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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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Coming to the end of our summer Spanish journey –

The end of our summer trip and we went to the local cafe for pizza – though we’ve come to the conclusion we’re going to have to start looking to widen our options – Friday night everyone brings their kids and some of them are LOUD. As we prepared to pack up and go back to the rain, I took  a couple of parting photos – in both cases, multi-image panoramas.

I took this first one at sunrise – at the amazingly late time of 8am – the original images are as always up on FLICKR and are much larger (just click on the images to see the originals) – this is a beautiful view of the area which really needs 3D to explore properly (hmm, there’s a thought).

The other photo, taken at the same time – shows the current state of one of the rooms, tentatively entitled the living room. The 8 holes in the wall comprise the “wine rack” and we’re still waiting for a cupboard to go below that but otherwise the room is taking shape and everything works.

On top of the fridge (for now) is the broadband equipment comprising Iberbanda connection and wifi router complete with battery backup. That then feeds into the mains to supply another router upstairs.

We’ve deliberately used two convertable settees (one shown here in red, the other is upstairs) and you can see the wood fireplace over on the right. Of interest all of the windows have double glazing and internal shutters as well as fine mesh to keep out nasties. Most of the time when we’re here they are open – safe enough, as outside they have secure iron decorative (but also very functional) grates as do most properties here. We’ve ordered wood for our next trip over in October in case the weather cools off (we’ve had no need to use the fire up to now as even at night the place is comfortably warm).

Before leaving, we made sure we had everything turned off everything except the Internet (for the webcam) and started the journey back home. We set off on the two-hour journey to the airport and I checked the available miles on the digital display on the dash. Enough fuel for 225km it said – and with  a 115km drive ahead we set off.

Unfortunately, no doubt thanks to travelling WAY in excess of the speed limit at times (pretty much unavoidable as the original sat-nav estimates proved conservative – we were pushing it for time), that edge rapidly disappeared – unfortunately we didn’t spot it until we were within 25km of the airport – and there was not a SINGLE petrol station for the entire remainder of the journey. To say that the last 10 minutes was hair-raising would be an understatement – within 5 km of the airport the car gauge said we had ZERO miles left and so we were expecting at any minute to sputter to a halt. But we made it in one piece only to find that the plane was delayed for 90 minutes!

Meanwhile I’ve signed up to various ex-pat forums and posted questions about markets, shops and a bunch of other subjects. Next time around we’ll be even better armed to handle this very interesting and quite different way of life!

Of interest, we watched a show on our last Friday night on the latest solar plant that a Spanish company has put up in the Nevada Desert, 60 megawatts and they’re considering this just the baby, the start of a new generation – the scale of the “baby” is breathtaking but they insist it’s just the start.
-Apparently they think they actually can power Las Vegas by Solar. Between the solar and wind plants near our home in Spain and this, imagine how I felt when arriving home to read the local JOURNAL newspaper only to read ONCE again about people WHINGING about windmills – every time the most trivial installation is suggested, the mothers-against-windmills mob rise up to try and stop them…

Just to make the return journey that little bit more interesting, we left blazing sunshine in Spain to come home to the most ABYSMAL weather. Leaving Newcastle airport for Hexham (half an hour or so normally), we hit floods almost immediately – and without ANY alternative directions provided, the A69 to Hexham was closed. To cut a long story short, we took the main alternative route only to discover half way through that a lorry had jack-knifed and completely blocked the road. Our trip which started at lunchtime in Spain saw us arrive home after MIDNIGHT in the UK.

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