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This is Peter and Maureen Scargill's Spanish website. We live in Galera in Andalusia (for clarity, that is the English spelling - Mid-Spain they spell it Andalucia and pronounce it "And-a-loo-thee-a").

We've had a home in Spain for more than 14 years and it is now our permanent base though we retain a small home in the UK.

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Archive for the ‘sunbathing’ Category

Another weekend is upon us

A fine time was had last night, we met up with Alan and Ant at Cueva Cascada and also with fellow Geordie Brian and his wife Maureen – some amazing work on lighting over at Cascada which has given me lots of new ideas for the future. We all had a great time – I spent some time talking to Ant who is Russian – he has one hell of a camera and it shows in his photos… and now I’m sitting here checking out Ebay for lighting.

We had hoped to get to the lake today for a baking but despite being 28c, it’s a little overcast. The lake is quite cool and so it really needs to be 30c+ to get the best out of it.

Scenery around Galera

Maureen has been checking out properties this morning while I’ve been catching up with the email mountain and figuring out some new lighting and solar power ideas. I still have to hook up my remote controlled relay unit for controlling stuff on the mobile phone… amazing how powerful the sun is at sapping enthusiasm for projects.

I reckon I’ll implement some of this stuff when it gets just a little cooler maybe in October. For now we’ve a BBQ then there’s some horse show on later tonight and of course a trip to La Posa at some point.

Another Fine Weekend in Andalucía

The PergolaA great weekend so far, but not entirely without it’s issues. For the second time in a year, after lots of flawless, smooth driving over the past few weeks, the car has decided to have a fit – the gears and wheels won’t talk to each other and so it’s dead in the water, as it were. The gears and clutch work – but there’s a disconnect between the power train and the actual wheels.

This time, thankfully, it packed in locally (and not on the motorway like last time) so  it is now languishing at the Renault dealer in Huescar and we’re picking up a rental car on Monday – having no car for a week is great for exercise but pretty much a disaster otherwise.

SunsetAll of this happened on Friday and the guy at the Huescar Renault dealer was very helpful despite our language incompatibility – when I called in armed with my Google translation to find out what the damage was, he had the thing up on the ramp in no time and after prodding with a various metal rods for a while he managed to get one of the wheels to turn for about 2 seconds so I’m hopeful it’s not a new engine or something equally traumatic… but hey, you buy a cheap second hand car, you expect issues. It does make you wonder about the benefits of owning a car and having this hassle as against rental.

The GrubAfter a little rain around Huescar which we missed here in Galera, the weather here has been fabulous – the mist has cleared and there’s a great view of the mountains in the distance. Yesterday, Maureen spent much of her time putting bits and pieces together for our party while I built a music playlist on the computer – that of course and spending as much time as possible in the (cold) hot-tub.

TintoMy new lights never did turn up from China but then I was probably being a little optimistic – they’ll probably turn up Monday. We borrowed (with permission) tables and chairs from absent neighbours, ice came from La Posa thanks to incredibly helpful neighbours and we kicked off at 7pm, finishing around 2am – despite having a slightly fuzzy head this morning I’m pretty sure everyone had a good time and thanks to people helping clear up, this morning was not the usual post-party nightmare.

The ViewJust as well as it’s quite hot, with clear blue skies again and I foresee a very lazy Sunday ahead of us. The first neighbours up this morning took the garbage away – what more could you ask for…when I’m done here I’m off to soak in the (cold) hot tub and work on the tan.

Tomorrow I’m planning to catch up on emails and work while Maureen and Alison head off to Granada to get a rental car while we figure out what to do with our own slightly disabled Renault.

Regards – Peter Scargill

A deadly day at the beach

Los Alcazares just down from San Javier airportWent to pick up our friend Alison yesterday at San Javier airport. As we had all day, we decided to have lunch on the beach and a swim – so off we went to a little seaside cafe just North of Los Narejos area which is part of Los Alcazares (straight off the motorway, big roundabout entrance at Los Alcazares, straight down to sea front where the diving centre is). We’d been here previously and had good service but this time the staff were on work-to-rule or so it seemed, it took an hour to get a simple burger. Nice food but zero marks for service.

Cafe on the beach at Los AlcazaresYou can’t swim where the restaurant is but we could see looking South there were people in the water so we headed down a few blocks to Playa Narejos – if you could ignore the smell of fresh sulphur, it looked like a good place to park up and swim so off we went to get some tanning. The sea-front there looks great, there’s a large area which appears levelled off underwater and is all sand – it doesn’t seem to get more than 5ft deep – we noticed some buoys marking off a large area which we assumed was just to keep you off the rocks – well, no, it turns out that they were there to support underwater nets. We figured they were either to contain something nasty or to keep something out.

Jellyfish - the ones at the beach were much darkerTurns out it was the latter… as we stood arm-deep in the sea staring at 2 nasty-looking jellyfish in front of us. There was a Spanish lady in the sea with her kids and she was wandering around with a bucket collecting them and throwing them back over to the other side of the net.

We decided after helpfully spotting jellyfish for her for a while, that this wasn’t the best way to relax so off we went to San Javier for some supplies, including some new lights for the cave, before picking up Alison and returning back to Galera mid-evening for a quiet night in. I think overall I prefer the lakes and pools – nothing dangerous and no salt and sand to clean off later.

Alison has brought me a new router from the UK (OpenMesh) so this morning, after catching up with the email mountain, I’m pulling the whole lot apart to see if I can improve reliability a little as the current router has a tendency to die on occasion for no good reason.

Fortuna – That’s WELL Sick

Thursday began with a walk down to Galera village to pick up the mail. My order of button cell batteries turned up from China so the colour-change party glasses are now restored to their former glory.

FortunaWe then spent the remainder of the morning and early afternoon driving cross-country to Fortuna, somewhat North of Murcia to visit our friends Dave and Mary who have a very nice house on the outskirts (somewhat opposite the interestingly-name Bombay Indian Restaurant which didn’t smell at all Indian) and so it was that we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in their pool before heading off along with a couple of their friends Tony and Mo for dinner.

The Menu Del Noches at restaurant La Puerta Grande (which is just off the main road to Fortuna) at 12 Euros for a 5-course day or evening meal including beer and wine, is not to be sneezed at (closed Mondays)! Very nice indeed and apparently the restaurant is a popular haunt. We met some friendly Dutch folks there and generally had a great time.

FortunaAfter a somewhat excessive amount of alcohol thanks to the all-inclusive pricing and an early start, we returned to a warm (maybe 28c) sunny starlit night and straight back into their pool for a hilarious time where we spent the rest of the night rolling about laughing, while (for reasons that escape me now) competing for who could do the best Essex accents (hence the blog title). Very entertaining, girlfriend!

Friday morning, or more accurately late Friday morning with the temperature in the upper 30s, our hosts prepared a 2pm BBQ – if they felt as bad as I did I have the utmost admiration as I’d have been just as happy to sleep the day away but with some excellent grub consumed I was back in the pool as right as rain. We met some more great neighbours but had to leave mid-afternoon in order to head off to San Javier for a planned airport pick-up and supply refresh.

FortunaMaureen and I set off for Murcia and Ikea in the search of various items – we got to Murcia Ikea and found the nearby Chinese store which sadly wasn’t a patch on the one in San Javier and so after a brief check which saw Maureen buying more yard-art, off we went to San Javier -  all of this of course was supposed to be on Fartons Polothe way to pick up friend Alison at the airport but as we got nearer to arrival time, it became apparent via a text message that we had the day wrong. Ah, well.

So we ‘re back again on Sunday for a re-try! It’s 9.30am Saturday, Maureen’s still fast asleep – I don’t see a lot happening today… time to catch up with the emails. The photo on the right I could not resist taking – something for sale at Eroski – I wasn’t about to investigate any further with a title like that.


An interesting Week in Galera

Bedrock  -up in the mountains outside of Galera

If you’ve read my previous blogs we’re here at Bedrock to get the place ready for the summer – the usual – holes appearing in walls etc. and the plan was to get some paint and cement and start the process early this week.

That was kyboshed when our Spanish-registered car packed in on the way over here. I can’t remember ever being without a car… it’s an interesting experience… not half as bad as I expected but we were beginning to wonder how to get the next set of groceries up the hill (it’s a BIG STEEP HILL) when one of our local friends who’s been talking to the garage in Caravaca De La Cruz for us informed us that it’s a wiring issue (so much for the road-side mechanic and his BATTERY theory) and we can pick it up tomorrow –AND it’s not going to break the bank. We’re so grateful for offers of help we’ve had – nice to have decent neighbours.

Meanwhile it turns out there is still an issue with some paperwork stopping us getting the electricity sorted and so we’re ok as long as we don’t go above 2-3Kw – which means no hot-tub…

On the upside the broadband is working a treat and the weather has been SUPERB – it’s 33c out there as it was yesterday also – BEAUTIFUL sun-bathing weather with a nice breeze to stop you frying.  Maureen is alternating between outside jobs and watching the royal celebrations – I on the other hand have two genes missing – one for watching sport – the other for following the royals – so instead I’m alternating between plugging holes in the walls, doing a spot of programming and buying cheap Chinese crap on Ebay – I managed 30 minutes in a deck-chair and that was it – too many things to do, too little time.

We just found out today that Lorca has a decent shopping centre with an Eroski supermarket so no doubt we’ll be taking a trip there before long. But first… a trip to the local bar for a beer and pizza.

Bedrock  -up in the mountains outside of Galera

Embalse Del Negratin

Maureen Scargill enjoying lunch by the lakeOur last day for a short while and the weather is absolutely marvellous, accordingly Maureen and I went off to the lake so she could collect some rocks…

In the process we ended up having lunch at the excellent lakeside cafe, NOT CHEAP I hasten to add but the view is magnificent (and I skipped breakfast and so was GAGGING for something to eat).

That’s where we spent the morning. Some of you looking in here might think I’ve pulled the same trick as the holiday companies with the editor on some of these shots – but I’ve not. There are two types of photo here, panoramas and HDR (to capture the range of dark to light) and that’s about it – cropped and dumped into this blog.. Amazing what you can do with an iPhone, the right software and just a little time and effort.

If I could have stopped here for another week, this morning alone was worth the trip as you’ll see. Enjoy the photos and please do click on them to see larger versions.

Embalse Del NegratinEmbalse Del Negratin

Embalse Del Negratin

Embalse Del Negratin

And if you want more.. I’ve put the whole series up onto Google Web Albums. Enjoy.