not much else to do but study Spanish, eat good food, and explore the area. But that also means limited contact with other people, and with Covid restrictions preventing us from sitting at bars, this means that we aren’t meeting any new people, much less friends.

So I downloaded the Meetup app while we sat at a cafe a couple weeks ago while we drank beers and snacked on olives and patatas fritas. There was not much on there in our area, but there was a yoga class, that I suggested Jesse attend. She did and met our teacher in a park named for Isabella de Catolica. Here’s a picture of Isabella’s statue below, which I have not edited. Kinda eerie, right?

Anyway, Jesse enjoyed the class, and I met the teacher, Adelaida, who has a really positive energy about her. She is a mediation teacher in Gijón who has done extensive world traveling and training all over the world. She teaches two classes, one for yoga and the other for Quigong, and we decided to do them both. We really enjoyed both classes and she also does weekend hiking excursions around Asturias. So we said we would attend, and she picked us up, and off we went to Villamayor. This was our first experiences driving through the countryside of Asturias, and one of the things that drew us to the area was the natural beauty, but as we have been enjoying our time exploring Gijón and eating and drinking, we have not explored the countryside. Today was the first day we did.

We walked up the trail, took wonderful pictures as you can see, stopped and did some Quigong, trying to become more in tune with nature. I am a work in process, as we all are, but I really liked being able to just sit and feel the breeze and the grass under my feet and think. Not necessarily about my life and its ups and downs, but nature, and how I exist within it and interact with it. We walked a total of eight miles, ran into a goat herder and his goats, large Iberian cows wandering around, horses and even a pony, while we walked and talked. We found a cave where I mistook goat droppings for blueberries (they really did look like them, and I did not eat one, but did touch one, and thanks to Covid at least had hand sanitizer in our backpack).

We finished our hike, eating lunch and then doing some more Quigong, where the time just fell away, and forty minutes of sitting in place, back straight, eyes closed, thinking about nature, self-love and the world around me, felt like no time at all passed. After we drove back to Gijón, my mind still in a daze, taking in the countryside while contemplating my last few days. Sometimes I feel like I am alone in the world, and to be around people and nature and realize those things are there, are always there, but sometimes I get so caught up in other things, or feelings, or life, that I forget them, and know that I will try not to.

Published by Phil Barrington

Currently living in Spain, Accountant by Day, Writer by Night. Lover of baseball, travel ,and spreadsheets. Check out my blog:

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