El Gallo

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El Gallo

This week we acquired a new, young cockerel. The old cockerel we inherited when we bought our cortijo died over a month ago but we waited for the weather to get a little cooler before we replaced him.

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El Gallo with two of our red hens and our old, white hen

The new boy gets on well with our red hens and the old white hen and enjoys the freedom of our finca.

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El Gallo with oranges and olives

You will notice the new fruit on the orange trees and the branches of the olive trees bending under the weight of the olives. We will have plenty of juice and oil this winter.

 

 

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Izzy and Ellie on Holiday – Alhabia

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Izzy and Ellie on holiday

Our granddaughters, Izzy (14) and Ellie (12) have just returned to the UK after spending 8 days holiday with us.

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In the ruins of the convent, Laujar de Andarax

On their second day we took them up to Laujar de Andarax. They found the ruins of the old convent there fascinating.

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Bodega Cepa Bosquet

We then called in the bodega of Cepa Bosquet.

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Trying out the exercise equipment in Almócita

On the way back we called in at Amócita.

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Almócita

Most of the villages in La Alpujarra have exercise equipment in the streets for villagers to use which the girls had a go on.

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Ellie in the square, Almócita

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Izzy by the rock. Almócita

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Ellie through the rock, Almocita

They were also intrigued by the stone sculpture in the square which has goldfish in the fountain around it.

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The village pool in Alhabia

Also most villages in La Alpujarra have an open air, municipal swimming pool for the locals to enjoy in the summer months.

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The pool in Alhabia is in a lovely setting

The one in Alhabia is almost 500 square metres and is in a lovely setting.

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Izzy and Ellie at the pool

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Having fun in the pool

The girls went up there most afternoons.

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Izzy and Ellie in our own pool

Our own pool in our cortijo was also well used by the girls.

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Izzy painting

Izzy also got some painting practice in.

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Izzy with Shiba and Bobby. The village, Terque is behind

The dogs needed to be walked first thing in the morning before it got too hot, Izzy was usually up in time.

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The paseo below Ohanes

One day we took them up to Ohanes.

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Refreshment on the terrace at Meson Los Casteles

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Ellie by the tapas board, Meson Los Casteles

After refreshment at the Meson Los Casteles we walked around the village.

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The mural of the grape harvest, Ohanes

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Beside the Fuente de Corazón de Jesús, Ohanes

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In the parque, Ohanes

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Izzy up a tree

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Ellie taking photos

Here are some photos of Ohanes. The captions explain.

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Izzy by the beach, Las Negras

The day before they flew back we took Izzy and Ellie down to Las Negras.

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Ellie after a swim

The girls had a swim in the sea.

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Paella

Afterwards a special treat.

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Las Barcas restaurant, Las Negras

Paella at Las Barcas Restaurant on the beach.

 

 

 

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Sun Dried Tomatoes

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The ingredients: all from our land.

We have just collected our first batch of home grown, sun dried tomatoes and laid out some fresh tomatoes which we picked this morning.

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Fresh tomatoes laid out on plastic over a pallet

This is how we dried them:
We laid a sheet of plastic over a couple of wooden pallets and held this down with 4 lengths of wood.

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Covered with netting

We cut the tomatoes in half and laid them out on the plastic and covered them in netting which we held down with 4 more lengths of wood and weighted the corners down with heavy stones.

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After 6 days in the Andalucian sunshine they are ready for storing

Six days later we collected the dried tomatoes and preserved them in jars with our olive oil, garlic and rosemary from our finca.

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Jar of sun dried tomatoes

We have grown far more tomatoes than we could possibly eat but it is not a commercial crop so this is a good way of preserving them for use later.

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Home Made Gazpacho

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Gazpacho Andaluz

During the hot summer months in Andalucia there is nothing to beat a chilled bowl of Gazpacho Andaluz. I made this cold soup this morning using tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, garlic and olive oil from our finca. White wine vinegar and bread were the only ingredients not home produced.

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Tomatoes from our finca

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Peppers from our finca

Ingredients

4 ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped

2 green peppers, cored seeded and chopped

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Chunk of white bread, crust removed, soaked in water  and squeezed dry

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

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Cucumber from our finca

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Garlic from our finca

Preparation

Put the vegetables, garlic and bread into a blender until worked to a purée then add the oil and vinegar. Blend for a few seconds longer then put in the fridge to cool. Add salt to taste, stir well add a sprig of mint and serve chilled. You can add a garnish of finely chopped, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and croutons, served in separate bowls, to sprinkle on top.

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Ohanes

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Ohanes

We are into summer now and every day is hot and sunny.

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Street in Ohanes

On Saturday we decided to drive up to the little mountain town of Ohanes.

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Although only half an hours drive away it was cooler up there with temp in the high 20s which is not too hot for strolling around the town for an hour.

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Rincon de Ohanes

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Colourful flowers

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More pots

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Little doors ….

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…. little windows

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Narrow street in Ohanes

Ohanes is a typical town of La Alpujarra with narrow, cobbled streets lined with old cottages and town houses with wooden doors, little windows and pots of flowers outside.

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Sierra de Gador from Ohanes

It also has great views of the Sierra Nevada above and Sierra de Gador opposite.

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La Barriada De Alcora

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La Barriada de Alcora

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Olive groves in La Barriada de Alcora

Ten days ago we took Mike and Tracy. who were staying with us, up to the pretty little hamlet of La Barriada de Alcora in the Sierra de Gador above Canjayar.

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Pine forests above La Barriada de Alcora

We drove along a wide track above the village alongside forests of pine.

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The Sierra Nevada

From here there are striking views of the Sierra Nevada with snow on the highest peaks and of the villages of La Alpujarra Almeriense below.

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Looking across to Ohanes. Tracy taking photos.

The mountains are mostly covered in pine forests, with some olive groves, but where there are fewer trees, probably because of forest fires in recent years, there is a profusion of wild flowers, especially where the land has been ploughed up for the partridges.

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Scabious

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White coris

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White flax

I found this surprising so late in spring and was delighted to find examples of a very pretty scabious, not encountered before, and clumps of white coris, again unusual, and an abundance of white flax.

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Lichen

There was also a curious, dark lichen on the rocks.

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Michael taking photos

Michael found some old lead mines to explore and with an eye trained to recognise minerals, found some interesting samples. He and Tracy spotted some fascinating birds and insects to photograph with their long lenses.

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Granada – The Albaicin and Sacromonte

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The Alhambra from Sacromonte

We have just returned from spending a couple of nights in Granada. Here are some photos, taken by Digby, most of which are of the Albaicin and Sacromonte. The first photo is of the Alhambra from Sacromonte. It is not possible to take this view with a normal camera as it is seen through a wire fence but Digby managed to place the lens on his iPhone against a hole in the fence.

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San Gregorio

This is San Gregorio, a church near the bottom of the Albaicin.

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Below San Gregorio

Below San Gregorio is this bustling street of oriental and Arabic shops and tea rooms.

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Shop in the Albaicin

This is typical of one of these shops with its colourful lanterns and clothes.

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Calle Aguas de Albaicin

Near the top of the Albaicin is Calle Aguas de Albaicin which is typical of the narrow streets.

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Calle Aguas de Albaicin

Here is another photo of this pretty street which has many little cafes and shops

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Plaza Larga

This street opens out on to the busy little square, Plaza Larga.

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San Bartolomé

Here is the church, San Bartolomé, at the top of the Albaicin with me in the foreground.

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The Rio Darro from the Plaza Nueva

The Rio Darro runs along the bottom of the Albaicin. This photo, taken in the evening, is of the rio from the Plaza Nueva.

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From the Carretera del Darro towards the Plaza Nueva

Looking in the opposite direction along the Carretera del Darro, back towards the Plaza Nueva, this photo was taken in the morning.

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Carretera del Darro

The Carretera del Darro is lined with beautiful old buildings.

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Carretera del Darro

The trees here cast their shadows over the cobbles in the spring sunshine.

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Buildings alongside the Rio Darro

At the end of the Carretera del Darro is the Paseo Padre Manjón. This photo was taken from here looking back along the Rio Darro.

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Building above the Darro

On the opposite bank, below the Alhambra, is this beautiful old building.

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Cuesta Chapiz

At the end of the Paseo the road turns up the Cuesta Chapiz towards Sacromonte.

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The countryside from Granada

Here is the edge of the city and this view is of the mountains  and countryside above Granada.

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The Alhambra from Sacromonte

From Sacromonte there are good views of the Alhambra and quiet corners to relax in.

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In front of a cave

This is the old gypsy quarter and there are many cave dwellings here. This is a photo of the patio in front of one.

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Cave interior

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Cave interior

Digby took these two photos of the interior of a cave.

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Typical Sacromonte dwelling

A typical Sacromonte facade

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Flower pots

Flower pots adorn the walls.

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Sacromonte cat with the Alhambra behind

Cats sit on the walls in the sunshine.

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Cuesta Gomérez

Back down in the city from the Plaza Nueva you can walk up to the Alhambra along the Cuesta Gomérez.

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Puerta de las Granada

At the top of the street you can look back down to the city through the Puerta de las Granadas.

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Sacromonte cat

We hope you enjoy these photos of Granada. They were all taken with an iPhone and the file size reduced so they can be quicker to view  but the quality is not bad.

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