Looking through the keyhole – A stay at the Finca Vegana
Today is our arrival at the Finca Vegana. I am full of anticipation and excitement for the week to come and my expectations are already set high thanks to social media.
We follow Google Maps, hoping that the dirt roads will lead us to our destination. James and Amy offer us a warm greeting, leading us through the gate and show us around the extensive grounds. Walking through the gate to the finca is like walking over the threshold into another world. The rest of the world suddenly seems to disappear completely; I am surrounded by the most idyllic place on earth. Protected by trees and plants on all sides, we catch a glimpse of the large pool on the left as we continue to follow the stone path.
In front of the Casa Vegana is the community space, equipped with tables and chairs. That’s where Nina awaits us and greets us just as warmly. I immediately spot the first hammock and make a mental note in my diary. Magnetic boards at Casa Vegana inform us about the next yoga classes and dinner for the next few days. Here, we can sign in for dinner for the days we want it.
Straight ahead is the Casa Familia and further on the somewhat hidden Bajo el Bosque. On the left is our little house for the next few days – the Cabaña Robinson – directly behind it the yoga deck and the path to the river. Lenny leads the way and proudly shows us the chocolate he put on our bed – a little welcome gift for us. Picturesque, with its own terrace, the cabaña offers the perfect retreat for the hot midday, is simple and equipped with everything you need.
I am drawn to first exploring the Finca Loop, exactly 500 metres to walk from the buildings to the river and back to the pool in a big circle. I also take the opportunity to peek into the various entrances to the river. I especially like the hammock above the river. With the 36° Celcius this week, I spend a lot of time here reading, taking naps or just looking up at the green and listening to the hypnotising splashing of the water. I can cool my feet in the pleasantly cool river.
This is a place for your body and soul to become quiet – if ever I saw one.✨
The evenings are spent in company of the other guests or alone on our terrace, enjoying the delicious food that is freshly prepared for us in the Casa Familia kitchen. While we normally – as typical for Germans – have dinner earlier, we fully understand why the clocks run differently here. It is much too hot until 8 pm and the sun is still too high to think about a warm dinner. The evenings are pleasantly mild, the light stays for a long time and the outdoor seating area invites you to enjoy a glass of wine, maybe play a card game or read a book.
My rhythm soon adapts, there’s no reason to get up before 7 a.m., as the sun only slowly starts to rise. Before that, it’s dark and cold and much cosier under the covers in a warm bed. Rolling out the yoga mat is much more fun here than at home. I’m not sure if it’s because of the surroundings and the atmosphere, that I can choose the view I want – be it the pool or looking directly into nature from the yoga deck. Or maybe it is because selfcare seems to be a higher priority here than in the busy everyday life at home. Life here is definitely lived in harmony with nature.
For breakfast – also freshly prepared – we get oatmeal with fruit, delicious sourdough bread with different spreads, beautifully arranged pancakes or tofu scramble. Depending on your heart’s desire and the day of the week. We get to decide the night before. I often have the company of one of the cats, who curls up on my lap.
We soon learn that it is generally quieter during the week than at the weekend and that we are lucky enjoy this idyllic place pretty much alone. At the river, I can spend the whole day completely alone, at the pool I am switching between loungers, the Hollywood swing and the water while every now and then James appears while doing one of his many tasks – I swear, the man is busy around the grounds or cooking all day and is always in a good mood. The dogs Josie and Nala also pay us a visit from time to time or make a short trip to the river on their own to cool off. Not only a human paradise but definitely also an animal paradise!
The pool area also offers a beautiful view of the mountain village of Zahara de la Sierra, just a 10-minute-drive away. However, I have to admit that we were so immersed in finca life (i.e. doing nothing) that we didn’t even take this trip and I only caught a glimpse of the village from a distance. We did manage a day trip to Cádiz, about 90 minutes away, a very beautiful city. But again, we are looking forward to the quiet of the Finca Vegana in the afternoon.
In conclusion I can say this: If you just want to get out and really spend time with yourself, this is the place for you. As a warning (especially during the week without other guests), I can only say that the quiet surrounding you can suddenly make the commotion in your inner world a lot louder. You can’t run away from things here. It’s the perfect place to unwind, gently move & stretch your body and allow for thought to surface that otherwise get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We are definitely leaving refreshed, grateful and with new friends in our lives.
Written by Saskia Strobel