As if there was such a thing as an ordinary day.. I started my day yesterday experimenting.. the night before I’d been on a hunt of the web for new photo toys for my iPhone and I hit pay dirt. Remember the ad for the Sony camera I think it is where they simply scan the camera across the landscape – and it captures a panorama – as against the more normal nightmare of taking individual shots and either manually or automatically stitching them together? Well, now this is on the iPhone and I’ve been having great fun ever since. Above is a sweep across the front of the cave. Anyway, that was the start of my day, the rest was a series of comedy errors- but still fun and interesting along the way.
The plan was to head off to St Javier to pick up our friend Alison who’s staying with us for a few days and we figured we’d perhaps go spend some time on the beach down there as she wasn’t coming in till 9pm.
We set off at lunchtime and along the way we happened to go by a small town where some solar cells caught my eye. If you’ve read my blogs, most of the time in Spain the photovoltaic (electricity-generating) cells are rectangular and motorized and each one is no more than, say 6ft square of thereabouts…. just lots of them.
WELL!! This lot blew me away. It’s difficult to see here as there was an alarmed fence in the way but to the left you’re looking at rows of cells, perhaps 8ft high (at a guess) and I would not like to guess how long but you can see if you look carefully each array is MASSIVE in length, following the curve of the land. These are fixed in place.
I would not be surprised it this lot were intended to supply electricity for the entire nearby town.If anyone wants to pursue this further the factory was called CERO GRADOS SUR (Energia Solar) and it’s maybe half way between Puebla De Don Fadrique and Murcia though I could be miles out.
That was a good start to the day which then went downhill – the sat-nav insisted on taking us on a back-route to St Javier and we noticed we were going past a sign that said in Spanish “no access, residents only” – well, we ignored that and went sailing down a partially completed road until miles later as we approached a motorway, the road came to a grinding halt and we realised there was no way to actually GET to the road! That ended that.
After much backtracking we arrived at the airport around teatime and decided to play safe and visit Los Alcazarez – which is just down from the airport and is a British holiday trap. Non-the-less we had a pleasant pizza and beer and then headed off to the airport. Alison’s plane was late and by now the sun was going down. I took the opportunity to try another of the new toys for my phone, an App that combines two successive shots taken at different exposures, to produce photos that are normally impossible. You’ll know that most of the time, photos are a compromise as the lens can’t be selective like our eyes, so often either the sky gets bleached or dark areas have no detail due to the fact that the camera sensors simply cannot handle the “dynamic range”. iPhone to the rescue… 2 shots and a bit of processing later… night-time photos of the airport complete with street lighting AND the night-time sky – and these really do capture the atmosphere at “Murcia Airport” though in fact it’s no-where near Murcia.
And so around 9.30pm we picked up our friend and headed off home to Galera. Sadly that didn’t work either… we tried telling our Sat-Navs to head off to Puebla De Don Fadrique so we could take advantage of the shortcut straight across the country… nope, neither the iPhone nor Android Sat-Navs were having it and the iPhone kept insisting as we sped along the wrong motorway that we were in a field!!
Eventually we ended up cutting straight through the centre of Murcia, never a good idea on a Saturday night… and off we went home. We figured as we were now going the long way we’d take Alison through Velez Rubio and Velez Blanco to show her the sights. There’s a castle at Velez Blanco that’s really nice during the day and so off we headed through the town of Velez Blanco – BAD mistake. At or near MIDNIGHT there was a wedding still going on and cars and drunks were littered all over the place. At one point we ended up at the end of a narrow street with road works blocking further access, barely able to turn around as another car came up behind us. “Pissed as a newt” as we used to say, the driver simply could not handle the fact that he’d have to back up all the way up a narrow street and promptly switched off like a Stepford Wife. You’d think his batteries had run out – he simply sat there in the middle of the road, not looking at anyone, not doing anything. We had one HELL of a time squeezing past him and I’ve yet to look at the bodywork on the car as we heard some strange squealing noises while trying to get between him and a steel fencing panel!
We eventually arrived home well after midnight and I recall giving up around 4am this morning. It’s now mid-day and I’ve been up long enough to do this blog – well, it is Sunday after all.