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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 ‘swimming’ Category

A Day at Cullar Pool

Spent much of the day yesterday in the pool at Cullar which is 22km away from us. With Maureen at aqua-aerobics in the morning, I headed off with our neighbours to the pool and eventually to meet up with Maureen and another couple of friends.

Unlike the pool at Orce, it is not free to use the Cullar facilities – but near enough at under three Euros for the day. The place is excellently maintained – with 2 pools and restaurant facilities. Plenty of shade around the pools and the grass is in unbelievably good condition (it is real, I checked).

Cullar pool

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A Good Day for a Swim

Last night I did a bit of cementing – incarcerating countless thousands of ants at the same time. Of course that is just setting me up for a painting task in a couple of days. Today for the first time we took off to one of the pools – the public pool in Orce. Fed by constant spring-water, the pool is bollock-freezing cold no matter what time of the year. The fields on the other hand are now dry as a bone but still full of colour.

PoppiesAnd so it was, armed with towels we headed to the fish-infested waters of Orce – and my, have they grown. There were no more than a dozen or so people there today including some Germans who were keen to pass the time with conversation. 

Maureen with new gadgetsThis was our first dip and to be fair the water really was not that cold. With outside temperatures peaking at 26c the cool-off was very welcome.

Getting ready to go to a small gathering tonight – no doubt featuring alcohol and we have a couple of new toys to take to the lake tomorrow! I have to say I am quite looking forward to giving these a try-out – each complete with two drink-holders, no less. Or one drink and a bottle of sun-oil perhaps.

This afternoon I’ve been doing a little more work on text-to-speech for my little controllers – had some success with that – and now looking for a spare battery for the camera – not like the old days when camera batteries lasted for months, it pays to have a spare.

The area is looking great now with poppies springing up all over the place. Today I felt sorry for hay fever types as the air was full of spores. Summer is definitely here – I can feel a tour of the coast coming on soon.


Trip to Rio Guadelentin

Yesterday we got into our cars and took the drive out beyond Castril – firstly stopping at a Pizzeria which Maureen and I have been to before – which for reasons beyond me does NOT serve pizzas at lunchtime despite a HUGE sign outside saying “Pizzeria” – only in Spain as they say. 

the bridge

Throughout the day, temperatures were in the lower thirties and so we welcomed the water – no matter how cold – and Rio Guadelentin is COLD and mostly where we were, just knee deep.


The various waterfalls were amazing.


Despite her continued issues with the broken foot, Maureen managed with help to join us through the woods to see some stunning views.

Maureen Scargill

As this post is mostly about the beauty of the area – I’ll keep the dialog to a minimum and concentrate on the photos – suffice it to say we all had an absolutely wonderful time and will repeat this in the future.

more water

Everywhere you looked the water was different.


In some places it was perfectly, crystal clear.


And that was that, after hours of enjoying the view we headed off to the lake.

We then headed off to Embalse De La Bolera for a swim – during which I managed to swim from one side to the other – all but for 100 metres – the sun was starting to wane and the last part of the run was in shadows – I prefer my water bright so I turned around.

The lake

By the time I got back to shore (below – swam to other side all but for the shadow), everyone except Maureen had cleared off as we had a birthday celebration session that evening – the result being we got there an hour late – but at least we got there – happy birthday Les.


What a great day.

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.


A Day by the Sea

Castle at Velez-BlancoAfter spending Wednesday largely working (as I am today), we went off in search of sea and sun yesterday, starting our trip here in Galera with a visit to the post office and then heading off down through Maria to Velez-Blanco to visit the old castle.

Castle at Velez-BlancoThe castle has had quite a lot of re-building done on it so it’s not just an old ruin. Well worth a look and free, just drive straight up and into the entrance.

Once we’d had a good look around we then went off down through Velez-Rubio and onto the motorway.

Castle at Velez-Blanco

After maybe an hour, we arrived at VERA (down on the coast) at the PLAYAS at lunchtime and had a nice lunch by the beach, temperature was fine at around 33c but as the sea was a little choppy and I have memories of being bashed all over the rocks down there, we skipped swimming there and then headed off down to Garucha for a little sunbathing (no showers on beach – bad idea) before finally getting to Mojacar (showers on beach, good idea) late afternoon. By then we were running short of time but managed to find a superb hardware store and made the decision that we need to give the place a couple of days.

GaruchaAfter driving along the sea front looking for suitable hotels and restaurants for a while and generally checking the place out (Mojacar is very touristy but non-the-less looks well worth a stay and the beaches look nice) we headed off to Lorca to pick up a printer at the big shopping centre there.

MojacarWe settled on an Epson – cheap printer, expensive supplies but the supplies on Ebay were among the least expensive of the lot, totalling £5 for a complete replacement set of black and 3 colours. As we only infrequently use the printer over here that made a lot of sense. It’s all installed and working – and not that bad, really!

By the time we got home and got the printer working it was really too late to go down and join the G7 at the pub and so an early night.

Today as well as doing various work duties and answering a ton of emails,  I need to get some more cement on the driveway gateposts to finish off that job after some pretty poor work by our original British builder who put the gateposts together originally. Still, it’s important to have a challenge.