Sunday, 19 November 2017

Altea, Spain – Days 25 to 32

Brian, Richard & Jackie hard at work
Not really much to report on the last week, we've worked hard jet washing the floor tiles in the garden followed by sweeping up the mud and mess, painted our side of the big wall between us and the neighbours and varnished floor tiles in the entrance hall. The hand rail was delivered for the pool steps on Monday, a moment of personal triumph, the delivery man rang first, to check someone was in and for directions to get here. He had no English and speaking Spanish on the telephone without being able to wave my arms around is much, much harder, than a face to face conversation!

Start of the Sierra de Olta walk
We went out for a walk to the Oltas on Wednesday thinking we'd give Elizabeth peace for packing, but we were back much earlier than expected. Following the timings in the guide book we were pretty much bang on, in and then up to the first summit. After that however he gave an hour and a quarter to walk 600 metres to the second summit, after we'd already done most of the ascent! 

Heading up Broad Gully with Calpe and the Penon behind
We'd had the excitement by then anyway, as we were walking back from the first summit we'd met the Google streetview man, photographing the trail, so you never know, in time we may be on streetview. This however is not the first time we've met the streetview man, the first time was in the painted desert in Arizona in 2014 and it still doesn't appear to be on the web, so we are not holding our breathes! See Youtube video of summit panoramas:

Brian on the south summit
Carolyn popped round in the afternoon, to drop off her Christmas cards to be taken back to the UK. Her twin granddaughters had been born a week before, so she was looking slightly frazzled. Hospitals work slightly differently here, apparently, nurses provide medical care, but anything else is provided by the family, so she had been taking it in turns with her son, being in the hospital to feed Amy and the twins and provide whatever assistance they might need. Along with looking after 6 year old Isabella..... it was lovely to see her and give her some 'normal' time, though we couldn't even offer her a drink, as despite taking food in for Amy, she had ended up feeding herself in the hospital canteen, and got food poisoning!

The Google Streetview man
Apart from that, other socials have been lunch at Dagmar and Michael's, a delicious BBQ of rabbit and secreto pork, another Chinese meal, this time in Albir with dad's bridge partner Alan and wife Vera and Elizabeth's bridge partner Lynne and her husband Gerald. Then, on Thursday, a lunchtime trip to the fish restaurant in Calpe with D&E and Jane and Michael before D&E headed off to the UK on Friday. 

Panorama of the Bernia Ridge from Sierra de Olta north summit

Plot of our walk:
Consequently we are now home alone again, looking after Pepa and the house. Yesterday we had a chilling day, went and got the Saturday Telegraph for news and crossword which we had with a cooked brunch, before garlic rabbit and Strictly! Today however, back to jobs, but we are round at Jane and Michael's for dinner so don't have to worry about feeding ourselves. Our excitement this morning was a call from Will, the Dutchman who owns the house next door (the Dutch equivalent of Terry Wogan apparently). They also left on Friday morning, but he had managed to convince himself that he hadn't turned the heating off. A fairly major problem as they might be back for New Year, if not it might be April! He had of course turned the heating off, but it did give us the opportunity to have a little look at their house, which started off originally the same as this one, and the one the other side, but over the years they have all been modified. Interesting to see other people's architectural ideas.

At Dagmar and Michaels. LtoR: Richard, Elizabeth, Dagmar, Michael & Jackie
The Bernia Ridge from Dagmar & Michaels. The very left hand (low) summit is the only one we haven't yet done
The setting sun from the balcony
Elizabeth strikes a pose
Elizabeth dressed up and posing for a photo on the new pool steps
Unfortunately Richard, who was taking the photo, couldn't get Elizabeths camera to work so had to have a lesson
Pepa cat sneaks down the steps to get a drink of water as the pool is filled
The pool is finished!
Pepa inspecting our work
Home alone with Pepa

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