We have just enjoyed two days in the north of Spain in the province of Aragon in the village of Valderrobres and just now arrived home back home to the sun.
Valderrobres is a charming and quaint mediaeval village that sits in an unspoilt area in the mountains of Aragon. The village comes complete with cobblestone streets, knobbly old oak doors and a considerable amount of EU funded resurrection.
We were visiting the area to see our friends Aidan and Helen who are buying a sizeable portion of land in order to resurrect an old ruined building and build a new home there for the summer months.
The area is totally off-grid and so we expect to see some impressive solar power there in the near future as Aidan, like myself, is particularly fond of the idea. Having managed to source the panel importers he has secured good pricing on the 250w units so I expect lots of it. A side effect of this means that next year I will be able to almost quadruple the solar power at our cave which I’m really looking forward to. I’ll test one of the 250w units in the UK but in the Northeast of England I’ll be lucky to get enough to light one bulb most of the time.
Right now the place needs a lick of paint (but actually will be levelled and they’ll start again)
Surrounding towns are wonderful.
On our way back we discovered a new garden centre on the way down to Caravaca De La Cruz
Working on the album but some pics here – https://www.flickr.com/photos/scargill/albums/72157675203701585
It will soon be time for our trip back to the cold, wet, political desert known (just) as the United Kingdom just as the pound equals the Euro on its way into oblivion. I have some great friends there who do I do miss when we’re not with them – but returning to Brexit Britain is not something I am AT ALL looking forward to.
However, for now that’s just something we have to do. It won’t be long before I find an excuse to come back here and of course we’ll be back full swing in April anyway so an intermediate trip is mainly down to finding decent flights and avoiding the worst of the Andalucían winter so probably that’s February out if previous years are anything to go by.
We’ve some time yet to enjoy the company of friends, with a trip way up North near Barcelona this week to spend some time with Aidan and Helen (who are over here to so with their new Spanish property) and hopefully enjoy some more of this excellent weather – it is still t-shirt weather here but it IS cooling off in the evenings.
On Friday after helping one of the guys to repair his motorhome, we went off with our neighbours to a party which we left at midnight and I didn’t wake up until mid-day Saturday – not a bad start to the weekend – I must say I was feeling surprisingly energetic after 12 hours sleep!
On Sunday after walking down to the village for coffee in the morning we headed off to Puebla De Don Fadrique for a fair – basically an excuse for the entire village to eat and drink – I didn’t – and so last night I went off to La Posa on my own, Maureen was feeling a little under the weather – and needless to say I got back in the early hours. Tomorrow we’re off to the vet.
The one thing I am looking forward to back in the UK is applying the knowledge I’ve picked up in the last several months over here in Spain, to my home control kit back in England. – Oh, yes, that and APPARENTLY there’s a new Indian restaurant opening up in Bellingham!
Meanwhile as you can see I’ve been doing some more experimenting with some superb software to “interpret” photographs as drawings – I think you’ll agree the science is coming along quite nicely. I could see some of these ending up on framed canvas. The one above in particular which shows the front of Bedrock.
We’ve had a very busy start this Autumn, with friends Chris and Jinette over for a visit. They arrived late last week and we took them down to the coast – to Nerja – enjoying the views of the viaducts and general scenery on the way down.
After a couple of great evenings with Chris, Jinette and our neighbours John and Julie, we headed back up the coast to drop them off at Alicante airport and took the opportunity to drop into Benidorm before heading home.
Here are some pictures we took along the way….
In the photo above you see an an amazing 60+ story building which apparently has never actually been occupied. A monument to great design and crap planning, what a view you’d have out of those windows at the top!
Benidorm seems a strange mix of really BAD buildings some of which are falling apart – and nice modern ones. There is certainly a buzz about the place and the seaside area is very pleasant – sadly the Brits who like to pretend they are on holiday in a hot Britain have brought things down to a low level in some parts with £2.50 fry-up breakfasts. Any unique Spanish character has been buried under this attempt to appease to the lowest level.
Interesting to compare the above with the absolutely marvellous Nerja…
However, we had a great time throughout and hope to repeat the experience in the future.
This weekend we headed off with friends to Seville. Maureen and I stayed in a hotel in Dos Hermanas just south of Seville and our friends who had brought their caravan as they are now heading off to Portugal, stayed in a nearby and excellent camping site called “Camping Villsom”. Our hotel was called the MARE and is situated along the Avenue de la Libertad.
The weather was superb throughout, generally hovering around 30c or so in the afternoons. We set off on Friday morning from Galera and arrived mid-afternoon after a 380km trip. By then it was a little late to do anything so we headed off down to the caravan site where they had an excellent swimming pool.
We had our own at the hotel but for whatever reasons they closed it a few days ago. An hour in the pool refreshed everyone after the long day’s drive.
The girls went off to the supermarket and we had dinner by the caravan – very nice, though the supermarket burgers bore more than a passing resemblance to vulcanised rubber and so the food wasn’t entirely successful.
Saturday after parking our car at the station at Dos Hermanas, we all packed into the (very comfortable and inexpensive) train and went to Seville. We walked some distance from the train (I made my 10,000 steps no problem that day) pretty much straight into the city centre via some really interesting back streets. We did the usual tour locations and had a great lunch in an upmarket restaurant near the main church before heading off to take pictures of stained glass windows.
That night, Maureen and I picked our friends up and we headed into town, found a very nice restaurant with everyone sitting outside and had dinner before retiring early for our drive back up home today (the other two went off on their trip to Portugal). As we left the hotel we bought some diesel for the car at 96.9cents a litre – cheapest I’ve seen for a while and WAY cheaper than the UK.
On the way we called into Antequera (160km away from Seville) to visit and after spending ages looking for a bank only to find a street chocker full of them, we headed off for lunch – paella in one of those cafes on the street that Europeans do so well – the place was packed which is interesting as it isn’t exactly peak tourist season right now – we’ll definitely be going back at some point – a REALLY nice city.
Of COURSE on the way back we had to stop up the motorway just short of Guadix at Purullena for some pottery!
A very nice if short break. I came back to a bust fuse – still to be resolved, one of the breakers goes to (as far as I can tell) a single socket – with nothing in the socket it STILL takes the 30ma leakage unit out – I can see some wall bashing coming on this week.
Of course – that didn’t last long and by lunchtime it was, once again too hot to do outside work – but the signs are there. Another few weeks and the trees will start the magical process of turning through orange to bright yellow before going to sleep for the winter – and here in this part of Spain I mean BRIGHT yellow.
We’re off to Seville this month so I’m hoping winter doesn’t come TOO quickly – I’m sure it won’t but it certainly would be nice if it was cool enough to walk around all day. In August, visiting a big city like Seville would not have been a lot of fun.
Meanwhile we’ve been getting jobs around the house and garden done, I’ve put together a new media centre with a considerable amount of memory (now putting together a second unit for my own TV in the office) and we’ve been painting the area from the roundabout upwards to make it all look more spiffy.
We’ve had a few quiet days now the August festivities are over. Not so the summer however, it has been very hot here touching on 40c from time to time. We had some showers in the middle of all of that but they never last long. Hiding from the sun has given me ample time to get some mor home control experiments done – all of which is blogged elsewhere – and to start off the new photography blog. Yesterday we headed off to Orce pool for a dip which was excellent and then last night we had an unexpected trip down to see our neighbours – as always, lots of fun and involved lots of Cava.
So today we are off to Almeria – the reason being we’re dropping a couple of friends off at the airport (which we’ve never used). On our last expedition we did much of the coast to the right of Almeria, From all the way up at Vera, through Garrucha, Mojacar, Carboneras, Las Negras, San Jose, San Miguel etc. but by the time we got to Almeria, we headed straight up the main road to home as it was getting late.
This time we get to check out Almeria and beyond. We’ve also been to Motril and various places through Nerja (which is wonderful) and on to and beyond Malaga and Marbella – but right now there’s a gap in our experiences from Almeria to Motril – hopefully we’ll fill that gap this time. Expected temperatures around 35c so no doubt we will end up in water at some point…