During a long weekend trip to the Jalon valley in Spain (May 2006), we met new friends Chris and Yvonne who wanted their house and dog cared for during a February holiday in Goa. Well, say no more; no arm-twisting necessary (not much anyway), we are the very folks for you. Let’s face it, where’s the hardship in leaving England for a good chunk of February? So, off we flew to learn how to drive a Spanish casa and a particularly energetic Spanish dog (Scamp, or el perrito, as we learned one of the Spanish neighbours called him). We were even given the use of their car for the duration. “I’ll try to keep the swimming pool clean for you, Chris”, quoth I.
The Jalon valley has many almond orchards and the almond blossom was just beginning, reaching full flush while we were there. The blossom varies from white to a quite strong pink. It was also the height of orange season so the oranges were fabulous and amazingly cheap by our standards; free occasionally, thanks to the friendly neighbours. Since there is also a local wine co-operative selling perfectly drinkable vino at obscenely low prices, we seemed to be all set. Start the days with a glassful of freshly squeezed orange juice and then … well, you can jump to your own conclusions.
We believe the mission was largely successful, casa, car and perrito all surviving the experience intact. The only real casualty was yours truly falling fully clad into the aforementioned swimming pool (10°C) on day two whilst bravely attempting to retrieve a strange sinking ball belonging to el perrito. I am pleased to report that, not only was the assembled multitude mightily amused, but el perrito was also suitably grateful about getting his favourite ball back.
|Out and about around the Jalon Valley|
|Mucho almond blossom|
|The flowers of the garden (mostly unidentified)|