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Sailing Letter December 2014

January 4, 2015

Now we have passed 2014 and entered 2015. Only local holiday left is Jan 6 which is the time all kids in Spain get their presents.  Christmas was enjoyed onboard Tina with a small Christmas table, including Janson’s temptations, gingerbread and a fire burning in the wood stove. New Year ’s Eve was also spent on board with a, for us traditional, Japanese fondue. We then took a stroll ashore and celebrated the change in year at our favourite UK bar together with a lot of Englishmen. They celebrated English new year once again at 1 o’clock to be in sync with UK. December started with nice weather and 20 degrees.  Peter has done a lot of jogging (20+ kilometer/week) and I have tried to run at least 2 times per week, also using the outdoor gym (!!) to keep my muscles and knuckles in order. Since my mum has rheumatism I try to prevent that to happen to me. We finally bought new bicycles, this time with bigger wheels, and took them for a nice ride to the Salt water lakes to look for Flamingoes. Of course accompanied by a nice bottle of white wine which we enjoyed looking out over the water. Every 10-th day we drive to Felix (mountain village at 800 meters altitude) to fetch mountain well drinking water. It is so much better than the water in the marina and we get a nice car ride at the same time. Mid December the temperature at night started to go down to +10 degrees. We have therefore had a good use of our wood burner and the water based electrical heatingsystem. Day temperature is still decent 15-20 degrees which means shorts and t-shirt. What is most rewarding for a Swedish soul, used to grey and rainy days in Göteborg,  is that the sun is shining at least 13 out of 14 days and mostly from a clear blue sky. No rain. December 13, Lucia came to visit: i.e. our Swedish neighbours AnneSophie and Anders. White clothes, singing, ginger bread and “lussebulle” (a typical Swedish bun made with saffron). Christmas Eve we listened at the new Spanish King’s speech and the speech of the Pope – at least a couple of minutes. We have used the rental car a lot to look at the surroundings:

  • El Ejido market: clothes and vegetables/fruit
  • Roquetas de Mar. Close to Almerimar with good facilities for shopping DIY’s. Down at the waterside is a nice place for tapas, overlooking the bay.
  • Cartagena: we spent two nights there, really enjoying this old city. Remains exist from all different “owners” of Spain. Especially interesting was the roman amphitheater. It was found in the 1990s under some old sheds and houses in the poorer part of the city. It is now a huge museum. Cartagena also has a very sheltered harbor. It is the home for the Spanish Mediterranean naval base as well as 2 big marinas. We will definitely moor there on our way east this spring.
  • Mojacar: on our way back to “home” we spent one night here. A very old village situated on a hilltop close to the sea. White houses and narrow streets gave a cosy feeling. We drove along the coastline down to the Cabo de Gata nature Reserve and the road took us through some very scenic places. As always we are struck by how empty Spain is. Except for the small villages here and there it is mostly deserted or farmland.
  • Celin: close to Almerimar, a couple of hundred meters up the mountains is a small village with possibilities to walk in yet another nature reserve. Here is also the famous restaurant where they serve “Choto” (baby goats dishes). The restaurant is close to one of the springs with fresh mountain water.
  • Berja: another small village close to Almerimar. Last time we visited the nature reserve outside Berja and we have also visited Villavieja, old remains from the Roman empire.

Nature

  • Our Piri-Piri, Thyme and Oregano are closing down for winter and the Rosemary finally got a “sea burial” this month
  • White-headed Duck (Sw. Kopparand)
  • Poinsettia (Sw. Julstjärna) are planted everywhere now at Christmas time
  • In the harbor we have observed. 2 parrots ( green),one grey heron, some Mallards ( sw. Gräsänder), Black-headed Gull ( sw. Skrattmås). We see few Seagulls (sw. Mås), Crows (sw. Kråkor) or Magpies ( sw. skator), therefore the dustbins are open, compared with Göteborg where those have to be closed to keep them safe from the birds.

Gastronomy

  • Lamb neck with savoy cabbage: we get better and better at explaining for the butcher what we want. Slow food is still our thing and with the pressure cooker it goes quicker.
  • Jansson’s temptation ( Sw. Janssons frestelse) a must at Christmas. Unfortunately the most important ingredient anchovy Swedish style is not to be found in Spain, but we came close with a “anjo picante” somewhat hotter but good enough.
  • For tapas Eva is now experimenting with all sorts of beans: you can get white beans, brown beans ( similar to Swedish bruna bönor) or green beans. All with bacon and/or chorizo, slow cooked.
  • We have found a Russian shop here in Almerimar, so now we can try pickled cucumber, Swedish style, as well as Kimshi ( sour cabbage Korean style)

Until next time – hasta luego BR Eva, Peter

From → Sailing Letters

2 Comments
  1. Viking permalink

    Thanks! Again! Happy new year!

    Like

  2. Viking permalink

    // VJ

    Like

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