Snow and Autumn Colours

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La Calahorra

At last we have had some proper rain and, this time of year, that means that there is snow on the Sierra Nevada. Sunshine today so off to Granada to see the fresh snow on the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. First stop La Calahorra.

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El Castillo de La Calahorra

The magical castle, Castillo de La Calahorra, was built, in the Italian Renaissance style, at the beginning of the 16th Century for the Marqués del Cenete. It is best captured in the morning when it and the Sierra Nevada are lit by the morning sun and cloud has yet to cover the peaks.

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Autumn colours in Sacromonte, Granada

Instead of entering the city through the centre we diverted via El Fargue and parked at the top of Sacromonte taking a circular walk around the higher Albaicin and back through Sacromonte and on to a footpath over the hills. The autumn colours looking through Sacromonte up the valley of the Rio Darro were vivid in the brilliant morning light.

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Granada from the hills above Sacromonte

This is the view looking back at Granada, into the sunlight from the fields above Sacromonte. We love the colours of the backlit trees.

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Sierra Nevada from above Sacromonte

From the same fields, the view in the opposite direction, with the olives, woods and snow-capped mountains lit by the sun, is a contrast.

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Sierra Nevada from El Fargue

Another view of the Sierra Nevada. This time from El Fargue on the way back. Although only early afternoon, the shadows have lengthened, creating interesting patterns in the olive groves, and clouds have begun to build up on the Sierras.

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La Ruta de Las Palomas, La Chanca, Almeria

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This morning we went on one of Jose Campoy’s guided walks around La Chanca, Almeria. We parked in the fishing port and as we were early strolled around the harbour. Although the morning started dull the fishing boats always make colourful subjects. Being Sunday, most of the fishing fleet was moored up and men were mending nets on the quay.

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Reflections in the water

There was little wind so the boats were reflected in the calm sea.

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Houses of La Chanca with the Alcazaba behind

We did this walk a couple of months ago so on this blog we have tried to show different images from our last tour. Walking up the hill the painted houses form a pretty foreground in front of the old Moorish castle, the Alcazaba. Many of the houses in La Chanca are faced with a mosaic of tiles like the one in this photo. As you can see the sun came out.

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A typical street in La Chanca

The further up you walk the more signs there are of poverty and decay. This is a typical street of La Chanca.

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Not very pretty but somebody lives here

This photo illustrates the state of some of the buildings and the detritus lying around.

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A more attractive corner

Despite this there are some very attractive corners and the Alcazaba is imposing.

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Nouse with banana tree

Outside this door a banana tree is growing. It even has a large bunch of fruit.

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The Alcazaba and Almeria City

At the summit of the walk there are superb views of the Alcazaba and the city of Almeria spread out below. We hope you enjoy the photos.

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November sunshine in El Playazo

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This afternoon we walked through El Valle de Rodalquilar down to El Playazo beach. The light was remarkable. Yesterday the sea was a vivid ultramarine but today it was a deep turquoise.

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Daisy posing by the rock pools

At the end of the beach, from the rock pools, the views out over the calm sea were stunning.

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Looking back to the beach from the rock pools

So were the views looking back to the beach and mountains.

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Pristine sand and a calm sea

The sand was pristine and the sea calm which is unusual for this time of year when the wind can pick up in the afternoon.

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Palm trees and mountains

Walking back up the valley the palm trees made dramatic images in to the light against the backdrop of mountains.

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Dramatic colours and light

The shadows and colours produced by the low, winter sun are dramatic.

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A final view looking back to the coast

The olive trees also form interesting shapes in this light. Here is one last view looking back to the beach

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Cleaning up Las Negras

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The rambla where the clean up started

Earlier this week the Ayuntamiento de Nijar finally cleaned the rambla, Aires de Las Negras, from the crossroads near the entrance to the village to where the rambla meets the beach. Before, the rambla was contaminated with plastic bottles, toilet paper, human faeces and other rubbish from the campers nearby.

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The rambla where it approaches the sea

How long the rambla remains clean is another matter. As long as travellers can camp for free in the car parks next to the rambla, where there are no facilities, this special place will continue to be abused. These people have no interest in the beautiful environment of the Parque Natural and contribute nothing to the local economy.

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Boats on the beach yesterday

Las Negras, though, is looking very attractive in the November sunshine. These photos were taken yesterday.

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A perfect place for a winter holiday

The village is very quiet at the moment. It is a pity there are not a few more regular tourists here to enjoy this special place.

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Villa in Las Negras for sale – Update

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Entrance and front garden

We are hoping to have a sale agreed for our house before the end of this year, Autumn is normally the busiest time of the year for property sales here. We received a very good offer, which we accepted, from a Spanish couple two weeks ago. Unfortunately, just before contracts were to be signed, they decided to invest their money in an invernadero (greenhouse) instead. Perhaps they decided they needed to create more income before buying a home.

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Sun on the back terrace this morning

We have more viewings next week but thought we ought to point out and illustrate a few aspects which may not be clear from our original description and photos. See – https://countryhouseinspain.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/house-with-pool-for-sale-in-las-negras/  Firstly, people are often stuck on insisting on a sea view. The villas across from us which have a sea view get no sun after midday in the winter as they face north east and have a mountain behind. Our house faces south west so gets the sun all day in winter. A very important point if you are spending most of the year here. We regularly sunbathe on our terrace during December and January.

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Sun in the front this morning

These photos, taken this morning, show that both the front of the house and the terraces to the back have full sunshine.

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The houses are at the end of a cul-de-sac with mountains behind

Secondly, although it is a street of 15 houses, it is a cul-de-sac with no through traffic so we only see residents and the occasional walker.

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Looking back from the countryside towards the houses and sea

While on the subject of walking we need to point out that we are surrounded by hills and ramblas with walking tracks covering the countryside.

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Sunny, private terrace

Thirdly, because like most of these houses we are semi- detached, people may wrongly assume that we lack privacy. The back terraces of the houses are fenced and walled and are not overlooked. No problem with sunbathing in the nude on our bottom terrace. As our house is the second one in the street, the first one being detached and on a very large plot, it is the most private of the semis.

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Love in Lanjaron

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El Cajon meets Daisy

We thought we would like our Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz, Daisy, to have a litter of puppies. She is a fine dog, very intelligent, playful and a good example of her breed. Unfortunately we have not seen any suitable machos locally. Enquiries at the vets, to the breed society and internet searches proved fruitless. As she was coming season we cast our net wider and found a likely dog in Lanjaron in La Alpujarra de Granada. Though smaller than Daisy and with a docked tale he still looked a handsome dog from the photos.

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Daisy and El Cajon head for the woods

On Tuesday I drove Daisy up to Lanjaron, a long but easy drive now the coastal autovia to Motril has been completed. I met Rafa, the owner of Daisy’s suitor, at the edge of the town and followed him up a track through the woods above Lanjaron and stopped at his friend’s cortijo where the dogs could run loose.

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Romping together

Daisy and El Cojon, the dog, hit it off immediately. They ran off together into the woods, chasing each other and playing together as only Bodegueros know how. There was plenty of foreplay but no positive action.

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The cortijo of Rafa’s friend

Rafa, a friend of his and I sat on the terrace of the little, rustic cortijo observing the action, or lack of it. Rafa’s friend suggested that Daisy was too big, being taller than El Cojon. Rafa enquired whether she was quite ready. I asked if El Cojon had ever done the act before. Rafa said no, it will be his first time. I replied that it was Daisy’s too.

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The view from the terrace

Finally, after almost an hour of fooling around, El Cajon worked out his technique and the act was accomplished. I will not embarrass the dogs by publishing  photos of copulation but it was very pleasant sitting in the dappled sunlight underneath the vines of the terrace, surrounded by woodland, the sound of trickling water and the lovely views across to the hills of the Contraviesa. A totally different landscape from the Cabo de Gata.

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Tribute to Las Pitas

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Adios, Las Pitas. Photo from 2011

We have always associated Las Pitas with the landscape   of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata.

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On the estepa with Bornos in the distance. Winter 2011

Because they are not endemic to Andalucia there was talk of them being eradicated by conservationists.

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Cortijo de los Frailes. January 2012

Instead an invasion of black picudos, a small beetle, has invaded the Parque and is rapidly killing them off.

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Pitas shooting up their stalks, Genoveses . Spring 2012

We have compiled a selection of photos from our library, taken over the last five years, as a tribute  to the pitas (agave).

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Pitas against a tormy sea. Winter 2012

At least we have recorded their memory.

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Pita and full moon. June 2013

Pitas always made striking images in sillhuette  into the light.

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The dunes behind Monsul. Winter 2014

When pitas died, young shoots would fall off the old stalks and root themselves in the ground around.

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Pitas in flower, Las Hortichuelas. Summer 2015

Pitas in flower added bright yellow colour to the summer landscape. We have not seen this in 2016.

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Los Genoveses. October 2016

You cannot tell from this photo but most of the plants here have been infected and are dying.

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Ruin and pitas above Agua Amarga. Spring 2016

With the eradication of the chumberos (prickly pear) by the red, cochinella beetle the loss of these two plants will completely change the landscape of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata.

 

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