Headed East towards Caniles to visit the home of Brenda and John who are friends of Elaine and their relationship dates back to when they met during the time when Elaine was preparing to give birth to Claire and likewise for Brenda; for the birth of her son Barry. At this stage I do have to complain about the nearside lane of the non peage motorway that headed there. Obviously the surface had broken up for a long stretch and the repairs that had been been done had not had the benefit of a steamroller, or whatever, to flatten the surface on the nearside lane. It is the first time we had seen the like since entering Spain and the ensuing bumpy ride took us by surprise. I am sure that, if it had been a motorway that we would have had to pay to use, Elaine would have been working to get a refund. Mind you we did see something remarkable on our way. I do not know the collective word for a “flock” of eagles but whatever it is, we saw one. Twenty or so of these huge birds crossed the motorway high above us flying North. We found the house after a couple of phone calls and there was John waiting to point us to our destination. The house was perched on the side of a hill and I am sure they had used the same gang to do the roadway leading to their drive that had done the motorway repairs. Traction on motor homes is poor at the best of times and I found it impossible to get our old bus up and onto their drive so I gave up and left it at the bottom.
What a great house which is situated just a little way from the village and you have to walk passed the pool and the hot tub to get to the door. In my opinion John and Brenda are doing living in Spain the right way. They are both learning Spanish and have joined lots of village societies. In the evening we went along to the local mushroom museum as they both give English lessons to local Spaniards. Brenda hosted a group of young children whilst John had a group of five young adults. They do not charge as they learn as much Spanish during these sessions as their pupils learn English and they have no problem suspending the lessons during visits to England. We then went to a local bar with the normal hub bub you get when Spaniards get together for food and socialising. Every so often groups of children would enter wearing costumes and makeup dressed as ghosties and ghouls as of course it was Haloween. After coffees we then went to the hall where J and B went to their” baile ” dancing lesson and Elaine and I watched a very enthusiastic teacher demonstrating and teaching a large group of mixed aged Spaniards.
We then went back to the house where John insisted we sampled some of his favourite wines. On the way in we saw more cave houses and I hope J and B have a cave cut into the rocks behind their house as John has expressed that he will show me his back passage tomorrow!?????
Saturday 1st November
So that it is what sleeping in a double bed is like. After just over two months sleeping in our motorhome, sleeping in the en suit bedroom, in a house was great. The wooden window shutters which totally blacked out the room meant that it was quite late before we got up and the proper bacon roll we had for breakfast was the icing on the cake. John took us for a tour of the area and we passed lots of cave houses where the front of the dwelling is brick with windows etc just like you would have in a normal home but the rooms are caves, cut inside the rocky area behind. Apparently they are cool in the hot summers but warm when it does go cold at night as this area is around 1000 meters above sea level. On the way to an artificially coustructed massive lake we went passed an area with scores of unfinished houses. Most of them had the walls completed and nothing else and John explained that a local builder had constructed all of them and then taken large deposits mostly from Brits for homes or for holiday homes. When the local council pointed out that all of them had been built illegally on government land then the builder did a bunk with all of the deposit money. Funny how one house has been allowed to be completed….it is the one house that a Spaniard had put a deposit on. We then got down to the lake and there were families enjoying the very warm day lounging by the water. We had a drink at the cafe there and John then drove us quite a distance to the end of the lake to see the huge dam and all the signs about the electric that was being produced by the water coming out of the bottom of the dam.
This weekend is another local fiesta / celebration and so it is a Saturday and all the shops are shut. The dead are celebrated and as we drove through the town we witnessed family after family heading towards the cemetery carrying huge bouquets and massive bunches of flowers. The area around the entrance was heaving with people chatting to each other and…….maybe comparing each others floral tributes to see who had spent the most on the memory of their lost love ones. The local florist shop owner must love this weekend each year. On the way back we went to a restaurant and the four of us had drinks, a three course meal for €41.40 ( approximately £32 ). How nice was it to have B and J go through the whole menu telling us what everything was. For my third course I chose ice cream and when the waitress bought out three bowls and set them down, she then plonked a Cornetto down on the table in front of me. Great, even with interpreters on hand, it was very funny to get to get the unexpected sweet. At the moment the three of them are watching Strictly whilst I continue my T V fast and sit in the lounge writing this. When their programme is finished we will teach B and J the game of Sequence.
After a another great breakfast suddenly John jumped up and declared ” back passage”. We were led out of another door in the conservatory to a passage in between the back of the house and the rocks behind. There was a steel, bar gate and behind that was a wooden door set in the rocks. There was their cave which went back 20 foot or so and in there was a couple of tall upright freezers and lots of other stuff stored there. Inside one of the freezers which I presume was not turned on was the wine supply with lots of nice French and Spanish wines. John the showed me the large brick built barbecue which incorporated a pizza oven. Next he showed me the Citroen Dian which he bought as a project to do up and the 600 cc, two cylinder, air cooled engine started up immediately.
Then off we went for another sight seeing tour, this time up what seemed like an endless, narrow, very windy road. Often the road was right beside very steep drops one side or other as the car was driven onward and upward towards the summit of Sierra de Baza .Meanwile I was sitting in the front, passenger seat laughing to myself because Elaine was so busy recounting one story or another that she was totally unaware of the perilous drive. Suddenly there was a gasp and silence. Elaine had looked out of the window! After brilliant views from the top, Elain’s main topic of conersation was reminding John to keep his eyes on the road on the way back down.
After a great dinner and the Strictly results we were then taught by B and J how to play Rummikub. Anyone who knows Elaine will know about.her competitive nature and after a practice game to get us to understand the rules the game began in earnest. Brenda and John had played the game many times and Elaine and I were quickly in third and fourth position. As the game continued Elaine was faily silent as she was now in fourth place on the score sheet. The silence was ended when the game was over and I was the winner. I would blush if I had to recall some of the things Elaine called me and John who had been in first place rignt throughout the game until the last round was probably thinking all those things but was much to kind a host to say anything.
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