Wednesday, 28 July 2010

24 July 2010 - Weekly Food Shop

The only exercise we get at this time of year is when we go to Calpe each week for the weekly food shopping. We usually shop here throughout the year, as it’s also an opportunity to get our “people fix” and have a nice walk along the promenade. But at this time of year we restrict it to walking to our current favourite café to sit and watch the world go by.

Normally we would sit outside, but with the temperatures at 34o we find it more comfortable to sit inside. This café has lovely views of the sea, plus deep shade. And it also provides free English papers, which is an additional advantage.

Coffee con leche and a tostada with this wonderful view, not to mention the free English paper, cost less than £2 each. There are always empty tables, and no objection to taking as long as you like. In fact the most difficult part is getting the waiters attention to pay the bill when you are ready to go.

It was too hot to walk along the promenade, but just right for a paddle in the sea. The beach was really crowded and I don’t understand how people can lie on the sand in direct sunlight when it is as warm as this.

But then its time for the serious business of the day, shopping at Lidl…….

…..followed by more shopping at Mercadona.

We always enjoy our weekly visit to Calpe, but we enjoy even more returning to the Jalon Valley. When we see this view we know we are back home.

By now we are usually very hot and uncomfortable, so what better way to finish off the weekly food shop!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

19 July 2010 - Paul and Jean Visit

Paul has wargamed with us for many years, but Jean is a relative newcomer to the hobby. It was nice that Jan and I could play on the same side rather than against each other.

Paul and Jean have recently moved to Spain, and were very interested in Jans collection of Spanish Gardening books. Not a subject which I know much, or indeed anything, about.

This time of year it is never long before the heat gets too much and it’s in to the pool to cool off.

In the evening we went to a local restaurant. We had booked a table outside, but it had turned very windy so we ate inside instead. We were the only ones to do so, and we were quite pleased to note that they had to struggle to control their table cloth.

Despite the large selection of starters, I could not find one I liked except for my usual soup. However I was impressed when it arrived as I had obviously chosen the best looking one.

Paul had clearly chosen the largest one. Don’t be fooled by the bottle of water that was mine as I was driving. The menu includes a half bottle of wine or a bottle of water. Mind I did have a small glass of wine in exchange for sharing my water.

Next day we went to the marina at Denia. Another very hot day, so we did not walk far. In fact we had to abandon the elevated path to the lighthouse and seek shade below.

It’s always nice viewing the “rich people’s toys”, and today was no exception.

There are lots of bars and cafes around the marina, but this is our favourite. Lots of deep shade to keep the heat at bay whilst we had a coffee and watched the world goes by.

It was then back home for a little more of this…….

….and quite a lot more of this.

We plan to visit each other each month or so, and if they are all as pleasant as this weekend we will be very pleased.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

11 July 2010 - Parcent Autoloco

We receive an email each week from the town hall to keep us up to date with what is happening in the village. This week read “Sunday 11th July the village celebrates the autoloco event where home produced go carts and ´mad cars´race down the hill to the Cooperativa. This is a great spectacle organised by village youths, starting after 10.30 in the morning.”

As Brits do, we arrived at 1030, and found the roads closed, a collection of Go-Karts, and lots of people strolling around. But it was well past 11am before the first Go-Kart was towed up the hill ready for the first race.

There is a group of helpers at the top of the hill who give each one a good push, and they then free wheel down the hill towards the Cooperativea. If they grind to a halt, they are given another push.

The village was crowded with spectators, and the entries had come from as far as Denia, with most of the villages in the valley being represented. As always happens, the whole village really entered into the spirit of the thing, and each driver was cheered and clapped as he flashed past.

It’s a shame that I don’t have sound on the blog, because the noise would have done credit to a Grand Prix. The sound system was on the steps of the Cooperativea, and the volume up full. The “music” was felt as much as heard.

There were a few young boys taking part, but most were older teenagers of young adults. It was all very macho, and everyone took it very serious. However the effect was often spoiled at the bottom of the hill, where there is a sharp left turn. Most came to grief here, and had to be pushed to the finish line.

It was very hot and tiring waiting around for the next one to come. So after two events we retired to the Cooperativea for a coffee and bacon bocadillo. Its very hungry work taking part in these village events!

Monday, 5 July 2010

3 July 2010 - Parcent to Jalon

Its a few weeks since the Monday Club stopped walking for the summer. We have done a few short walks since, but have missed our “proper walks”. In fact it’s been much cooler since the decision was made, and most Mondays since have been considerably cooler than our final walk. So we decided to walk into Jalon from Parcent. This is a regular CBMW walk, and one we have done with the Monday Club in the past. We can see the start of the walk from the house, its just to the right of Parcent church tower.

We normally walk into Jalon along the valley path, and back along the hillside path. But this involves a steady climb from Jalon, and it was too hot for that. So we decided to do the walk in reverse.

Before we reached the hillside path this lovely horse came trotting down a side track and across our path. There is a stables nearby, and we assume that he somehow got free from there.

We both have “foreign legion” hats. They do not look very smart, but they are very effective on very hot and sunny days. We usually keep the flaps up when we are walking in the town, and only put them down when we are out of sight of non walkers

This higher path is always cooler than in the valley, and parts of it are shaded. We had left Parcent at 10am, so it was very pleasant and reasonably cool.

The best views on this walk are going towards Parcent, but this way also provides changing views towards the coast.

Earlier this year we noticed that quite a few of our regular walks are now signposted, including this one. The small square on the tree is made of plastic, but already many of them have been damaged, whether on purpose or not I don’t know.

As we neared Jalon we passed the goat farm. Most of them were in the shade, but a couple were sat on top of a pile of rotting oranges. They were obviously not as offended by the strong smell as we were.

Both of the café’s in Jalon square were packed. Usually the Spanish sit inside, and only “mad dogs and Englishmen……” However there were quite a few Spanish families outside today and we enjoyed watching the young children in the play area.

We took longer than usual on our coffee con letche and toastada, but eventually we had to face the return journey. If there were a bus service from Jalon to Parcent we would have been tempted, but there is not. It was now very hot and it took us much longer, even though we were on the valley path.

This isolated church is our favourite rest place during the hotter weather. There is a deep naya, and it is always cool. It seems to attract any wind available, and the noise of the leaves is very restful. I often hang my shirt outside to dry, but it was not necessary today

In hot weather this last mile is by far the worse part of the walk. There is no shade from the sun, and the white path is so bright you have to squint even with sun glasses.

And then we reach Parcent. Our house is one of those on the right, below the twin peaks of The Green Horse. As you can see there is a steep climb up from Parcent.

However we had cheated. As we often do in the summer we left our car just outside Parcent to avoid the steep climb to the house. It takes about 20 minutes from Parcent, and in parts is very steep. We always feel guilty when we drive down from the house, but very grateful when we reach the car at the end of the walk.