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Sailing Letter November 2014

December 4, 2014

November is gone! Soon Christmas. The villages around us are starting to fill up with decorations and the gardeners are cutting trees, grass and plants to make nice for the big holidays.

It has been a rather warm month with lot of sunshine. Shorts and t-shirts until last week since when a pair of trousers and a sweater has been needed from time to time. The harbor has been tested for storm and we feel very safe. That’s good! We are checking our mountains the first thing every morning to look at the snow development. Now they are really beautiful, crisp white in the morning sun. Snow cover the mountains down to around 1800 meters. 

We have been taking long walks in the “Saltinas”, the lakes close to the sea shore previously used for farming salt. Every time we go in that nature reserve area we see new birds (see under nature below). We got ourselves new bikes this week so now we can take slightly longer trips again.

Beginning of November we took the bus to Malaga to pick up a rental car. (We are paying about 300 euros for 2 months which is a really good deal). The bus ride took 4,5 hour but since we were in no hurry, we could enjoy the views. We booked a hotel for one night instead of driving back directly. As always we chose the hotel via Trivago and decided on a place easy to reach not far from Malaga – we thought….. The hotel was situated on an altitude of 800 meter above the town we had chosen, so it was a looooong journey to get there. It paid off though: nice rural 4 star hotel, Fuente del Sol, with a marvelous view both over the mountains and the Mediterranean sea. On the way back we took small roads, passing almond and olive fields. Looking forward to see them in full bloom this spring.

We have since then taken many small rides to different villages in the area. Some examples:

  • Cabo de Gata: a nature reserve with a cape, lighthouse and salt-lakes. Flamingoes of course. There is a small village, San José, that we also looked at for possible anchoring in spring. Maybe…it is difficult with the swell.
  • Enix & Felix: two small mountain villages on 800 meters. Felix was more authentic than Enix. Felix also had a well in the center where we collected perfect drinking water. Looks like that is the Sunday routine for Spanish people.
  • November 17-19 celebrating 25th wedding anniversary and birthdays, was spent in Nerja, a nice village close to Malaga. We stayed in a very nice hotel overlooking the sea. The weather was warm so we had the possibility (and took it) to take a short swim. Nerja is famous for its caves, found by 2 boys in the 1950s. We made a visit and it was fantastic!! Very large stalactites and stalagmites, one claimed to be the biggest ever found. People have been living there for thousands of years. There are also to be paintings from 25000 years ago, but that area was closed for visitors due to damage risk.

Peter, with some help from me running up and down to fetch things, have been working on the Wi-Fi system, the deck and this last week the water based heating system. For the last part we are not finished yet and it is as always annoying to have the boat interior upside-down for days. (Completed first week in December to get it to work. Yippee). But ….we don’t have to spent our days doing power point presentations, going to meetings etc, so we shouldn’t complain.

We have also tried to extend our Spanish knowledge by shopping at the local butcher. It is difficult, but I found a “butchering picture” showing the different details of cows, pigs and lamb which I think will be useful in all countries. Nothing is better than pointing on a picture (or making sounds like one of our sailing friends did), for explaining when words are not found.

Nature

  • Our Piri-Piri, Thyme and Oregano are still doing well, but the Rosemary is not happy (on the other hand, that one is growing free everywhere here)
  • Still lots of flowers: pictures attached below
  • Hoopoe (Sw. Härfågel). Pretty common in south Europe. Looks like it has a bunch of bananas on the head. Was in the old days foretelling of war
  • Egyptian Vulture (Sw. Smutsgam). Having its winter berth in e.g. south Spain, thriving in the mountain slopes close to Almerimar.
  • Black Wheatear (Sw. Svart Stenskvätta), also living in holes in the cliffs, among stones and the desert like landscape we experience here. Looks like our standard Black Bird with a white tail. Their cry is very special: a tone starting on a high note and ending on a low note
  • Olive fields: Spain has the largest area of olive cultivation in the world. 260 different varieties. Gives an interesting pattern to the landscape, especially here in Andalucía. We have read about the flooding in France and Italy and some flies in Italy damaging the crops, but here it seems fine.
  • We are still trying to figure out why the mountains have so many different colors and textures. I have included some pictures to show what it looks like. We have read that it has been many volcanos in this area and that might explain the dark purple colors and the many vertical traces we see in the landscape. Some areas are most likely old see floor with imbedded pebbles and sea shells. Dark grey areas are clay slate with flat shimmering pieces.

Gastronomy

  • Fried Calf liver: mmmm, was that good!
  • Korean chicken: we are trying new recipes now when we have time and this one was fabulous!
  • Water from high altitude well: perfect for a good coffee
  • Fresh almonds and walnuts

We will explore more “slow cooking” now when we have a picture to help our communication with the butcher

.

Until next time – hasta luego

BR Eva, Peter

From → Sailing Letters

2 Comments
  1. Elisabet permalink

    Kul att läsa om era äventyr! Grattis i efterskott då. Ha det fortsatt fint 😉 / elisabet, lars o dis.

    Like

    • Hej Elisabet,
      Tack, hoppas Du har det bra oxå!
      Hälsa Lars och Dis. Som traditionen bjuder firar vi midvintersolståndet med champagne, i år, den 21 Dec, med den fina vi fick av Dig!
      Hälsar
      Peter&Eva

      Like

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