Sandals by ÇAPLAIT. Each pair of shoes, designed in Britain, is brought to life at the fingertips of artisans in Pakistan. They carefully handcraft each pair; elevating the traditional shoe to a newly luxurious level.
Tunic by D´TALHES , designed and made in an artisanal, ethical and socially responsible manner with ecological raw materials (55% linen and 45% cotton). It is a unique limited edition garment for a slow lifestyle.
Gorafe is an unknown, isolated and depopulated desert in the Granada mountains (Andalusia, Spain) where, with any luck, you’ll be able to meet some of the area’s shepherds. There, in the middle of nowhere, we spent the night in a glass house, The Desert House, which allows us to experience what it is to live isolated and literally sleep surrounded by stars.
The experience of sleeping in the middle of nowhere in a glass capsule is unique. The only things that move are Esparto plants. Everything else is as still as a canvas. “Esparto was the inhabitants’ livelihood until plastic appeared” – says the guide – “today, the local artisans only use the occasional bush”. The inhabitants lived form esparto until plastic appeared. Now it’s only used by a few artisans in the area and the esparto grows wildly without being picked. In addition to esparto, there are almond and wheat plantations in the area, as it’s perfect for pastures.
Traveling to the Dessert House is a journey through time. With a star-shaped floor, the crystals manage to isolate the heat and cold outside even though you are in an extreme climate, as it imitates the natural temperature inside the area’s cave-houses, excavated in the mountains, which have a constant 20º temperature all year. The caves are typical of the area, ever since Prehistoric times. Today they have become rural hotels and give life to the town of Gorafe. The area is also known for its paleontological history, natural baths and megalithic routes.
The views from the glass house are stunning. On one side, is the Gor River; on the other, the Sierra de Los Coloraos, a red stone mountain range known as the Spanish Grand Canyon, and it’s the most visited attraction in the area. The desert was a huge lake that dried up 100 million years ago. They say it’s a new desert, since 100 million years are only 1 second in geological time. The Gor Valley is formed by the badlands, arid and hilly lands, that form an interior sedimentary basin that gives it its pictorial tones.
But not everything in the area is desert. A few kilometers from the town, there are natural spas, natural hot water waterfalls with natural properties in which you can bathe to feel nature up close and escape the heat. On the way to the baths, one can see small farms, stray dogs, abandoned houses, cacti and chimneys emerging from the earth as in another planet. The lack of signaling in the area forces tourists to travel with a guide. We can see the occasional 4x4 doing a landscape safari.
In the town of Gorafe, life goes on at a different pace. Seated in the town square, people appear due to chance or serendipity to tell you stories and anecdotes from the travelers of the Gorafe Sierra. They tell us how the area has changed. Before there were wild boars, rabbits and other wildlife, which have disappeared due to the chemicals used in crops. We can see eagles, crows and other birds crossing the sky. The lines that the planes draw in the sky, chemtrails, are also part of the landscape.
At night, the glass house becomes an astronomical station, with a 360º panoramic view of the sky. The area has a Starlight Certificate and very low light pollution. The Dessert House is a unique place, an experiment that has helped the public get to know the environment, the area’s towns and the people. And not only that, living in it, with mirrors on ceilings and walls, brings a special kind of energy, the same as the area’s millenary dolmens. The mecca of mindfulness. A place where you can forget about the world and feel like the only privileged person who can enjoy that environment and that moment in the world.