Friday, 3 November 2017

Altea, Spain – Days 12 to 17

On top of Sierra Helada with Benidorm behind

Sunday we had guests, John, Carolyn and Jack the chocolate Labrador. They are a lovely couple who we have enjoyed spending time with on our last few visits here. They are grandparents to a six year old and are imminently to become grandparents to twin girls, to their son Jonathan and his childhood sweetheart Amy, who live in the village. As if this wasn't hard enough work, Jack is never left alone. We have tried to persuade them we could care for him for a day or two just to have a break before the babies arrive. Although Carolyn is keen John is taking some persuading. We did all have a lovely day though the clock change had done for us all, Elizabeth actually rang Carolyn and said we were ready early and if they were too... they were so thankfully they came early and we could all start on the nibbles, though Jack still didn't understand why they were so late taking him on his walk.

Brian & Richard doing serious pool scraping and grouting
Grouting the pool started in earnest on Monday, and went far too well, when they came to rinse off on Wednesday they discovered that on the curve at the bottom more old grout should have been removed, so Brian is now on serious scraping duty, and may be for some time!

Tuesday, a day off, so we headed up hill on foot, the car still being in the garage. Part road walk and part into the hills a good bit of cardio workout to stop Brian bleating. We did finally get the phone call that the car was ready, but only after dad and Elizabeth had gone in their separate directions to bridge. Can't get it Wednesday, the Day of the Dead, so everywhere is shut, so Thursday. It doesn't matter we didn't need it, you just feel lost without it!

Walk from the house up the hills towards the Bernia (with helpful labels)
We had been entrusted with dinner having elicited jealousy from father about the garlic rabbit I'd cooked when they were away. Elizabeth however had decided that she didn't want her chicken contaminated by rabbit so salad for her, which may have been a mistake, a whole garlic bulb gently fried to flavour the oil before being consumed with gusto did leave the three of us, and the house smelling of garlic! Brian tried his hand at something new, a fatless sponge, Swiss roll, perfect to use up the remainder of the cream and the last few raspberries from Sunday's pavlova which went down very well.

I call this art!
Approaching the Albir via ferrata
Yesterday we collected the car and headed off to a new Via Ferratta very nearby. We discovered the other thing we have forgotten, cycling gloves normally used for via ferratta but stored in the loft under cycling! Fortunately Aldi triumphed with two pairs of gardening gloves for just over €4 so with the scissors from the first aid kit in the car to cut off the top of the thumb and forefinger to ensure no catching in the special carabiners we headed to the start. 
On her way up the via ferrata. Spot the hoops up to the left
Fortunately we hadn't spent a lot of time or money as the whole thing took less than 10 minutes! Once at the top we joined the main path and continued up to the top to the masts on the hill overlooking the sea. This is the top of the sloping rock that we could see on our climb with Charles. It was pleasant enough and got the heart pumping again, so he's back in the pool today, scraping away with a screwdriver, while I may be headed off to Iceland to pick up a gammon to take to France. Well you can't get them there and a little taste of home is sometimes just what you want.... Just to prove it's not all glamour here!
Looking up the via ferrata. It is only a short route, but quite exciting. Note the outward leaning last part above Jackies head
Lunch on the summit of Sierra Helada

View from the summit of Sierra Helada, with helpful labels from me!

On the beach at Altea (with helpful labels from me) We were in search of an ice cream after our via ferrata and climb, but failed. Went back to the house and had a beer on the balcony instead

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