Thursday, 6 April 2017

Marvellous Marvao

Walking the Walls
After leaving Monsaraz  we thought that it just couldn't be any more beautiful.  Then we arrived at Marvao.
Mama got shaky legs
 When we arrived I said we had been here before and Mama said we hadn't and I said yes we must have because it's a castle on a mountain.
View over Spain
It sits right on the border with Spain and was a Muslim stronghold.  In fact every October they hold a Muslim festival to celebrate the origins of the town.
Another View
There is a beautiful Arab water garden in the middle.
 And big round boulders.

 We went a really long walk down the mountain and then up the other side.
And it was Spring here.  We have been following Spring up from the South of Spain.  The almond blossom is just starting here.

There are Cork Oaks and apple trees and broom and Jasmin and we even saw bluebells.  Yeah.
We went for a swim in a well and there was a funny noise coming from nearby.  I caught a couple of frogs at it.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Nerja, Fuengirola,Ronda and Cadiz

Never been to Nerja
 We loved Nerja.  We have never been before and would certainly go again.  We found ourselves a place to park by a very quiet beach and the sun came out and it was very hot.  Mama swam in the sea every day and we stayed there 5 days.  We didn't want to leave but we decided we would delay our trip so that we could see our Aunty Jayne and Aunty Ping and Uncle Joe said he would come and visit too. Yippee!!! Just as I was getting bored of the No- Funs.
Fun in Fuengirola
It was strange going back to Fuengirola.  It was almost like going home.  So many happy memories here.  Not so much the place but of the people who visited us here.  I kept pointing out the tree that Saxa climbed and the churros restaurant I took Nanny too and the Fun Fair I went to with Lollo and the apartment where Kaviya came to stay and the beach where we sat with Grandad Geoffers and Grandma Brenda and the restaurant we ate in with Aunty Jayne and Aunty Ping and so on.......
Here he is
We were soooo happy to see Uncle Joe.  He brought us food and smiles.  He let us use his shower and his wifi.  I asked Mama if we could move in.

Uncle Joe's bed
 We had a lovely time testing Spanish brandy and playing the guitar.  Torres 10 yr won hands down. We all had a ball. I told Mama we wouldn't be too sad when he left because the next day Aunty Jayne and Aunty Ping were arriving and we went to visit them and Aunty Joyce and Uncle Keith.
Another Party
And we had another lovely day eating and drinking and messing about.
My cheeky aunties
 On to Ronda.  Wow.  Mama and Daddy had heard so much about it but they were still taken aback.  What an amazing place.  High in the sky.
View from Ronda
 It was cold though and very windy.
View of Ronda

More Ronda

One more for the road
Then onto Cadiz which we all loved.  Parked right in the centre and ate loads of seafood.  Spent 2 days wandering the streets.  What a great city.  And now we are in Portugal heading home.   Such a strange thought that in a months time we will be living in a house in England.  Mama is being a bit weird about it.  I can't wait.  I can't wait to see some friends and to see my Nanny and go to school. 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Spring is Sprung and England's Calling

We went up a mountain the other day to find some snow so I could be like my cousins.  At the top we found crocuses and I told Mama that Spring was here and we had better turn round and go back to England.  Nana told me that I would be with her when Spring comes.

Mama says that we have to be back in England for the 1st of May as I will start school on June 5th in Dorset.  I keep changing my mind about going back.  I don't like the rain but I want to pretend with my Nana and I want to have some children to play with but I want to keep Nona but Mama says we will have to sell her and buy something smaller.  I love Nona.

Sierra Nevada
The No Funs took me up to a ski resort because I have been going on about being like my cousins in Norway.  We found some snow but the No Funs didn't have a sledge so Mama made me one out of an inflatable ring with a piece of fibre glass in the centre.  I loved it.  It's cold and wet but it's fun.  Then we came down to the sea again.

 We stayed in a very quirky campsite called Camping Tropical and it is tropical.  There are papayas and bananas growing and it is very very green and smells lovely.  I found a numnum tree.
Numnum tree
Daddy says that Almunecar is a very very old place and there were people here since the bronze age.  They have been making garum from salting fish intestines.  Mama said where can we buy some of those?
An old castle
We did find El Lute y Jesus Friedure.  Mama was so excited.  She came running to find Daddy and me.
We had pink mullet which had a garlic and parsley batter and a mixed fried fish which had the crispiest octopus tentacles in which tasted like pork scratchings.  Mama said she had a strange experience in the shop.  She said the man was really nice and friendly to her then when she tried to pay with a 50 Euro not he turned into a grumpy snatchy chap.  It was only later on that she saw that there were two men who looked alike.
Now we are off to Nerja and Malaga and Fuengirola.  Then we are heading back to the mountains and over to Cadiz.
We have missed my Aunty Nicole and my Uncle Joe and it looks like we are also going to miss my Aunty Jayne and Aunty Ping.  We will see them all very soon though as well as my Uncles and all my friends.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mama left a piece of her heart in the Alpujarras

So we came to Pampaneira and parked in a car park in the centre of the village and Mama fell in love.  She fell in love with the mountains.  She fell in love with the trees.    
A walk to the gorge
She fell in love with the white white walls and the green green plants and the water which rushed and gushed where ever you looked.
Poqueira Gorge
We walked all the way down to the Poqueira Gorge in the bottom of the valley.  There were brambles and nettles and it smelt of England in Spring time when the sun first starts warming up the wet ground and there were prickly pear and geckos.
The Gorge
And there were rivers running through the streets of the town. Melt water from the snowy Sierra Nevada and channelled down by the Moors running away from Granada.
A bar selling Jamon in a street with a stream
And they have houses with porches made of wood and terraces above and roofs made of trampled down shiny grey earth.

A house with a porch and a stream

So we went on a walk.  Daddy said it was the GR7 and a great walk of Europe.  So I took a stick for those pesky dogs.
Off to Bubion
If there was one thing I would change about Spain it is the dogs.  The place is full of caca and if you are not standing in it you are being growled at by one.  And they have great big ones charging about the place. And dogs.
Me on the GR7 and some more water.

What a view of Plastico
But we walked through Bubion and up to Capileira unscathed.  A bit barked at but unbitten.
A view

Almond Blossom

More Views
And we had the best meal in Capiliera.  And everyone was pleased to see us and we were pleased to see them as we had walked though the mist up a great big mountain to get there.  The best bit was that Daddy and I ran all the way back.  It took us 2 hours to get there and half an hour to get home.
Here Uncle Marcus.  A new building technique.
  And then we left and Mama left a bit of her heart there.  We drove to Lanjaron. Because Mama said she had found a nice hotel with a heated pool.  And it was a town full of fountains and I drank from every one.
It was a very green and pretty.
Green and Pretty
And the house had portals which led into beautiful little courtyards with magnificent doors and it was wonderful.  If you didn't step in dog caca.
A Puerta
We spent Mama's birthday at the hotel and it was lovely.
And we got dressed up for dinner so Mama took a picture because we had a bath.
We've had a bath
Oh and when we were in Pampaneira we met a lady who was weaving wool and Mama thought she was amazing and bought a shawl from her and the lady said we could come back the following day and watch her weave and I sat next to her and was very excited and Mama thought I might get my fingers chopped off.
And now we are sitting in the carpark of the hotel using their WIFI.  Mama says what goes around, comes around.

Cabo de Gata to Trevelez Gata

St Jose
We have passed by Almeria several times and never stopped because it looks like it is covered in plastic bags but Mama has being banging on about Cabo de Gata and going there.  And how wonderful it is.  Windy but wonderful.

There are volcanoes and the Spring flowers were out and the air smelt of honey.
View from La Isleta del Moro and our parking spot on the right

And the towns were small fishing villages which gave you an idea what Benidorm must have been like.
Hermy Hermit hiding from the wind
We found a parking spot on the beach at Isleta del Moro and then walked along the coast to Los Escullos beach.  A lot of the path had crumbled away and we had to scramble up cliffs.  It was very exciting.  But very windy.
Wild Flowers
We drove out to Las Negras but it was full of motorhomes free camping and Daddy didn't like it.  He saw one campervan open their window and throw out some vegetable peelings and there were lots of dogs roaming about and making caca and if there is one thing Daddy doesn't like it is dog caca.
Rodalquilar Gold Mines and a view to the sea
So we moved away from the cost slightly to Rodalquilar which was an old gold mine and has a great village and a brilliant botanical garden.  Mama stole a pomegranate and Daddy told her off and I ate it.
Looking for Gold
They have made a really good job of rebuilding a ghost town and people were moving back in and tourists were coming and Daddy said he wished they would do the same ooop North. 
The wind was starting to send us a little bit lala so we decided to head for the hills and the Alpujarras.  We drove up to Canjayar which was a funny little town and they had an aire right by the fire station which pleased me and morning and evening the goats walked passed us and they didn't half smell.  Mama says nothing stinks like a Billy Goat.  I'm trying to prove her wrong.

And then we went to a campsite in Trevelez which is supposed to be the highest village in Spain. Daddy is the best driver in the world.  It just happened to also be the best place for curing ham which is done using only the cold dry air and salt.  We bought loads of jamon.  Mam said I would grow a curly tail if I kept on eating so much of it but I haven't.
Looking for snow
I have been asking to see snow because I want to be like my cousins in Norway and Mama said it was forecast to snow there.  It didn't snow but it hail stormed as I called it.  Thunder and lightening and big snowballs from the sky.
My snowball for my cousins
Fortunately Daddy had an umbrella with a big metal spike on the top of it which he held up to the lightening on top of the mountain as Mama pointed out.
Mi gata
I didn't get any snow but I made a friend.  Daddy was getting annoyed because she kept trying to get in the van and he accused Mama of trying to kidnap her.  Mama said she was pregnant and gave me some of the best jamon to give her. I would like a cat.  I would like some snow too.