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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 more than 14 years and are currently working on making the country our permanent base.

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

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Archive for the ‘swimming’ Category

A Fine Bank Holiday

Orce Pool

After getting off to a bad start with more faulty electrical gear (I finally binned our over-the-mains Ethernet units as only one was left fully working) we popped into Huescar to get some plastic covers and then back into the village for lunch at Pizza Posa. Our first trip to Orce pool – and not a bad way to spend a bank holiday Monday (not that this has any relevance in Spain). The pool gets pretty crowded at lunchtime but by 3pm the locals have all cleared off home! It’s just a small pool, maybe 5ft deep at most but has a gravel bottom which surprisingly is kind to the feet and most importantly is full of fish including some well over 12” long and they like nothing more than chasing after anyone who is moving the gravel around, presumably because of nutrients you stir up when doing so.

Fish in Orce PoolAt first I thought the fish might put me off but in practice it’s quite a laugh when you’re the only person in the pool, having an entourage following you around. These fish unlike elsewhere have no fear of humans at all and will quite happily come right up to you if they think there is food in it for them without being in any way intimidating. At the far end of the pool is a seating area and a small ice-cream shed which is nice. About the only thing I’d say is that the pool is apparently spring-fed. Whether this is true or not I don’t know – but the water is COLD!!

Fish in the Pool outside of OrceAs it happened yesterday the air temperature was around 38 degrees C so we were quite thankful for the cool water.  After a couple of hours soaking up the sun and saying hello to a Spanish couple we met the night before, we finished off the day with another attempt at the rather under-funded but otherwise pleasant Pizza cave just outside of Huescar (referred to in an earlier blog – Fuencaliente). Once again, great pizza bases but the place really does need a little investment.

Water flowing into stream at the pool in OrceOn the way home we popped into our local bar in Galera for a quick glass of wine and a chat to fellow Brit Len and his wife, a pleasant way to round off an equally pleasant day

Today will be more of a maintenance day and up to now the sun has not appeared, it may even be a cloudy day… now there’s a turn-up for the books.. Temperatures could be as “cool” as 26 degrees! Meanwhile back home in Britain things are looking up, the next few days in Wark, Northumberland could be… well, a stunning 18 degrees… currently at 7.30am on Tuesday, it’s 5 degrees over there… how sad is that… it’s not even the end of August!

Something for the Weekend? Capileira for Example?

Map from Granada to CapileiraAs promised in a previous blog, first thing on Friday morning, Maureen and I set off on the just-under-3-hour journey to Capileira, the most northerly of the 3 villages in the gorge of the Poqueira river in the Las Alpujaras district of the province of Granada.

The whole journey is interesting as, once you get past Granada you go through Lanjaron and other villages each with their own unique character and then start up the steep incline up the mountains to Capileira. Note in the map it LOOKS like Orgiva is on-route but actually you have to take a turnoff so that’ll have to wait for another day.

Capileira near top of the villageWith temperatures rapidly approaching 40 degrees C we only briefly stopped off on the way at a restaurant in Calle de Eras Del Seleco in Lanjaron – you’ll see it in the new built-in street view in Google maps – simply says “restaurant” which we dubbed the “cafe for noisy people” as we couldn’t hear ourselves thing for most of the otherwise excellent lunch.

Once you get past Lanjaron you spend far more time going up and down mountains than travelling in a straight line so that part of the journey takes longer than it might at first seem. We encountered a road-slide where the entire right side of the road had simply dropped off into the valley – fortunately the road-crews had sorted out the mess before we got there.

Heading off it took us the best part of an hour to get up the mountains. Capileira is around 5000ft up but our hotel was even higher and about 1 km above Capileira. 

In the mountains above CapileiraAs we were in no rush we kept on going as I wanted to see just how high up we could go – but in the end, we gave up as the road went from superb to, well, something you might find on the moon perhaps – used only by logging trucks and insane cyclists but even then by the time Maureen finally insisted we turn around (the road at many points is on the edge of the mountain with very little between you and death) we were well in excess of 6,500ft above sea level – and it LOOKED that high. You have to do it once but take good tires with you.

Capileira village square

Chaep boozeThe town is just superb and at multiple levels (as it’s up a mountain!) with lots of shops and restaurants to keep one busy and the whole feel of the place is very clean and of high quality (which is more than can be said of construction you might see elsewhere). One shop we went into had a very old wooden weaving loom in the back room and drink is cheap enough as you can see from the photo on the right. Maureen bought lots of bits and bobs and I bought a new t-shirt… well, you have to, don’t you.

snow-capped mountains?The thing I can’t figure out is the snow on the mountains – we had temperatures of around 40 degrees C and going up to 6,000ft had no effect on Viewsthat whatsoever – and yet – here’s the photographic evidence – snow – I just don’t see that peak being more than 8,000ft and yet…. there it is. I DID think it was just some kind of calcium but winter shots of the area show that peak being completely white.  If anyone knows the answer to this please do let us know.

The hotel – well, I’ll not say much here as we’ve already displayed our displeasure on the relevant travel website but when we got there after travelling up the only access path which was an assault course, all looked perfect – the pool overlooks the valley, it was wonderfully cool, scenery was great but the pool could have been cleaner and better maintained. A Spanish gentleman guy showed us to our room without giving any other information away.

Hotel pool abover CapileiraNever seen anything like this beforeThe room was nice enough but FAR too hot and within seconds of opening the door we had a bunch of flies in there…

We headed off back down to the town and found in a small square a nice pizzeria simply called “La Pizzeria” and had a very pleasant pepperoni pizza – the Spanish aren’t that good generally at making pizza bases so this was most welcome. We spent the evening simply taking in the mountain air and enjoying a nice bottle of rose.

Maureen enjoying a pizza, rose wine and a phone call back to the UKBack at the hotel after an enjoyable evening we got off to a bad start as one of the guests had far too much to drink and kept trying to sing – like us he probably had a room that was too hot and so with his door open we could hear him loud and clear.  After a very unsatisfactory sleeping night which included listening to presumably the same person throwing up in the morning… we got up at 8.30am only to see the very modern, efficient looking dining room empty and devoid of staff with last night’s dinner plates still scattered around, We simply left, vowing next time to go elsewhere – which given the potential is a great shame – maybe they’ll change in the future. We’ve been in touch to pay the bill but they’ve yet to come back to us.

The view from our hotel private verandaThe reason we came here on a Friday night was so we could travel back up through Guadix market which is held on a Saturday and that we did, arriving at Guadix around 11am.  Great market and large but a little short on food options (fried chicken or nothing) – as we’d had no breakfast this was important so we only stayed for an hour before heading off home, but not before Maureen bought a new quilt for the bed.

Note the spelling of “Lennon”….. just because someone CAN print on t-shirts doesn’t mean they SHOULD 🙂

Guadix Market and a t-shirt maker who can't spell and finally just outside of Guadix on the way back… a nice church…

Church outside of Guadix

Another Sunny Day in Spain

Overlooking nearby cavesWell, not quite that sunny, we had the odd cloud today, but as it was still 36 degrees, we went off to the open air pool at Fuencaliente for a swim. Not the best pool base, being mud, but a great pool and full of pretty large fish – by which I mean anything from a few inches to approaching 2ft long and hundreds of them. Still, we hadn’t heard of anyone getting toes bitten and so a couple of hours later we emerged feeling slightly tanned but nice an cool, to spend an hour or so driving around the area to check out the adjoined restaurant and further up the road, the cave bar El Alcadema… more on that when we pay them both a proper visit.

I actually spent part of the day sitting in front of the computer battling with tech support… I’m beginning to wonder if there is such a thing in the modern world as tech SUPPORT as against people who make life harder…  meanwhile the hot tub here is giving us problems, one of the pumps won’t turn off and the pool support people thought it was a relay… but if you turn the pool off then on – it takes minutes before the pump kicks in – so much for that theory… either way its running constantly which can’t be a good thing. Leaving it off overnight… tomorrow is another day… at least the broadband’s been fine since I sorted the connector out.

Maureen enjoying the sun near the town of VERA

Got my new Spanish dictionary – £17.99 for the iPad and iPhone (different versions for each but all in the one price) – Collins – and it’s excellent – 300,000+ words and the audio version of every one – including a complete cross-index and it works offline – huge.. I suspect this might make life easier over here.