Tales of the Lecrin Valley

A personal view of life in an andalusian village.

A lot happening in the last couple of weeks.  It is my 60th in December and I had three of my four sisters over here in Saleres to celebrate early whilst it is still good weather.  Unfortunately, Annie was unable to come over as she is looking after her grandchildren prior to her daughter and her husband going off to Tanzania, where he will be flying one of the aircraft for the Mission Aviation Fellowship.  A great shame as Annie is always the life and soul of any gathering, but as the whole family hasn´t been in the same room more than half a dozen times in the last forty five years, it is not surprising that one or the other of us was absent.  It is easier now that everyone except me is retired, but family commitments come first and Joan, Chris, and Elaine more than made up for the missing sissie.  There was a lot to catch up on after all this time.   I left home at fifteen and apart from the odd spell of leave, never went back.  My sisters all married and moved where their respective husbands´ work took them.  So from Brixton we have moved to Bexleyheath, Liverpool, Windermere, Bournemouth and me here is Saleres.  When Mum was alive she lived in Brighton, so you can see why we could hardly pop round for a cuppa with family.

Morning prayers

Morning prayers

The weather was great for the whole week, warm during the day and good enough to sit outside in the evenings, albeit at times with a pullover.  We swam in the pool, which was refreshing to say the least, maybe because I had recently drained it to repair the grout and had refilled it only two days prior to their arrival with water from the mountains.  We did the touristy bit, but also spent a lot of time talking in the garden here in Saleres. Chris and John and I went for walks in the surrounding countryside most days and we tickled the instep of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada one morning, climbing up from Nigüelas.  Although we climbed for an hour we only just arrived at the point where the mountains really start.  These are big hills and one day we will do a whole day´s walking there.

Chris and John above Niguelas

Chris and John above Niguelas

Chris, John and I also swam in the sea at Salobreña, which was a tad warmer and a lot of fun prior to a fish lunch in the El Peñon restaurant.  This is situated on a rock overlooking the sea  with great views of the coast and of the fish in the sea below fighting for the bread which was being thrown to them by diners and waiters alike.  The day of the celebration produced wonderful weather again, and as usual, Rocio and  Maria Jose us proud in the Chambao del Vizco in Durcal. Carmen´s family comprising of Louisa, Agustin and Louisa junior came and joined the celebrations.  We had a long meal and then friends of the family came along and we had a very impressive flamenco concert.  The guitarist who was a master craftsman and the daughters of our friends, one of whom is on the flamenco circuit as a singer and the other is one of the best flamenco dancers I have seen.  It was the first time she had danced for eight years, following a hip disorder which stopped her career when she was young and I felt very privileged that she danced at my celebration.  Then we all danced until more food arrived and then we danced some more, Elaine showing her natural rhythm as Carmen taught her how to salsa.  Even Joan and Alan were strutting their stuff, despite the fact that Alan has to have a knee replacement this month and Joan is virtually wheelchair-bound with multiple sclerosis which she has had for decades.  A braver person I have yet to meet, Joan is always the first to volunteer to go anywhere and absolutely refuses to let this horrible disease cramp her style or stop her doing things in any way.

Albaicin late afternoon

Albaicin late afternoon

We also did the Alhambra one afternoon again in stunning weather with great visibility over the Albayzin.   Joan again performed like a trooper, and struggled up endless flights of stairs so as not to miss anything.  The Alhambra is not at all wheelchair friendly and unless you have a few strong men there to support you, think twice about going there.  (Endless cobble stones also nearly shook poor Joan´s teeth clear out of her head!!!)  After this we headed off across Granada to the Albayzin to have an evening meal in one of the carmen restaurants there.  Again a bit of a struggle for Joan, but she soldiered on and tells me that she slept the sleep of the dead that night.  The most I have ever heard her complain is to say, “ Not so bad,” when I know full well it is so bad.    Chris and Carmen went to the balneario in Lanjarron and took the waters, whilst the rest of us walked around the town and met them later in the Ambienza, a newly opened restaurant which serves lovely food, and plenty of it.

Galley slaves

Galley slaves

The rest of the holiday was spent talking, me finding out about my sisters and them about me.  Carmen worked endlessy to make sure all went well, and with the brothers-in-law doing a sterling job washing up we had plenty of time to relax.  All in all a great week away from the coalface and one I hope we will be able to do again in the future.

  1. Alan
    7:00 pm on October 13th, 2009

    From the central galley slave above – a great thank you to Ron and Carmen for the superb week in their home.Thanks for looking after Joan and me so well , we wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Your village and the valley are so different from the life over here.