Tales of the Lecrin Valley

A personal view of life in an andalusian village.

Carmen is always trying to get me to come to the Wednesday market in Durcal, which is about as appealing to me as having teeth drawn.  But I needed some photos for the website so I capitulated and strung along with my trusty Nikon with the cracked lens, looking for that shot of a lifetime.  The market isn’t that bad, full of spices, fruit and veg, the odd stall selling tools and myriad selling womens’ clothing of all sorts and, with Spanish widows in mind, all sizes.  Carmen forged ahead, caught up in a spending frenzy, and I wandered around looking for those close-up shots which can sell the area to potential clients and are so good for advertising.  And there were plenty of things to shoot.  The vegetables looked great, as did the bags of spices and I got quite carried away, not looking for anything in particular but more interested in anything full of vibrant colour to fill the shot.  I got some lovely shots of fruit and veg and then my hair stood on end as my sixth sense told me that I was being watched.  I stood up from my half crouch, looked away from my viewfinder and saw Carmen looking at me in shock and horror.  Looking around I saw many other people eyeing me with a mixture of wonder and scorn.  I looked down and realized why.  In my state of artistic reverie I had been snapping anything with a mass of colour, wherever I saw it and with not too much regard of the subject matter.  And I swear, Yer Honour, that I didn´t realise I was taking close-up photos of ladies underwear.  Carmen disowned me and walked away and I actually blushed, the first time in many a year.  But the upside is that I am banned from the market in future, with or without a camera.  So, any of you henpecked hubbies out there who want to know how to get out of shopping trips with the wife, you heard it first from me.

Spices

Spices

Courgettes

Courgettes

Cherries

Cherries

Peppers

Peppers

And now I see it's underwear

And now I see it's underwear

We ask clients to fill in a questionnaire at the end of their stays in our rural houses, asking among other things what could be done to improve the accommodation or facilities.  We take great store of the comments and try to carry out any solveable problems.  Some however seem to think that the world should be arranged to suit them…..

The house has been built in the wrong place and should be thirty metres further up the hill.

The opening times of the supermarkets were very inconvenient for us.

You should build a new road to the house.

You can´t possibly expect me to walk up a hill like that to the car park every day.  Book me into a hotel in Granada immediately. This area is lovely, however, and I would like to come on a walking holiday in the mountains hereabouts.

The villages supplied too little entertainment for us.

And on it goes……

My daughter, her husband and my two grandsons have been here for the last couple of weeks and as always, the time came for one of Granddad’s adventures.  Michelle knows better by now to get involved in my adventures, so she settled herself down in the garden with Carmen and waited to see what disaster would befall her family this time, but she didn´t call the ambulance so she can`t  have been that worried.  Well, Max had been saying that he wanted to go in my 4×4 so off we went, Darrin, Max, Ollie and me.  Max had also said that he wanted to go in the river, so off we went to the head of the reservoir where the river enters and there are lots of gravel flats, ideal for 4×4´íng.  First we did a foot recce  and had a good old splash-about in the river and then back into the 4×4 for an adventure.  All went well until we hit a patch of mud, the back wheels dug in and it was immediately obvious that we weren´t gong any further,  So we all got out, walked across the mud and the river to the bank.  I decided to call Keith, my trusty mucker and accomplished “getter-outer of the ****” of yours truly.  He turned up with his 4×4, but after a lot of tugging and digging in we got nowhere, so calling it a day we clambered aboard his 4×4 and he took us home, there to get the regulation ear-bashing from Carmen, who understands nothing of the needs of the male psyche to be pushed to the limit.  The boys said they were all set of an adventure the next day, and so I had a beer and stuck an ice-cube in my ear to remedy Dr Carmen’s callous treatment of intrepid adventurers, then called Juan Manuel of Tierra Excavators, and we agreed to meet the next morning for a recovery exercise.  We did and as soon as he entered the lake he promptly sunk up the engine of his JCB and had to get out by using his hydraulic buckets to “walk” the JCB to a safe spot.  We attached a strop to the bucket and he pulled me out bit by bit, leapfrogging the JCB every time it got stuck.  It was an education to see how he handled his machine and he is a real master, well worth the money I had to pay him, about five euros for every minute of the adventure of the day before.  I think Michelle was a bit proud that her warnings to the kids had come true and that all Granddad’s adventures end in disaster, but at least the boys have a story to tell their friends when they get back to UK.

Help on its way

Help on its way

First try

First try

JCB stuck

JCB stuck

Nearly there

Nearly there

Intrepid adventurer (and back-up)

Intrepid adventurer (and back-up)