Portal – The Guy With The Hand Pan

So I met this guy which introduced himself to me by the name Portal. He asked me where I am from and was very surprised to hear „Romania – Sibiu“.

„Ah, Romania, I spent there three months before coming to Tenerife …Do you know Sibiu?“, he asked.

„Yes, sure. It’s the city I was born in.“ I replied.

By this point I was very surprised to hear that and amazed by the fact how small this world is.

„Maybe you know Diana? The girl with blonde hair and short bangs? …“

„Oh, whaaat you know her too? She is a very good friend of mine from Sibiu, of course I know her.“, I said very very surprised.

So we found out that we have some more common friends from Sibiu – crazy Transylvania connection here in Caleta.

… Couple of days later, when I visited his place to take the shots for the project, while he was cooking pasta, I had a flashback and remembered that I saw him already before … last summer in Sibiu playing his Hang Drum in the center of the small city. I actually wondered that somebody is playing that instrument there, because it is not that popular there and when I looked at the guy I saw he’s not a local … I wanted to start a conversation with him but in the same time other people stopped to ask him about this strange instrument he is playing, so I walked further and I never thought about that incident again. And now almost one year later we met in Tenerife, funny isn’t it?

Anyway, I told him about my project and asked him if he want’s to be part of it.

„I’m taking some pictures of you and your place and it would be great if you could answer some of my questions …“, I said to him.

After having a nice jamming session with Hang Drum and Didgeridoo half of the day, he cooked some delicious pasta and we talked about music, the reason he is here, what he is doing and so on …

By the way his place is wonderful! It’s well hidden in the canyon, big and so quiet that you can hear your heartbeat … well, when the sounds of the Hang Drum are not vibrating through the canyon … or the crazy sounds of the birds flying over the hills after sunset.

Why La Caleta?

I came accidentally here … I wanted to join the scouting in El Hierro for Rainbow gathering. But I really liked La Caleta, I quit the team, found a wonderful cave, decided to stay for while …

How does a typical day look like in Caleta for you? 

Waking up, doing meditation and yoga, reading a book, translating some texts, playing music, cooking food and getting visited by friends.

What’s the purpose?

To be.

Why did you choose that place?

I wanted a quiet, protected place and I found it.

What do you like about traveling?

I like to have different kind of experiences and learn from them. Excitement of new experiences. But recently not much fun to travel like before. I traveled enough. Now I’m enjoying more to stay in one spot and focus on my interests.

How do you earn your money to afford traveling?

I play music in the streets.

I sale patches online, my friend is taking care and sends me the income monthly.

Click here for his Facebook Artist profile.

Places you’ve been …

All continent except Antarctic.

The craziest story he experienced while traveling: 

I was traveling Mexico by bicycle. Already overstayed many months. Because I  cared a lot about the flow of bicycle travel. Traveling by bicycle usually goes very slow, specially in a big country like Mexico.

After some time, my friend invited me to hitchhike together to go to Costa Rica to build a new rainbow community.

We were very much into the idea of revolution by creating a community, based on the ideas of rainbow gathering. We believe we are the change.

I was wondering how to cross the border … I had to pay $800 USD fine for overstaying. I didn’t have that much money at that time.

I was considering all options, then I decided to make a fake exit stamp in my passport to exit Mexico, without having to pay the fine. I bought ink, rubber and a knife to curve. I checked the design of the stamp and photocopied it.

We continued hitchhiking with our bicycles to the South. Sleeping in bushes, at somebody’s home and also in the jungle.

I was planning to make the stamp on the day I was going to cross the border of Mexico to Guatemala.

But that day when I woke up, suddenly I felt I’m not gonna make it … I decided to go to the border, without doing anything.

If I  was meant to be in Costa Rica to help building rainbow community, it would happen. If something wrong happens and I can’t go to Costa Rica, then it’s just meant to be like this and I have to let it go.

Just trust the navigation of the great spirits!

After this decision, we started hitchhiking on the road again. We were waiting by the road for about 30 min, then a car stopped and took us straight to the immigration office at the Mexican border.

Driver was a very nice guy, about the age of about 30 to 35. Active, friendly guy. After a  while, we realized that he is the son of the boss of the immigration office!

We told him about our situation and asked him what to do. He was just saying, „no worry, I can do something.“

When we arrived to the office, he took me inside the immigration office by the back door. Directly to the person who makes the stamp on the passport.

He introduced me to that woman. He told her my story and why I overstayed. The story he told her was not connected to me at all … But it worked.

He said to her that I was deeply in love with a Mexican girl. That we wanted to marry, and that I stayed with her long time. Then suddenly she left me. She kicked me out from the house with only my bicycle and with no money…

This story worked well! She let me go through, with paying little money. It was even cheaper than normal pay tax.

That crazy story continued for many more months, but this is one of highlights of the story 🙂

What do you like most about living in La Caleta?

Easy nature to live long time. Almost no mosquitos, always sunny, all year long good temperature, dry and clean, without having to take care of your things. Many interesting people passing by, nudist beach, jam session. No one kicked me out so far.


What do you think this people have in common here?

People who enjoy nature and don’t want to feel too much stress from the environment. People who are not hurrying to do things. People who love sunny and dry climate. People who want to enjoy time without spending money.

His garden where he grows tomatos.

Portal is very well organized and clean. His place is always on point and it’s a pleasure to spend time there. I can understand why he said that there are some days where he wouldn’t move from his mattress!

Check out the video presenting his amazing place in the barranco.


Portrait, Beauty, Festival & Travel Photographer, based in Vienna.

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