Tag Archives: baza

Summer Visit 2018 (avoiding Cat-Talk)

A somewhat random post that covers our recent trip and some thoughts that have been with me since I got home.

We booked flights for late July for another 10 days in the place I sincerely want to call home someday. I had arranged to meet up a few people who I had met on social media (not girls, already done that and got the t-shirt ūüôā ).

I love Granada Airport particularly because there is nowhere to get lost and everything is close to hand. On arrival I collected my bag and went to sort out our hire car, I was ready to collect the girls as they arrived out of the Arrivals gate probably no more than 10-15 minutes later. The rest of the journey consists of crossing the road to where the car was parked, jumping in and driving for about an hour to Mercadona at Baza. I must add here that I love the drive, you skirt the edge of Granada City and head up and between the Sierra de Hu√©tor mountains then as leave the mountains you are greeted by The Hoya de Guadix (which is a natural plain). The scenery changes from snow, greenery and craggy light coloured rock to orange and yellow sandstone plateaus and troughs with pale green poplars in the lowlands and this is where the cave houses start appear in almost every spot imaginable spot and plenty of unimaginable ones too. The A-92 skirts Guadix and as you are leaving you may spot the Railway Station on the right which was used as a location for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or The Old Sugar Factory which was used as a location for Sergio Leone’s “Duck You Sucker/Fistful of Dynamite” (actually there are few locations in and near Guadix used in this particular film)….. digressing again…
The last bit of the trip is up and out of Guadix and on towards the lower edge of the Sierra de Baza, the scenery now changes into dry valleys and flat plateaus with pretty little dilapidated farms and small holdings scattered among olive and almond groves followed by the imposing greenery and craggy peaks of the Sierra de Baza on the right. Another 10 minutes and a little bit of normal road driving and we are at the Mercadona (or maybe Lidl because we like to mix it up a bit).

We went to a music night in the Cortes at Jairo’s Bar which was very well attended by immigrants/expats or whatever you want to call them and plenty of locals. There isn’t a massive ¬†British community here, which is one of the reasons I like the place so much but it was however interesting to see so many of them all in one place at the same time…… still disappointed that I am missing the Fiesta though !

We had also arranged to hook up with Danny and Josie who run the One Foot in the Cave¬†blog for a bit of exploring. This was a great afternoon shuffling around Baza and being shown things that I had either heard of but not seen, not heard of and not seen. I will say here that the Arab Baths are well worth a visit partially because what looks like a public toilet block from the outside is actually very nice on the inside and it’s free to visit which is always a bonus. The Alcazaba is worth a look to even though there is next to nothing left of it… the views of the Sierra de Baza are fantastic. Danny takes a lot of interest in his surroundings and local history so was a great guide and host. I did my usual thing of expecting to go exploring when the temperature is in the 40’s and immediately found myself in the position of wanting to sit down and sup cold lagers, fortunately this is Spain and it’s accepted here.

We did a little more cave viewing at various friends houses and both got the standard issue “Cave Envy” that seems to rear it’s head when you see other peoples places. They are all so different. It’s nothing like viewing “actual houses” the different curves, arches, niches, quirks and odd little things that make caves so special really don’t happen the same in “actual houses”. To a passer by cave houses are anything from a Hole in the Hill to the front of a Villa slapped
on the side of a cliff but all you’ve seen is the outside. I guess the years of hard working families tinkering about to make them suit their needs, digging out a new room, an animal feeder, an almond store or a shelf is what makes them all so unique.

Just go and stay in one, in fact go and stay in lots…… some are going to be like glamping and some are going to be like palaces with everything in between.

 

A visit to Cortijo B√ļho (The Bird of Prey Experience)

April 2018 and we visited Cortijo B√ļho’s Bird of Prey Experience.
Not being seaside attractions kind of people: Kiss Me Quick Hats, Slot Machines and Benidorm Karaoke (you get the picture) we were very excited about this trip, particularly because it is only 20 minutes away from our cave.

Cortijo B√ļho is just outside Benamaurel, a reasonably large and typically rural Spanish village in cave house territory with quite possibly more bars than people. They run what they call a “Bird of Prey Experience” which is aimed at small groups and families, forget waiting around for 20 minutes for the people in front to get a move on so you can have a look in the next cage….. This is actually Really Quite Special !!!

We were booked in for the 12th April, It was a dull grey and cloudy day but it had at least given up raining.
On arrival we were greeted by a Mat and Lawrence who immediately invited us in to their fantastic Vaulted Cave House which dates from the 11th Century, I’ve yet to see two identical cave houses but this one is spectacular. We were given a rough itinerary as to what we should expect…. It Pretty Much went as follows: 1: Meet some Birds. 2: Have some Food. 3: Meet Some Birds. (I must stress here that this is nothing like meeting birds at a Benidorm Karaoke).

First of all we got to meet and handle the Barn Owls Molly and Magic, a lovely pair who quite happily demonstrated their silent indoor flying skills and their ability to chose who to land with, somewhat dependant on who had a little treat for them. Next up was Mystic a gorgeous 2 month old White Faced Scops Owl who has recently learned to fly but seemed to quite enjoy walking around on the table and being very attentive to anything that moved.
Time for Dinner……. WELL WOW ! Three Course Thai meal, created with organic produce from Mat and Lawrence’s own garden….. This was certainly one of the best meals I have had in Spain in the seven years I have been visiting. During dinner Mystic fell asleep on top of a candle but had to be woken up so she could be put away as it was time for Matty to arrive.
Matty is a young European Eagle Owl, Eagle Owls are really impressive to see and handle up close, their sheer size and power is really evident when you are nose to beak with one. Amazingly given her size and weight (2 metre wingspan and almost 6.5 kilos in weight) Matty was able to fly with total confidence inside the cave and land happily on the chiminea at the far end.
Lastly It is the turn of “Sasa” the Harris Hawk, again really impressive up close and a so obviously a true hunting bird.

Just to summarise:
Mat’s Cooking is second to none and the fact this unique experience is aimed at small parties means you won’t get forgotten and will get looked after superbly.
Lawrence is a total mine of information about these creatures and he loves to share his knowledge, we found ourselves totally immersed in the whole experience and time literally flew.

The Birds are exceptionally well cared for and are quite obviously part of the family as are the other animals you will almost certainly encounter (Dogs, Cats, Tortoises and even a newly acquired Pony).

Important: Due to this experience being set up for small groups Please Make sure you book in advance as you will not be able to just turn and expect to be fitted in.

Links:
Cortijo B√ļho Website
Follow Cortijo B√ļho on Facebook

The Winter Blues are setting in already…but there is stuff on Telly :-)

I always suffer a complete sense of gloom at this time of year in the UK, partially because I know I won’t be going back to Spain until the spring and partially because I know it is going to get darker and wetter here for the foreseeable months. It’s usually about now that I will start practicing learning Spanish again, I find it much harder to concentrate between Spring and Summer because I am always too excited about flying out again. So this week I have been back on DuoLingo and also catching up on the British TV shows about people moving to Spain (A Place in the Sun, A New Life in the Sun etc). These little¬†things¬†just make me feel closer to this part of the world that I adore.

Anyway…. Yesterday I was having a little break from moping and spotted a facebook post from Cuevas Helena¬†which is about 15 minutes from my place, talking about a TV show that they were featured in.
Channel 5 – Our Dream Hotel. This is a great watch if you are interested in Cave Houses (or of course holidaying in one). Lovely to see such passion not to mention a fantastic finished cave. I am always grateful to see Mt Jabalcon too as it reminds me of another home ūüôā

You can watch it on catchup at Channel 5 РOur Dream Hotel

 

Bar Jairo

April 2017 Holiday

This was to¬†be (hopefully) our first trip of two this year. I like to get out early in the season before it gets too hot, partially¬†to test out gadgets and of course because I love it here. We didn’t have the teenager with us this time so I us a booked a night at the Hotel Galera so we could pretend to act like grown ups.

The Gadgets this time included a Parrot BeBop 2 Drone as I really fancied getting some overhead footage of the cave and the surrounding area….. I hadn’t flown it before so there was lots of crashes but I did get a little footage which I will post a link to at the bottom if you are interested. I also bought an LG Minibeam Nano LCD Projector as we have in the past enjoyed sitting out on warm evenings watching films under the verandah….. this didn’t go to plan either as it was about 9 degrees after the sun went down, the idea was great though as this thing will practically fit in your pocket and it is rechargeable. Next was the Celestron Travelscope 70 (Telescope). I bought this based on the fact there is so much visible sky and so little light pollution in this are of Spain, having seen the Milky Way looking spectacular last year I thought we might fancy a go at stargazing (It was fairly cloudy/hazy at night so this didn’t get much use but It did fit into Ryan Air hand luggage. Finally this little media player box that you can plug SD Cards, HDD Drives and Thumb Drives into which in turn plugs into a TV or Projector allowing you to watch pre-downloaded films etc. The media player worked very well and exactly as it should, although we didn’t get to try it with the projector, just the TV (great buy at ¬£35 on eBay)……. anyway less of the advertising and on with the holiday ūüôā

We spent the most part of this trip relaxing, having arrived (unusually) not on a Sunday we were able to pop to Baza on the way and pick up some essentials because I remembered that I had not left any Cerveza¬†behind last time.¬†On arrival at the cave I found that Clive had made the arch in the main bedroom far more acceptable by making little inset shelves where these massive unusable shelves used to be and joining the whole thing together so it looks heaps better too. Unfortunately I forgot to get photos of this. We spent a couple of days generally doing not much at all except for organising a barbecue for¬†Rachel, Shawn and Bob. This was the first time I had felt any interest in changing things around and rearranging things so they were different from when I first set the place up with my ex-wife. I felt great about the place again, I love all the stuff that’s there but it was a case of moving it into new places and of course adding some new stuff. I even cleaned up the two antique pine chests of drawers that got flooded 2 years ago and gave them new homes in different rooms.

On the Saturday we had arranged to go to Hotel Galera for a night and to partake in their excellent food. We were not disappointed, the food was great, the service was great and the Hotel is Lovely…. we highly recommend it! We spent the afternoon looking around Galera and walked up to the Chapel on top of the hill for some spectacular views then back to the hotel for dinner and sleep.

The rest of the week was spent between Cortes de Baza bars for morning coffee or evening drinks and the chinese bazaars in Baza for light bulbs and cleaning equipment.

Finally the day before we were due to fly back I received an email from Ryan Air saying the baggage handlers were going to be on strike and advising passengers to only bring hand luggage. I guess we are quite lucky that we were able to leave lots of clothes behind and squeeze what we needed into hand luggage. It did make me happy that I hadn’t got to worry about messing about for ages at carousels in the hope that our stuff was on the plane.

Click Here for a short Film from my drone, It gives a little bit of an idea of the area.(expect better ones or at least different ones in the future)

 

We Have Water (again)

Early September 2014 everyone I know let me know that the water had been reconnected :-). This was great news as Clive was able to get on with the nasty task of renovating the collapsed lounge (which I know he really wasn’t keen on doing but it made me happy). ¬†I started getting excited about planning the next venture out in the Easter of 2015 this time with my partner and her teenage Daughter which meant more tales of glamping without the glamour. I was really excited about this trip as it was going to be the first time anything major had been done to the cave that wasn’t chosen by my ex-wife and I (not that there is anything wrong with her taste but it was nice to make a mark as it were).

Around February of 2016 my lovely neighbour got in touch to say there was a couple of envelopes at the Post Office that needed to be signed for and she thought that they were from the Ayuntamiento (town hall). Time for me to stress again, I thought everything was on track. It turned out that I had a three¬†of years non resident tax that needed paying, fortunately this was quite straight forward¬†and wasn’t very expensive (about ‚ā¨130 I think). ¬†We were booked to fly out to Malaga from Liverpool John Lennon at 5:30am but the flight time kept being changed with the final leaving time set at 8.40pm, I felt it was better to accept this than lose a day of holiday and I reasoned that at least we would wake up in Spain relaxing rather than in the UK with the thought of another early start and one less day away. We arrived at Malaga at around 11:30pm and had to find the shuttle to the taxi office, typically we saw the shuttle bus leaving and had to wait another 10 minutes for the next one and we did the “first on, last off” routine to find the taxi company hadn’t finished processing the people from the first bus and we were at the back of the cue. Although I’m always up for saving money I do always pay for the full insurance as it includes priority collection and you don’t have to wait to get the vehicle checked over at the end of your stay.

It was now that I remembered¬†that we had Priority Collection and the cue for this consisted of nobody at all (Result) we were in and out before the standard cue had even moved. Feeling happy that for once spending extra cash seemed to¬†have paid off we set out on our 2.5 hour journey to the cave. It was a lovely starry evening but as I had never travelled this route before maybe a little slower than it could have been. We arrived at the cave at around 2:00am greeted by the Jacuzzi that actually had water in it and a powered up fridge that was stocked with lager¬†and wine….. Happy Days ! ¬†We set up the beds and then sat outside for 1/2 an hour with a drink to recuperate, the sky was fantastic that night the Milky Way was in full swing and I had never seen a night sky looking so spectacular (I’m not massively interested in space stuff). I promised myself I would get a timelapse video of the sky one evening, I didn’t of course because it was either hazy or¬†cloudy every night for the rest of the week.

Back to car hire……. On Wednesday we decided to have a drive up Mt Jabalcon, the oddly shaped mountain that greets you just after you pass Chirivel on the A-92 when arriving from the East. There are spectacular views to be had here and although I highly recommend the trip, it is a rough drive and most of it is single track with very few passing places…… anyway off we went¬†¬†and about 1/2 a mile from the summit we got a puncture so I had to do a tyre change (for one of those silly space savers) considering we were on a steep single track road¬†that was covered in loose stone everything¬†went ok but on the way back I thought I’d look out for a tyre place to get the puncture repaired….. and here comes¬†another straightforward event that escalated into stupidity because I was involved !¬†First off we headed to Baza and tracked down a tyre dealer who hadn’t got any staff working except for a receptionist. Next we headed for another one that the SatNav suggested which turned out to be a house about 1/2 a mile down a footpath. I decided to head back to the cave and then spotted a tyre place¬†on the Baza to Benamaurel road so I pulled in and spoke (loose description of my Spanish communication skills) to one of the guys who tried to repair it and then showed me the 2″ rip in the sidewall after a bit more confusion he disappeared and then came back a few minutes later with an English Girl who was working in the bar around the¬†corner who explained/translated that he didn’t have a tyre available but could order one and it would be there on Friday – Perfect I can drive at more than 40kmh on the way home on Sunday…. Yes Please. She took my number and said she would ring when it was ready. We spent Thursday relaxing at the cave. Friday arrived and I surfaced at a reasonable time with the intention of picking up a new tyre, by around 12:00 I was getting concerned about siesta as I hadn’t heard from the garage and I sloped up to the village to ask Mario if he could ring them for me……¬†Mario rang the garage who said they weren’t able to get a tyre the correct size…. he then chatted for a bit while I shrank away with a pale face and then finally looked up and said “would a second hand tyre be ok?” “Oh My God yes, anything that means I can collect the wheel and drive the car again”, he said “can you get there before 1:00 as they are closing?” Off I went back to the garage and just made it in time at 12:55. ‚ā¨52 later I was heading back to Cortes with a tyre that held air…… And Relax.

On the Saturday we went down to Mini Hollywood which helped relieve the boredom of a teenager forced to spend a wee bit too much time in rural Spain with not enough Wi-Fi ūüôā

 

I should probably show you the great job Clive did of resurrecting the collapsed lounge now.

 

Another Year…..Another Disaster or Two

Around Christmas 2014 I started planning my first visit to the Cave with my new partner, I spent far too much time trying to convince her that she would like it even though it was more than likely going to be like some form of Glamping but without the Glamour.
A roof, some furniture, water and electric but no mod cons. Then in the January of 2015 Clive my builder got in touch to say there had been a leak near the chimney and the front room had flooded, the water had mostly gone but it had left the whole place damp and mouldy. He¬†was happy to fix the leak and get on with tidying around and was able to start work in the February. Clive’s first visit brought with it disaster, the Lounge Ceiling had collapsed dumping about 2 tons of rock on the Leather Corner settee that we had previously dragged all the way over from Devon.
He sent me the following¬†photo…..

Disaster !!!…..

I spent a few months fretting about the whole situation as I had been told over and over to keep caves aired when you are not staying in them but I had locked it up and left it since the previous August. Clive said he was happy to pop around and open and close windows/doors etc when he was nearby and to make a start on the other work while we decided the best way forward with the collapse.

A month or so later when he was starting work Clive got in touch to say the water wasn’t running and he couldn’t find the meter (that will because the water company had removed it). Somehow in my endless list of stupid moves I had not setup a direct debit with the water company so I was in arrears, there was no water and Clive was left unable to do any serious work. So i tucked my tail firmly between my legs and got in touch with Sean at Spanish Inland Properties to see if he could help me sort it out, A couple of weeks later he got in touch with me and arranged for me to pay the outstanding bills and setup a direct debit (Great News)…. I did everything as quickly as I possibly could so as not to waste any more of Clive’s time. He kept soldiering on with bits and bobs but the water never emerged, It turned out that my wonderful friend Mat KT and her colleague Kari had been chasing and chasing the water company (but as we know it takes two weeks to get a phone answered in these parts) Soon it was August and we were booked to arrive ourselves…. so I had to explain to Rachel that it would be slightly less like Glamping, she took it in her stride and I bought a couple of solar showers as a sweetener. ¬†We arrived during the Fiesta as planned and the water still wasn’t on, Mat said I should go to the office and try and converse with the water people, I wrote down some basic bits and bobs in spanish and headed off to the office which turned out to be closed until the end of August.
So that was that….. we went to the village water fountain daily and filled up lots of plastic bottles daily so we could make coffee, wash up and flush the toilet.

Midweek we had booked a night in a Hostel on the coast in San Jose so we could investigate some of the Spaghetti Western sets. I’d figured out that we could drive almost all the way to the set of 1960’s Burt Reynolds Movie Chino (also the setting for Straight to Hell) This was accessible from one of the old roads alongside the A-92 after about 2 miles of potholes we arrived at a massive pile of rubble and decided to walk the rest of the way (about a mile as the crow flies). ¬†Three Issues here: 1) The crow flies straight and dilapidated Spanish lanes don’t. 2) Walking what turns out to be around 3.5 Miles each way in 45 degrees is a lot harder than it sounds. 3) No Water in the badlands of the Tabernas Desert is a stupid idea.
We did it and got some mementos and then headed down to San Jose, the Hostel was great and had running water so we both showered and headed into town, for a bite to eat and strolled back with the idea of a relaxed evening. 9:20pm and the place was thrust into darkness (not just the hostel but the whole town) this was fine for about 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour but then it started getting really hot as the Air Con had obviously stopped (something you never have to think about in caves). The Electricity finally came back on at around 1:00am and we were able to settle.

The following morning we visited Cortijo del Fraile and Albiroques where loads of Spaghetti Westerns were filmed then head back up the A-92 to have a look around La Calahorra Station and the setting of “Flagstone” in Sergio Leone’s movie Once Upon a time in the West.¬†It was lovely to get back to a cool airy cave ¬†ūüôā

I spent some more time trying to figure out what would be the best way to renovate the collapsed ceiling and when Clive came over we decided that the most economical way would be to backfill the fallen rock and build a retaining wall thus reducing the length of the room by around 6 feet (to be honest it was always a little long for my liking anyway). This also eliminated the need for a skip to dispose of the rock and of course the work involved wheelbarrowing it through the cave and down the yard a distance of probably 50 metres.

Just Some Trivia…….

In June 2013 I stumbled across an old friend on Facebook called Tania who had grown up near me in Devon, I hadn’t seen her since around 1984/5 as she had spent several years travelling. We got chatting about cave houses and it turned out that she was due to rent one in Spain in the August, It turned out she had booked a place in Cortes de Baza of all places. I didn’t think much more about it until early September when I saw some of her photos and it turned out she was there with her family the exact same time I had been there and she had stayed in a rental literally three doors away. We chatted about this and then one of her friends called Rachel got into the conversation who it turned out had met Tania purely by accident in Madrid a few years previous and it then turned out that I vaguely knew Rachel’s Ex-Husband….. to cut the story down a little Rachel and I got chatting, swapped numbers and hit it off rather nicely.

After a few weeks of chatting we decided we should meet up so the following weekend I drove the 250 miles from Devon to Merseyside and everything went well, after around six months of driving up and down the country I moved to Southport and the rest as they say is history.

The main problem with this was that the cave didn’t get visited at all for a full twelve months…….(I’ll explain the problems that arose in the next update)

the Village Paella that got us talking…..

The First Holiday

August 2013:
my marital status¬†was well and truly over, I’d spent a couple of months in hiding, licking my wounds and sofa surfing.¬†I decided I needed to visit the cave¬†properly on a holiday after all the effort that had gone into getting the place…… where do I start? ¬†Facebook of Course ūüôā

So I put a status on Facebook asking for a travel companion, typically I got next to no response.
The first was from a friend who runs a tea tent at festivals…. although she was into the idea of a break she couldn’t get around having time away in the middle of the festival season. I was then contacted by another friend who was able to squeeze the dates in… It was on ! I was crawling out from under my stone and attempting to use the place as it was intended (or as I at least had intended).

The plan was to go for the Fiesta (weekend before last in August). I had heard that Cortes gets really busy during fiesta and the population swells to¬†around four times it’s usual amount which by my reckoning would mean there was likely to be 30 or 40 people on the street at any given time of day or night.

We flew out from Exeter to Alicante which was novel as I had always flown from Bristol in the past.¬†Driving to the cave was interesting¬†as I was with somebody else and therefore I almost certainly spent too much time¬†explaining that it was going to be fun even though it wasn’t by the sea etc etc. On arrival I was greeted by the barbecue that had been made from the remains of the old kennels. I love the barbecue, it was one of the silly ideas I had about having my own bar with a pizza oven and then got embarrassed about thinking it was a typical British thing…. a bar with spirits and a couple of lager pumps, a tv with sky sports on 24/7, a place for fat red people with their skin falling off to congregate and a place where I could be the landlord……¬†fortunately Clive had excelled my expectations tenfold.

On entering the cave it turned out that Clive¬†hadn’t stopped at the barbecue but had also removed the ugly shelving in the shower room and replaced some parts with wood giving it a lot more of an organic feel (I was Very Happy). ¬†I sorted everyone out with their rooms and set about drinking a nice cold lager before we headed off to the fiesta.¬†The fiesta was very busy, there was people everywhere and of all ages. I love the fact that families spend time together in Europe much more than they do here, Babies, Toddlers, Teenagers, Parents & Grandparents all enjoying each others company and not being embarrassed by each others behaviours. I imagine¬†it’s down to having a little more respect for each other ?

I also got the jacuzzi (it arrived on the previous trip) fired up and that was a rather odd experience because I had imagined spending family holidays splashing about in it.

This was to be the first holiday ever and the last holiday for about a year, during this period  there was a lounge collapse disaster and I found love again <3

I apologise for the rubbish fiesta photos below…..

Delivering Furniture (and the final visit with my wife) Pt. 1

March 2013…..
Winter in the UK is over (just about) and we are all set for the first ferry crossing and first drive to Cortes ūüôā

A week ago I had loaded a man with a van whom we were meeting at Cortes next Wednesday to unload. Yesterday I had collected and loaded another van that we were driving down ourselves via the bay of Biscay.

The 22¬†hour crossing followed by the 10 hour drive seemed daunting but exciting all at once….. It was the first¬†proper step of making the place our own. The satnav had said it would take 10 hours from port to cave and it was exactly that,¬†we left Santander at 12:30 and arrived Cortes at 10:30 in the evening.¬†We were greeted by Bob with a couple of cold¬†lagers for a wind down after the tiring but ultimately straightforward journey.

The ferry crossing was a little choppy but nothing serious considering the stories we had heard about the Bay of Biscay and how¬†the ferries don’t run in the winter due to the weather. The drive was ok and it was great seeing the changes in scenery, the worst bit was¬†the fact that as we neared our destination it was dark and I hadn’t a clue about the road layouts (approaching from the north).

After a good undisturbed sleep (caves are very quiet) we headed over to our cave, we were greeted by lots of exciting things and in order of appearance they went something like this:
1) the kennels that filled half of the yard were no more so we had gained a sun trap.
2) the kennels were now in a neat pile on the other side of the yard.
3) the electric was on.
4) the strange shelving in the kitchen had been removed and rearranged.
5) the shower room had been revamped.
6) several odd square things had been made into arches and curves.
These things were all great, I was happy and this was how I imagined I should feel :-).

We got on with unloading and at some point around mid morning I heard a dog whining, it sounded like it¬†was above the cave but I couldn’t see it. A bit later on I heard it again and just happened to glance up at the¬†drain from the canal (a channel¬†that leads water away from the roof so as to stop it working it’s way into the cave)¬†and saw something move. I went to¬†investigate and there was a small black and white puppy, probably no¬†more than 10 weeks old. I brought it down and we fed it some food and let it wander about while we got on with¬†unloading and moving stuff around. That evening I heard the guy from next door arrive home and tried to explain¬†(with next to no Spanish) that the puppy had appeared in our canal and he took it away.

Note: unfortunately the Spanish don’t treat dogs or pets in the same way as the majority of¬†brits do, a large percentage of¬†people see them as pets until they outstay their welcome because they have grown¬†too big, the school holidays have ended¬†and the kids don’t need this amusement in their lives anymore, they don’t work to their full capacity because they are¬†too old……etc etc etc. I would love to see this change and it is changing but far too¬†slowly.

So day 2, shower at Bob’s and back to work unloading.
Most of the furniture is roughly where we are wanting it and we need to make space for the other van load that is¬†arriving around midday tomorrow. Then the crying puppy in the canal starts again……¬†again we bring him in and let him roam about, he seems calmer than yesterday but spent all his time hiding behind¬†things and under things….. The guys turned up at around 2:00pm with the second van full of furniture.

To be continued……..

 

A Flying Visit

We headed over to Spain in mid December 2012 to finish off the cleaning and also to sign paperwork with our solicitor so he could go ahead with court proceedings against the electric company.
This trip¬†included 4 gallons of white wine vinegar in the hold and a change of clothes. I remember there was snow on the mountains but the weather was bright and¬†sunny (I was the only person in a t-shirt). We headed for Baza to do the paperwork with the hope that the electric company would back down on the ‚ā¨2300 bill they expected us to pay.

I spent a whole day throwing vinegar around, so much so in fact the place smelt like a Chippy which was still preferable to a cattery. It felt a little like things might be coming together, the floors were so clean you could eat your dinner off them (albeit that’s a weird thing to do, give me a plate any day) but the best part was that Clive had come along in leaps and bounds changing square angular things into more organic and cavelike curves and arches.

We were only over for a couple of days so we gave Clive a list of things that we would like doing and started thinking about organising the next trip which would be to move stuff in from the UK.
The decision was made that we would look towards March or April of 2013 (something to look forward to after the fast approaching Christmas).

We had been¬†working at Tiverton Recycling Centre for about 7 years and had taken over the day to day running of¬†Crediton Recycling Centre in Devon for about a year at this point so we were already piled high with¬†furniture, crockery, pictures and all manner of other bits and bobs, all the furniture in we had seen Spain was¬†very overpriced so we decided to collect our own…… the stuff that arrives at recycling centres would very¬†often be far better than stuff¬†I¬†might buy myself (especially for a second home on a now very tight budget).

Roll on the New Year ūüôā