I could go on for hours and bore you rigid with all the details, but won't. In short (well, relatively short):
My sixth Vaughan Town (my third at beautiful Gredos) turned out to be as close to perfect as I can imagine. With the exception of the crappy veggie food (really, overcooked spaghetti with watered down tomato ketchup 3 times in one week?), which I was expecting anyway, everything else was fantastic.
The Anglos bonded really fast, in some cases within minutes of meeting for the first time at the tapas night (eh, Kim?!).
The Spaniards were an astonishingly lovely group - a pretty good starting level of English which probably helped but really just the best people. As usual, there was a good mix of ages, genders (well, OK, there are only 2 but....!), occupations, interests and talents.
Over the course of the week, I had silly, deep, ridiculous, interesting, moving, honest, educational and indescribable (or at least unrepeatable) conversations.
The group activities and entertainment hours were filled with laughs, audience participation and occasional bafflement. I enjoyed being in my own (tweaked!) murder mystery but the less said about my part in the dead parrot sketch, the better!
Queimada and karaoke night was fun, though as usual by the time karaoke really got going and people were getting enthusiastic, it was nearly time for it to be over! Too much time spent fighting over the 2 songbooks, trying to read them in the dark, deciding who to sing with and supping the requisite amount of Dutch courage!!
Party night rocked. Probably the first time I've known absolutely everyone stay til the end and of course, still not want to stop! The bleary eyes and sheepish looks the next morning indicated that not everyone did stop!
As ever, Friday rolled around far too fast and before we knew it, we were packing up, doing group photos and heading off for the certificate ceremony. Several of us were swallowing back tears before it even started, but by the end (despite the VERY inappropriate interruption of Dade's moving sentiment), open sobbing was the order of the day.
The palpable sense of achievement, accomplishment and friendship in the room is something I've never experienced anywhere else. That, along with the ludicrous amount of fun to be had, is what keeps me coming back. Time to look at dates for my next one, I reckon!
Here are my photos, though they're few and far between as I was generally having far too much fun to think about my camera: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/emsr2d2/GredosAug09?authkey=Gv1sRgCOv-rdqH1d-wHQ&feat=directlink