Since our absolutely glorious weather on Christmas Day, it has to be said that we have not been enjoying pleasant weather in Spain. One or two days have, weather-wise, been downright dismal. It is somewhat comforting, in a frustrating kind of way, to note that the quality of the weather forecasts here seems to be every bit as inaccurate as those in England. One day, we were looking forward to some high, thin cloud in the morning, thickening a little in the afternoon. The day began with thick, glowering clouds that seemed to be stuck firmly in the valley all day.
New Year’s Day was not advertized as being anything tremendous: cloudy with showers developing. It dawned with some high, wispy cloud which proceeded to clear and bathe the valley in sunshine. It was never going to be as stunning as Christmas Day but we were happy to take advantage of it and go for a long-awaited walk. Since we had all the supplies we needed, we chose not to use the car but to do a circular walk from the house, towards Gata de Gorgos, round behind the hill to our right (as you look up the valley), and into Lliber for a New Year Beer at our favourite local bar. I quickly got too warm with two layers and we continued the route in T-shirts.
After an hour and a half and having successfully found the correct path beside the dry river bed, we arrived at Lliber to the clamour of the church bells. The bells are open to view in the church tower and I was intrigued to observe that they peel by turning in complete 360° rotations. I’ve no idea whether this is normal or not, since most church bells are hidden from view and I’m no campanologist, but I’d always thought that they simply oscillated back and forth like a pendulum. These were spinning like the clappers. 🙂
As we were sitting at the bar sipping our beers, several of the local Spanish (there are still some in this largely expat community) wandered past off to church. All greeted us with a cheery prospero año nuevo or a simple hola. Shortly, a neatly dressed couple, clearly on their way to church, also called in at the bar and began greeting people. Not knowing us from Adam, the gentleman even included us, wishing us prospero año nuevo, shaking my hand and giving Carol a caring hug. How wonderfully friendly and approachable the Spanish generally are, even in the face of what must sometimes feel like a foreign invasion.
It’s about a mile back from the square in Lliber to the house and we were ready for a late lunch. Late by English standards, that is; there’s nothing unusual about lunch at 2:00 PM in Spain. A goat’s cheese omelet went down very well with another Spanish speciality, morcilla: a slightly spicy Spanish version of black pudding.
¡Prospero año nuevo!