Story by Karen (LR Sales & Marketing Advisor).

On Sunday 3 June, we had a team building afternoon at the wine bodega of our owners Michelle & Tila high above the village of Tabayesco. The word Bodega translates as cellar. I prefer the word vineyard. In the 16th century “Canary wine”, made from the malvasia grape, was favoured by European royalty and soon became so popular that it provided the islands with their main source of income. William Shakespeare supposedly began to accept barrels of it as payment for his work, and his characters thought things were remiss when they lacked a “cup of Canary”.

We all work very hard to provide our guests with a great holiday home and fantastic customer service, but we don’t get to spend time together very often. So, the thought of seeing everyone for the afternoon was brilliant… I wasn’t so sure about the ´team building´ but I was wrong!

It all started with most of us packed into an old land rover jeep. Michelle was driving and had the best seat. Off we set up the hill from the Finca towards Tabayesco. At the end of the village, the fun started, we turned onto a very bumpy, dirt track with a sheer drop to one side and mountain to the other. I can assure you there was squealing and not just from us girls. We poured out of the jeep and clambered over some rocks and were greeted with cava, beer or soft drinks and THE most amazing views across to the Montaña Corona and down to the villages of Arrieta and Punta Mujeres. Turning back to the vineyard was just as awesome. A series of terraces going up the mountain side with 40 year old grape vines growing in picon, surrounded by protective stone walls and fantastic bunches of grapes growing beneath the foliage.

So, back to the team building… This was all devised by Josh. We were all paired up – poor Tila got me. One was to be blindfolded and the other could only use their voice to direct their colleague to walk the snake path up the terraces to the top. I donned the blindfold, in for penny in for a pound. ´Straight ahead, right, more right, stop, walk straight, go left a bit´ and so we edged our way up the terraces collecting a large container of water en route.

Now, why did we need the water? Still in our pairs, we planted fruit trees amongst the terraces. We scraped away the picon to the earth below, dug a huge hole and using a mix of compost and donkey poo to enrich the poor soil, watered and planted our trees. Then surrounded them with circles of rocks to protect them from the winds. Olive, orange, and lemon among others were planted. It was great fun getting up close and personal with nature and we all left a physical proof we had been there.

After all this, I for one needed a sit down for 10 mins. So, we sat and chatted for a while taking in the amazing views and planning a jam making session with the figs in nearby trees and the last task was introduced by Josh. This time we split into larger groups and one person given a photo from a magazine. The rest of the group were given paper and a pencil. The holder of the photo had to describe it and we had to draw it from their description…. In 5 minutes! The winning drawn picture and their team members won a meal at the superb Casa de la Playa in Arrieta for their efforts.

Next came an amazing BBQ for us all prepared by Michelle, Tila and Josh. Burgers, sausages with bread buns, chicken, pork complete with plates and serviettes – we might have been half way up a mountain, but we have high standards you know.

The power of our voices are often taken for granted. They convey so much, information and emotion too and I guess we are all responsible for finding the right words and tone for every situation we find ourselves in, both personal and professionally too.