What’s this about?
This is the Spanish website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. When in Spain we live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarify that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for a decade or more and now we're spending a lot more time here.

If you're familiar with what3words (if you're not now you soon will be) we live at dossier.bath.sawn

Find out more about this by reading through the blog entries, menu-accessible pages and archives if you're interested! Welcome to Peter and Maureen's Spanish website.

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Expat blogs in Spain

Archive

Archive for the ‘Andalucia’ Category

Pergola building and another week in Paradise

Interesting week but then it would be – we’re in peak season here so the pubs are chocker at night – it’s a short season of course.  Wednesday we met up with friends Roly and Jackie as it was their last night in Galera for a little while. Last night we’d planned to go visit neighbours but we’ve been that busy we decided to simply stop in and relax – which we did – well, kind of, I was finishing off the Pergola for most of the day and Maureen was working on the garden – thankfully both are now now well on the way to completion.

Today a new solar regulator turned up – I blew one of mine up last week due to incompetence and I need a spare – so the new one is now taking pride of place – I just need to make the wiring a little more permanent – my early evening job when it cools down a bit.

PergolaaftershaveSome of the lighting is fixed (green) – the rest is programmable to any colour we fancy – and all of it is for free and controllable from anywhere like the cameras and monitoring sensors.

Today we went off shopping – firstly to Commercial Morino past Baza for some new mesh – Simba in one of his desperate bids for freedom (he HATES being inside when we’re outside but it’s not a nice environment outside for him) managed to slightly damage one of the window meshes – this one is more substantial – anyway, so then then off to the Chinese store for general shopping and to check out their very expensive after-shave (not) – and finally – we went off to Negratin for a soak.

What a CRACKING day for it – calm (though the water could have been calmer) and 36c – just superb.

Tonight we’re stopping in – got some company later on – I think a few glasses of wine in the Pergola are in order – I’ve been writing technical blogs every spare minute and my fingers need a break.

Maureen

Oh, the waterproof camera case was a failure – nothing down there but green – same colour as the water looks from the surface – which is a huge shame because was we were wandering around aimlessly in the water today, the fish were jumping out of the water constantly – clearly lots going on down there and I noted a couple of times some fairly big fish wandering past me – but the camera was not having it. I’m guessing it is due to high calcium salts or similar – it’s certainly not due to pollution as power boats are not allowed – though I did notice on inconsiderate type out there ignoring the rules.

This morning the sky was wonderful and it is still that way now early evening – I think the rain we had the other day has cleared the way for a nice few days – or weeks…

Another successful delivery from Seur – obviously we’ve cracked that nut – mind you it did say delivery between 9pm and 10pm – and it turned up at 7pm – but that’s just a minor detail in the scheme of things.

Galera this morning

And just for the sake of it, here’s a strange tomato we bought this afternoon! More expensive than normal tomatoes – but then a lot bigger too.

tomato

A Saturday trip to the Coast

I wish I’d taken a photo… yesterday as well as many other places, we visited a little area call San Juan. I was going to do a little map but for the life of me, though there are several San Juan on Google Maps – Eventually I discovered “San Juan de los Terreros!

Anyway, if you find yourself there, don’t go in the water. Between plastic bags and assorted rubbish – I’ve never seen such a mess. Somewhere around there is a nudist beach – Maureen freaked out – so we didn’t hang around there for long.

Vera marketAll of this was part of our big Saturday outing. We set off sharp in the morning from Galera, via Cullar and Puerto Lumbreras down to Vera – where they have what has to be the largest market I’ve seen in recent times – certainly within day-driving distance. Blows away the Huescar Thursday market.

I think we arrived in Vera around 11am and after (with difficulty) parking the car did our best to cover the market in the remainder of the morning, stopping only briefly in the town centre for coffee.

We had a nice time though it was very hot down there, marred somewhat by the news that our pal has had a heart attack and is in hospital (and of course I’d formatted my phone and so had no contact info in there but eventually we got him on the phone to chat to).

Trip

Garden Centre on the way to VeraMeanwhile just outside of Vera we found a very nice – and cheap garden centre  – so now Maureen has new (bright purple) plants for our place – and I have some new watering kit – just waiting for it to cool off a little.

Being a Saturday night, by 9pm we were not hopeful but as it turns out there were places still open at Parque Almenara in Lorca – the huge Chinese store – Corte Asia for example until 10pm (apparently 6 days a week, closed all day Sunday). W

Our trip which started in Galera, via Cullar, Puerto Lumbras down to Vera, took us along the coast (on and off) to Playas de Vera, Vlillaricos, San Juan, Aquilas and several other spots I can’t remember the names of…. and ended up late in the evening at Lorca and then we took the back route home via Velez Rubio, Velez Blanco and Maria, arriving home quiet late. It was a very clear night – we turned the lights out and sat for an hour or so counting satellites (about 20 in all and a couple of meteorites) before retiring from a very eventful day.

A Good Day for a Swim

Last night I did a bit of cementing – incarcerating countless thousands of ants at the same time. Of course that is just setting me up for a painting task in a couple of days. Today for the first time we took off to one of the pools – the public pool in Orce. Fed by constant spring-water, the pool is bollock-freezing cold no matter what time of the year. The fields on the other hand are now dry as a bone but still full of colour.

PoppiesAnd so it was, armed with towels we headed to the fish-infested waters of Orce – and my, have they grown. There were no more than a dozen or so people there today including some Germans who were keen to pass the time with conversation. 

Maureen with new gadgetsThis was our first dip and to be fair the water really was not that cold. With outside temperatures peaking at 26c the cool-off was very welcome.

Getting ready to go to a small gathering tonight – no doubt featuring alcohol and we have a couple of new toys to take to the lake tomorrow! I have to say I am quite looking forward to giving these a try-out – each complete with two drink-holders, no less. Or one drink and a bottle of sun-oil perhaps.

This afternoon I’ve been doing a little more work on text-to-speech for my little controllers – had some success with that – and now looking for a spare battery for the camera – not like the old days when camera batteries lasted for months, it pays to have a spare.

The area is looking great now with poppies springing up all over the place. Today I felt sorry for hay fever types as the air was full of spores. Summer is definitely here – I can feel a tour of the coast coming on soon.

vines

Happy Mondays

MoonYesterday was a good day, despite our friends Aidan and Helen having now gone back to the UK.  Sunday night I took another half-decent moon pic as you can see on the right (click any of these and other images on the blog to see larger versions).

Monday, despite being a holiday here and despite constant predictions I was wasting my time, once again the couriers delivered gadgetry to the door, on time – this one was a microprocessor board I’m writing a review on this week and as they’re launching the product this coming Friday, that was good timing.

Near MariaThe rest of the morning was spent working on new and significant Raspberry Pi updates and blogging some of the more complex programming aspects of the unit – as well as staring at intermittent clouds hoping they’d disappear in time for our BBQ and indeed they did – by mid-day things were warming up and by the time we got the BBQ going out in the beautiful countryside near Maria, the sunshine was out and eight of us (and 3 dogs) had a great time in an area kitted out for BBQs with dedicated stone BBQ units way out in the wilds.

picnic

A huge zoo-full of school-kids turned up and of course being from the UK I was expecting someone to cause  trouble – instead – they were really good – they wanted to speak English, take photos and learn about us – quite refreshing.

One of Debbie and John's dogsUltimately I needed a break from the constant chatter of kids and took the opportunity to go walkabouts for a while, followed most of the way by Debbie and John’s very friendly (and quiet) dogs – and got some great shots of the surrounding area.

Another of Debbie and John's dogs

Around this area you can only have BBQs until sometime in June from which point they are rightfully banned as it gets very dry and hot so we’re taking advantage of the opportunity while we can. No doubt it won’t be the last.

We all had a great time and four of us ended the evening watching “The Hateful Eight” which despite having blood and guts as the central theme as with all of his movies, turned out to be yet another Tarrantino work of art and a great laugh.

Country

Traffic jams

This morning (Tuesday) my long awaited displays turned up together with some other new bits and pieces the Chinese want me to take a look at – more tech blogging this morning then possibly a grocery shop. Time for a quiet spell before the heat starts in earnest later this week – wonderful.

You are in a forest

A Trip to the Coast

Cartagena with Peter and Maureen Scargill

This weekend we took a trip to the coast with our neighbours and friends.  –

The trip to Cartagena with Peter and Maureen Scargill

It’s been a funny old week, not a lot happening outside but in here I’ve been having one HELL of a time with the WIFI – some kind of interference I think which I’d put down to a faulty router but as we’ve had a day with almost no issues having made minor changes, it’s looking more like some other issue (for once, not Spanish power). So I’ve spent far too long tackling that. As we left Galera  all seemed well and I would be able to keep an eye on everything on the phone – which was re-assuring.

Cartagena with Peter and Maureen Scargill

Cartagena is down near the coast and temperatures were up to 23c and sunny for at least some of the time though us second day has marred somewhat with cloud (still warm). The summer is over here in Galera, it was down to 9c in the early hours of the mornings late last week and for the first time this year we put the fire on – though only just and we’re still wandering around in light shirts.

My phone repair has held out – got a new skin and glass cover for the old Samsung S4 so it has a new lease of life. The Chinese Zopo which until this week had refused to connect to the networks, after I’d tried the SIM in the Samsung, suddenly sprung back to life – so it looks like it was the SIM not the phone – just as well as Banggood in China were quite useless – a phone merely months old and they wanted to send it back to the manufacturer. Bloody peasants.

Got the solar panel mounted properly at an angle – essential now that the sun is much lower in the sky (amazing how quickly that happens) but even then there’s a considerable drop of power – I’m monitoring battery voltage so my system can cut off the lights at night a little earlier to compensate.

So, off we went to Cartagena, first thing Friday morning, armed with cameras – within hours I lost access to the systems back home – and that control never came back. It turned out a fuse has gone in the main fusebox – to this day I don’t know what caused it – but the learning item here – with several hours of no power, the battery backup I use to power my home control kit – a standard off the shelf “uninterruptable supply”, gave up – and that’s fair enough  – but then never came back up when the power was restored – how stupid is that! So THAT’s going in the bin!

Anyway so for our first day we visited various places around the seafront – lovely.

Day 2 not so sunny – it was lovely and warm but the clouds ruined most opportunities for photography.

Ships

There were some pretty amazing ships in dock during the day and during our cruise of the coastline we still manages to get some half-decent pics.

So was Cartagena worth it? Most definitely yes and worth another trip sometime, lots to see, lots to do. Perhaps another day would have been good.

Cartagena[4]

Today (Sunday will be a quiet day, I’ve some re-wiring to do.

What a way to spend a Sunday

SantiagoWe didn’t MEAN to end up at Santiago de la Espada, the idea was to take a drive and go down the first road we’d never explored. Well it wasn’t until we got to Puebla de Don Fadrique that the opportunity to do just that happened.

We’ve been round mount Sagra many times but never ventured off to the right – so, armed with petrol and good weather, off we went. The road isnt’ ideal – it’s a tortuous, mountainside route and it took us longer than Google would suggest – but I have to say, well worthwhile – the scenery out there in the mountains (not to mention the HEIGHT) is pretty spectacular. And the coffee in the village wasn’t bad either.

Sagra

And so off we went – and spent the afternoon simply adventuring. We came back via another route avoiding Don Fadrique but to be honest the road was a little dodgy so I won’t recommend it other than to say the scenery in both directions is marvellous. Here are some photos.

Mountains

Comarca De Huescar

mountains[6]

the town