Tales of the Lecrin Valley

A personal view of life in an andalusian village.

Mid July, temperatures up to the high 30’s low 40’s, persianas closed until October and siestas a real necessity in the heat of the day.  Yesterday and old friend of mine and I were in Granada from about six in the evening and no-one else showed in the streets until the sun had gone down and the place became more bearable.  The last two weeks of July are always the hottest of the year, but in August it gets better as the sun starts to set earlier in the evening.  I do love the atmosphere now, as after dark all the villagers put their chairs out in the street and talk and socialise until the late hours.  Next month, those who live away in Barcelona or Madrid will be back for their summer holidays with their parents and the village comes to life, although parking is a problem with all the Barcelona taxis and the (rented?) Mercedes blocking the village. Then we have the chance to catch up on what has been going on and impromptu parties and get togethers abound. The Salerosa is bound to produce more surreal episodes and I will let you know as and when things happen. I was in there on Saturday with my friend who is here from Portland, Oregon, and he was a bit surprised when Antonio three rode his mule up to one of the outside tables at which we were sitting and Alejandra gave the mule a drink of wine from her glass. His sister then came out and gave us a bowl of wild boar cooked in wine and vinegar and a kilo or two of courgettes. Antonio had already given us about fifteen kilos of lemons. Land of plenty. Oh, and as always Antonio criticised my irrigation of our finca. It is impossible to do anything with my land without quadrophonic critiscism and advice, all of which contradict each other, so I nod sagely and do what seems the most sensible. Probably, with the ideosyncracies here in the valley, the best thing would be to do the most outlandish or nonsensical thing advised, but prudence must play its part.

Antonio Three on his mule in the bar

Antonio Three on his mule in the bar

Alejandra giving Antonio Three's mule a glass of wine

Alejandra giving Antonio Three's mule a glass of wine

Mad rush now as the summer season begins.  Lots of visitors to the valley and things are looking as if they are getting back to normal, with visitors from Europe appearing after a couple of years away.  All of our staff managed to get some time off in June.  Carmen and I went to visit friends in Minorca, Maria Jose went off to La Linea and Gibraltar where she took a boat to dolphin-watch.  Much to her delight there were plenty about as the dolphins know the boats are there to watch them and they love to show off their skills, diving under the boats and surfing in their wakes and bow waves.  Lidia went off to Morocco for a few days with a friend and enjoyed her first trip to a Muslim country.  The lucky devil has another week in Morocco lined up after the summer season, which  she won in a draw at one of the trade shows she attended.  I went diving for the first time for ages whilst we were in Minorca, and was pleased that I had forgotten nothing about what was once an important part of my life.  There was a surprising amount of flora and fauna to be seen and the group I was diving with were all experienced and good fun.  Carmen and I spent a lot of time lazing on the beautiful beaches and calas in Minorca and came back looking tanned, healthy and rested.  We are nearing completion for our travel website and when that goes on-line I will let you know.  The girls are working hard to get as much as possible on the site, which will specialise in tailor-made holidays worldwide.  Having a couple of tourism graduates in Lidia and Maria Jose is a godsend, and they are very happy to have been given virtual free rein in the forming of a travel company of their own.  Fingers crossed for them, us and Sabika.

Carmen in a medieval garden in a Minorcan quarry

A minorcan sandstone quarry

Typical Minorcan bay

Lidia in Asilah

View across Tangiers