Welcome to Spain

MorningView We had crashed out relatively early courtesy of our predawn start yesterday. The shutter across our bedroom window shuts out almost all the light so we didn’t stir until later than usual. So much for being up and about early. However, stir we did and, when Carol opened the nuclear blast shutters, we were greeted by a sunlit view up the Val de Pop over the vineyards carpeting the valley floor towards Jalon. Once again, the sun did it’s usual spirit-lifting trick and we were two happy campers.

First task of the day, and part of our orientation, was to visit one of the not-so-local springs to fill a car-load of 5 and 10 litre water containers. This is one of those little jobs that we enjoy, simply because we’ve never seen it done anywhere else so it seems, to us, particularly Spanish. As Geoff drove us to his favoured spring halfway up a mountain we passed some magnificent views down a valley and were kicking ourselves for not having brought any cameras. When the weather is suitable, as it was this morning, we must return better equipped.

With the car loaded with water, we returned to Jalon to stop at the Jalon bodega to get a 5 litre jug of our favourite rosado. That should keep us going for a couple of days – now we knew we were in Spain. 🙂 It was good to see several vendors of oranges and mandarins in the parking area opposite the bodega. The house is still full so, on this occasion we didn’t need any but I’m sure we’ll be back to see what this season’s price is (probably €3 for 5 kilos).

Animal care lessons continued back at the ranch when one of the three cats, Jake, put his front paws into the kitchen sink and looked at me expectantly. “Que?”, I thought, confusedly. Jake got out and did it again.“Que?”, I thought, again. Geoff returned, saw my confusion, and explained that Jake was after a drink of water. He turned the tap on to a trickle and Jake proceeded to lap water straight from the stream. What intriguing behaviour.

The Spanish welcome continued with tapas for lunch in Jalon followed by a coffee overlooking the bay at Moraira. A rather loud bunch of eight British hooray Henries – well, four hooray Henries together with four hooray Henriettas, to be more accurate – invaded and attempted to overshadow our tapas but the liver (hidalgo), cuttlefish (sepia), meatballs (albondingas) and pork (lomo) were good enough to resist the concerted attack and remained delicious.

Geoff and Pam have a pink peppercorn tree on their property and were intrigued by reports (from Chris and Yvonne) that we’d most likely be raiding it. Since they were unsure how to use their bountiful harvest, yours truly was pressed into kitchen service to make a pink peppercorn sauce to accompany some pork chops (chuletas de lomo?) Fortunately, I had packed a pair of chef’s trousers and matching apron. Well, one has to make an effort over Christmas.

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