Beneficio Commune

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December 15th 2005
Published: December 15th 2005
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Leaving BeneficioLeaving BeneficioLeaving Beneficio

The Kombi should say it all...
Well, if for some reason I wasn't coming across as random enough for you up until now, then get a load of this!

Some American girls I met at the hostel, in passing comment mentioned that they'd met a 'friendly hippie' at the markets who invited them to come and stay at a commune up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. They didn't really know much else about it apart from the mud map this guy had drawn them, and they didn't really seem too serious about the idea. However, as if by some cosmic destiny, I had, at that particular point in time drunk too much coffee and on hearing this, decided to pour all of my caffeine-induced mania into convincing them to actually do it!

So then next thing I knew, the five of us: Bridget, Nora (I told them to marry me if they wanted to make their names cool 😊, Katie, Kat and me plus an American couchsurfer dude, Nick were all in a car driving into the sunset bound for the snow encrusted Sierra Nevada!

After a stomach-wrenching 50ks of hairpin bends and rollercoaster-like hills we arrived in a clearing at the
Heading off into the nightHeading off into the nightHeading off into the night

Little did we know...! :)
end of a dirt track that was parked full of alternative-looking motor dwellings. On asking a friendly bear-of-a-man in Pigeon Spanish if this was Beneficio, we had the bloody obvious confirmed and were told to trek another half k or so through the Eucalyptus forest until we saw a big Tipi. We were going to take a couple of bottles of wine, but were thankfully told that it was actually alcohol and drug(!!?)-free! So with ukulele and djembes in hand, we hiked up the hill to find the biggest tipi I've ever seen with smoke meandering out the top of it and music wafting out the side.

Stepping inside was like entering some Easy Rider-inspired acid trip and instantly put us all in a warm fuzzy 'peace, love and pass the mung beans' frame of mind. We were welcomed by about 30 people sitting around a cozy campfire jamming on all sorts of instruments, speaking in about 5 different languages (occasionlly at the same time) and sharing herbal tea, bread and baked potatos amongst themselves. I don't think I actually said anything to anyone, but rather just sat down as if in a daze and started playing! They went though all kinds of gypsy, flamenco, reggae and tribal african drum music and we all just kind of sat there absorbing it for the next few hours.

They told us to sleep in the tipi next to the camp fire because it was too Farking Cold to sleep anywhere else. It turned out me and Nora were the only ones smart enough to bring sleeping bags so Nick and Katie were invited to sleep in a camper-truck with a built in Pot-belly and the rest of us just had to snuggle up and keep warm. There was something strange and wonderful about going to sleep around a campfire in a tipi while listening to chilled out guitar and a couple of people speaking in hushed Spanish. Similarly, we were woken up in the morning by another guy on guitar and a little kid (similar in appearance to the Feral Kid from Mad Max!) prattling away in Spanish. I LOVE SPANISH! From this moment (well, actually quite a a few moments ago) I'm dedicating myself to learning it, so I can sound all cool and write romantic flamenco songs that nobody can understand!

After earning our keep by collecting wood and doing the dishes, we eventually headed off (I decided I probably shouldn't miss ANOTHER flight back to the UK!) and were left with the feeling of just having had some phsycadelic experience.

So next time in Spain, I know where I'm ACTUALLY going to live! (The Sacromonte cave can be my "classy condo" in the city) The commune has been there for 15 years and there are over 200 people living there! It's amazing to actually see that kind of thing still happening. Kind of makes me want to become a hippie. 😉


15th December 2005

Cool Tipis
There's a tipi at Woodford like that, but much smaller and cosier, the "chillout tipi" as it's known. It would probably comfortably five or six people before things started to get cramped. I actually kissed somebody in there... nostalgia hehe.
16th December 2005

man...maybe I should build a tipi across the road! might attract all sorts of fantastic jamming people :)
16th December 2005

Well done
The commune is the heart of the Alpujarras, the south side of Sierra Nevada. So you finally were there. But to see the most beautiful part you must get a little further than Orgiva. Well done, anyway. To know more: ;)
20th October 2006

hola soy español y me encanta ir por alli yo e conocido mucha gente buena mala pero alli es especial yo creo ke la gente ke vive alli son gente ecologista ke cuida de akello y todos teniamos ke aprender algo de ellos .
12th November 2006

Hi- I went to Beneficio this July and lived there for about 2½ weeks before moving along to Granada. The place is AMAZING. I lived in the eucalyptus forest and I absolutely fell in love. Planning to go back there June next year. Did you go to Playa De Chica? A hippie beach just by Costa del Sol (weird place to have a hippiebeach, but they succeded) Well- anyway. Thanks for sharing and thereby calming my urge to just sell all my belongings and go there now
13th October 2007

going up there today
I'm going up there today keep in touch if you ever coming back
1st November 2007

respect the land
use the shit-pits bring some musical instruments dont make fires in the random acts of kindness...and be happy ....peace and love......
4th March 2008

ola karakola como estas me sotros una ves vizitamos beneficio,oara me muj muj bjen pero poco loco, como estas najo?indio liberta?i marco com stefanie com ninos_?yo mucho pensar para todo,yo soi en rep.checo i tiengo dos ninos tambjen.como qjeres eskribejro me,astaluego,barbara i chicos
4th June 2008

sounds cool
I hope to visit Spain sometime this year . It will probabaly be in the autumn. I live in Ireland at the moment and am looking to buy a classic french camper , rebuild it and use it for long breaks. I was a businessman , but after losing first my business and then my children I have become a bit of a rebel and an ageing hippie . I love the north of Spain , but have not gone down to the south of Spain yet , so am looking forward to meeting lots of Spanish people and may visit this commune. I like Spain , the Spanish people and the Spanish women , especially the hairy Spanish hippie girls who are just great , some of the most beautiful women in the world.
23rd September 2008

Dear friends Although the stay was welcoming my computer went missing and I was wondering if it was handed in anywhere. It is an acer computer with a camera on it. Please let me know. I was there in July this year.
5th April 2009

wery good trip
i went to beneficio in january and was in there about 1 month. There is a great place to be in holydays. I recomend to all that place
22nd April 2009

id like to go there soon with my four year old daughter im thinking of cycling over with a little trailler and tent.
3rd June 2009

Planing to visit Beneficio
Hello! :D me and my friend listened about beneficio. now we are planing to go there in the next summer! Is that difficult to get inside of their camping? do you have the directions to get into there? :D

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