Recently I’ve spent most nights camped up on the edge of a beach somewhere along the South coast of Spain. The entire coast is dotted with great spots where, at least at this time of the year, you can simply park up and spend a few nights of bliss. That’s not to say I haven’t been working too!! but more on that later.
Just to spoil the image that everywhere I go is beautiful, I’ll share with you the fact that I am currently parked up in an ugly parking lot next to a busy road. We stopped here to empty our dirty water and fill up with the fresh stuff, but in general I can’t complain, life is good.
Before we came here we stayed a few nights in a small town called Salobreña. A peaceful place, it was the ideal spot to finally put the finishing touches to my first ebook. It was while doing this and half watching the sun go down out the corner of my eye when I heard the unmistakable sound of a shepherd herding goats. The difference this time was the sound from the bells that the goats wear seemed to be coming from the beach. I had to go and check this out! I grabbed my camera and ran out to investigate.
This is when I first saw Paco, an elderly shepherd, leading some 200 goats from one grazing spot to another via the beach. I caught up with him whilst trying my best to move quickly through the sand in a way not scare the goats or Paco himself.
The light was quickly fading and I knew the moment would be gone soon so I asked straight away if he minded me taking photos. He was more than happy to let me shoot away. He was so natural too, not for one moment did he look even the slightest bit uncomfortable, perhaps I wasn’t the first photographer to approach him like this. We headed off the beach and up a track to who knows where.
So we walked and talked and one thing I realised was just how genuine this man was. He lead a simple life but worked hard, milking the goats in the morning and then grazing them in the afternoon until the sunset, 7 days a week. I love meeting people like Paco, people who have enough to live and be happy but don’t suffer from the burning urges of consumerism. They simply go about their work, not hurting anyone, helping out their families and neighbours in times of trouble but not yearning for more, not wanting bigger and better things, just content with what they have. I wish there were more people in the world like him.
He was generous with his time and knowledge and I hope to go back to see him soon and take a few prints with me.
A few more photos