Today is the Fiesta of San Marcos, otherwise known as, in this area, Dia de Campo (Day of the Countryside). Traditionally, the inhabitants of Loja and Huétor Tájar desert the towns and escape to the campo (countryside) to enjoy a picnic or barbecue.
We were very aprehensive as last year, when the house was left unoccupied by the previous owners, youths forded the river and camped overnight in our avenue of poplars below the house. Our neighbours told us that they filled up 5 dustbin liners with the rubbish the young people had left behind. Measures had to be taken to prevent this happening this year so yesterday, by the river crossing, we hastilly erected barricades made out of builders’ pallettes, and painted PROPRIEDAD PRIVADO (Private Property) on them. The neighbours roped off the entrance to their property and put up signs warning of dangerous dogs on the loose. This seemed to have the desired effect as yesterday evening and this morning a number of cars stopped on the road the other side of the river and, after noticing our signs, drove off.
Upstream, a couple of families were enjoying a picnic on the opposite bank and one brave child was swimming in the river. Although the weather has been very warm the river water is far too cold for us to contemplate a swim. Instead, I have been enjoying the new jacuzzi which we have just had installed in the patio. The water in this is maintained at a bearable 35C.