Ojos Abiertos

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Daisy and her puppies

Daisy’s puppies are two weeks old today and their little eyes have just opened. They will not be able to see very well or hear for a few days yet but, as you can see from the photos, they are thriving. Compare them with last weeks photos.

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Pixie

Here is Pixie.

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Dotty

Dotty has a black scull cap.

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Bobby

Bobby is the only male.

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Betty

Big Betty is the largest and the alpha female.

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Old Olives in the Valley

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Rodalquilar from the path

Yesterday we went for a walk along El Valley de Rodalquilar following a track the other side of the main road. Looking back there are good views of Rodalquilar, the old gold mine workings and the mountains behind.

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Ancient olive trees

This track passes through a grove of ancient olive trees.

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Sunlight and shadows

Their gnarled shapes provided some dramatic images with the low, winter sun casting its long shadows in the afternoon.

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Winter sunshine

It was a beautiful, sunny day and we have the same today unlike much of Spain which is suffering from  severe weather. Colder weather is due to reach us in the week though.

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Old Noria

Also along the walk we passed this old noria, waterwheel. It is similar to the one behind El Playazo ,which has been restored, but this one is in ruins.

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One week old today

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Daisy and her pups

Daisy’s puppies are one week old today and are thriving. They have more than doubled their birth weight. We have given them provisional names – from left to right in the photo above – Pixie, Dotty, Betty and Bobby.

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Betty at the bar

Although their eyes are still closed they know their way to the milk bar. Betty is the largest and greediest.

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Bobby taking time out

The only male, Bobby is the smallest.

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Four feeding together

Left to right – Betty, Booby, Pixie and Dotty.

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Pixie

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Dotty

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Bobby and Dotty

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Pixie and Bobby

Enjoy the photos. They are quite cute.

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City Streets and Walls

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Puerta de Purchena

Yesterday morning I, Digby, went on one of Jose Campoy’s guided walks around Almeria City. This time, the group met at the Puerta de Purchena at the heart of the city.

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Building in the Puerta de Purchena

The streets in the centre of Almeria are mostly lined with modren buildings with shops at street level and apartments above. However, in between these unremarkable, high rise edificios are some architectural gems from earlier days. All you have to do is look above the shop fronts and you will see some lovely facades like this one in the Puerta de Purchena.

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Statue of Nicolás Salmerón

The group gathered here near the statue of Nicolás Salmerón, the President of the 1st Spanish Republic who was born in Almeria in 1837. His figure is not erected on a plinth but stands on the pavement as if he were among the pedestrians.

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Tapas bar in Calle de Antonio Vico

From the Puerta de Purchena we walked down Calle de Antonio Vico towards the city walls. Along this narrow street there are other attractive buildings. I liked the facade of this tapas bar.

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Ornate facade in Calle Antonio Vico

This house has a particularly ornate facade. The carvings would suggest it once belonged to members of the nobility but it looks quite small from the street. Single storey with just one door and window to the street.

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More houses in Calle Antonio Vico

On the opposite side of the street is another interesting building, the outside walls of which are covered in tiles.

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The first gateway in the city walls

At the top of this street we reached the city walls where the first of the old gates led into a cul de sac.

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Old house by the fortifications

This old house is almost touching the old fortifications.

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Modern Almeria with the old walls in the foreground

Looking back over the start of the city walls there are some good views of the modern city of Almeria. The contrast between old and new is very evident in this photo.

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Statue od San Cristóbal

We walked up to the nearby  the statue of San Cristóbal. As you can see it was a lovely, cloudless morning.

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Overlooking the Mediterranean

His statue overlooks the Mediterranean and there are dramatic views looking into the light of the city and the sea.

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Muralla de Hayrán, Alcazaba and La Chanca

The city wall, Muralla de Hayrán, leads up to the castle of the Alcazaba. In this photo you can see the old gypsy quarter, La Chanca, below and to the right of the Alcazaba.

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Ancient gateway in the wall

We passed through this ancient gateway to the other side of the wall.

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The battlements and modern city below

Looking down onto the city from this side provided another stunning view into the light with the fortifications leading down to modern Almeria.

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The great walls of Almeria

Looking back the other way one can appreciate the grandeur of these structures. During the time of the Moors, Almeria had the longest city walls in Spain.

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Traditional architecture in the city centre

I did not have time to stay longer with the group so I walked back to the Puerta de Purchena and then along the Rambla de Obispo Orberá to the car park in the Rambla de Bélen. There are some lovely buildings along the way. I thought this one was particularly magnificent.

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Casa Blanes

I always stop at Casa Blanes along this street to buy spices, loose tea and dried fruits in the shop on the ground floor. This is another beautiful old building.

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Sherries from the barrel

Also along this street, I was intrigued by this bodega which sold wine and sherries from the barrel and served delicious tapas.

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Inside Bodega Aranda

It was obviously a popular place with the gentlemen of the city who were congregating inside the great wooden doorway. I was only in Almeria for a couple of hours but packed a lot into this short visit.

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New Year – New Arrivals

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Daisy and her puppies

Daisy gave birth to her puppies during the night.

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Mother and baby

For a first time mum she has coped very well.

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The only male is the one with a patch 

She has four perfect little Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluces. Three girls and one boy. The boy is the puppy with a patch on his shoulder like his father “El Cojon”

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Scrambling for the bar

For enquiries regarding the puppies please contact us at digmerry@gmail.com

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Oliebollen and Appelflappen in Las Negras

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Oliebollen and appelflaffen

It is a tradition in Holland to celebrate New year’s Eve with traditional sweet treats called ‘oliebollen’ (delicious round doughnuts with dried fruits and coated with icing sugar) and ‘appelflappen’ (tasty apple fritters) downed with Champagne (in Spain Cava), so when we called on our Dutch neighbours today the spread was laid out in their garden for visitors to enjoy.

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New Year’s Eve by the sea

It was a great afternoon in the winter sunshine by the sea.

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In the Mediterranean garden

It was not just for the Dutch. We recognised local Spanish neighbours as well as people from Germany, Belgium and Nigeria.

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Anxious perros de agua

The treats were not just for humans. The two perros de agua (Spanish water dogs) of Graciela, the village nurse, were anxious not to miss out.

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Cava and fritters

We hope we have enough room and energy for the 12 grapes at midnight.

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The day after Christmas – Cala del Carnaje

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How green is El Valle

Another glorious winter’s day so, after a light lunch of fruit and yoghurt to make up for the excesses of yesterday, we went for a walk down the track to Cala del Carnaje. This is the next turning off the road to Rodalquilar after el Playazo. Looking back towards Rodalquilar the  campo is a vivid, fresh green.

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the shepherd

Walking over the hills to the coast we encountered this shepherd looking after his sheep and goats.

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One man and his dog

Not a very stressful life sitting on a rock amongst the olive trees with your dog watching your flock.

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Palm trees against the sky

The track then wanders down to the beach passing these palm trees standing erect against the hills and clear, blue sky.

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Cala del Carnaje

Cala del Carnaje is a very stony beach and because if this and its remoteness gets few visitors but it is a pleasant walk and the coastal views are breathtaking.

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Olive trees in the afternoon light

Returning up the path in the early evening light the long shadows and olive trees inspired some dramatic pictures.

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Old olive tree

The shapes of the gnarled, old olives create impressive compositions against the backdrop of mountains and clear skies.

 

 

 

 

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