I’m writing here by the sea in a little cafe in Abades. A lovely Italian lady runs the cafe and she calls everyone darling. This is said to be a regular bar for our divers here. Nanna, I hope you are proud of me ‘cos on a first day I found the right bus with my wobbly Spanish and I have tried to refresh my skills in every shop and cafe. Arriving here was exciting. I hopped off by the highway and head to the road that seemed to lead directly to the sea. Abades is a tiny village with sleepy atmosphere, a little corner shop, couple of bars and restaurants, two diveshops and the beach from where we are suppose to dive until we are Divemasters.
I live in a small commune with other Divemaster (DM) interns. True hostel life! Some of them are leaving, some of them have just arrived, like me. Everyone are welcoming. I share the house with one couple who arrived at the same time as me and two other girls who are halfway through and almost finished their training. The girls have been a great help with all the help how everything works around here. It’s quite idyllic place to live: all the buildings are white with red tile roofs and you can catch a climpse of the sea almost everywhere you are. Outside of the village there is an abandoned church and buildings from Francos time. According to history it was an old hospital for leprosy, where all the ill people were brought. Chilling, but kinda cool running ground. It feels like running in a war zone.
I was a bit nervous on my first day at the dive center. It has been almost two years since I have last dived. I didn’t really know what to expect. On the first day lot of information was poured onto us in a very fast pace. I was puzzled to say the least after the first day. After processing everything I have started to settle here in my ‘for now’ everyday life with training and diving. I have been here for a week now and I am proud to say I am a Rescue Diver now so progress has been made. Our normal week routine runs from Sunday to Thursday. Our days start at 9 am and usually finishes around 5pm. We don’t know our days schedule until the same day. We come in and check the notice board for days agenda. Day can include skill dives, fun dives, training sessions in or out of water, exams or studying. Usually we have from two to three dives per day. All the instructors are professional and it is engouraged to ask if anything is unclear. Dive center is runned with military style preciceness, everything must be on time and in their right places. If not, you are bound to get a strike (three strikes means early morning beach cleaning). So it’s not a dive holiday, more like serious training. There is a lot of thery to go through after “school days” so we are doing our home work as well.
But besides all the seriusness there is also a lot of fun, laughter, beachtime adventures and hanging out in a cafe bar. I have squeezed in some evening runs, and just got to know all the different diver who come all over the world: UK, Spain, Scotland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland… It is a good crew.
Now I come home for a week and then I’m due back here to continue my training. Wish me luck!
With hugs, smiles and seashells,