Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's resolutions

As the new year rolls in it’s time to make resolutions – it is after all a tradition.

So here’s mine – for all the world to see.

  1. Drink only good quality wine, life’s too short to drink bad wine.
  2. Have at least one AFD per year, just to prove I’m not an alcoholic.
  3. Finish re-painting the Mog. It’ll be a more viable sales proposition.
  4. Keep eating as much fabulous food as possible without putting on weight (ie; walk as many hills as can be walked).
  5. Collect as many OPDs (other people’s dogs) as feasible.
  6. Learn how to order wine, beer and food in a few more languages.
  7. Follow the sun around Europe, whilst avoiding crowds, bad wine and brussell sprouts.
  8. Teach the French how to make tea.
  9. Make some money out of the blog, to assist in our continuing journey. This includes you readers, so please share with your other friends and click on the posts lots – I don’t care if you don’t read them.
  10. Find somewhere to spend August avoiding heat, cold and crowds. All suggestions will be carefully considered.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Doing it tough in northern hemisphere

Quick update on our Christmas in the northern hemisphere.
Xmas Eve
Christmas morning
Christmas day was wonderfully warm and sunny as predicted – about 20 degrees. We started the day with a bike ride, followed by a bottle of bubbles in the sunshine, then walked into town for our Xmas lunch. As the weather so divine we sat on the verandah as drank a sherry whilst contemplating the menu.


I still have no idea what I ate for main course, but we started with pimiento and anchovy salad, and Lawrence had goat for main. Mine is still a mystery, but I suspect it was wild boar. Very delicious anyway. The waiter indicated that it came from out there  - with a wave of his hand toward the lagoon and national park – it wasn’t flamingo or spoonbill… I hope.

For Boxing Day, we went to the beach and ate grilled seafood in the sun again, it’s so hard to resist.

We will reluctantly leave our sunny bolt-hole on Thursday and fly to Germany for NYE and then onto Berlin to catch up with my niece, Anita, who is allegedly studying German. She spent most of Xmas day in hospital, after breaking her arm in at least 3 places whilst ice-skating.

We’ll at least be able to assist her with shopping and opening wine etc when we are there.

Have just checked the weather in Sydney and it would appear that we having better weather in the south of Spain, don’t we feel smug?...!!

The horses here can walk on water!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another perfect day in paradise

Sorry to gloat, but...
Basic but fabulous lunch
The weather here is so amazing, it's hard to believe it's winter. For our Christmas Eve lunch, we went into town about 2pm for a beer whilst we contemplated what to do for our repast. Decided on a small restaurant by the lagoon and ate loads of grilled seafood and drank too much vino blanco.
Donkey Cart anyone??

Even horses need a bar
Check out the horse size bar here - no need to dismount.

Yesterday we went to the beach and after our long walk, we sat in the sun and ate grilled sardines, again...

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All. Thanks for following our blog, and we both hope you have a wonderful festive season - I'm sure  we will.

PS - sorry about the tick box thingies, not sure how they got there, and I've spent an hour trying to find out how to get rid of them -  but no joy, please ignore!!!

PPS - we've had 3600+ hits on the blog, I'm sure they are not all just me...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Solstice

Well today is the winter solstice, so we celebrated by sitting in the sun drinking wine, simply because we could!!. Just love the south of Spain, and now understand the English obsession with it.
Enjoying the winter solstice

It must have reached 20+ degrees today and the opportunity to sit in it with a glass of vino was too good to pass up. We had been for a 6km walk in the morning, followed by some household chores so felt vindicated.

Father Christmas
Yesterday we went shopping!! Our Christmas presents to ourselves are some folding bikes. We had decided some time ago that bikes would be a great idea so took the opportunity of being nearish a big commercial centre this side of Seville and went shopping for all sorts of odds and sods, including a printer and scanner, so the possessions grow…

The day before, (Monday, I think) we went on our guided tour of the national park. Lawrence was in birdie heaven and we did see some interesting things. Our guide’s name was José (of course) who showed us a great variety of birds and animals, the highlight of which was a lynx, sitting near the road completely unconcerned by us.
The Lynx
We also saw a 500 plus flock of cranes, which was amazing plus loads of other interesting large and small feathered creatures, and plenty of deer. The downside was the weather, it was absolutely freezing. Scant cloud cover, but with a chill wind that seemed to go right through you. 

The next few days will be spent walking, cycling and generally chilling out as there is not much else to do here, apart from befriending dogs and horses.

This is most definitely not a one horse town.

A typical scene in El Rocio

Monday, December 19, 2011

Saint Kathryn

For those of you that read Lawrence's rant, spare a thought for me - I have to listen to a version of this every time we walk into a church. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Wild Wild West

We are now camped in our Xmas bolt hole just outside a town called El Rocio. It really is the wild west. We feel like we are on a movie set for a spaghetti western, with characters from central casting. Where’s John Wayne??

Typical Street
The wide sand streets are so unexpected, with houses and bars having hitching rails for the popular mode of transport – the horse. We’ve seen more horses than people. Most houses have a stable as part of the main structure.

Our first afternoon in town, we sat at a bar for a beer. Cue flamingos, cue sunset on the lagoon, dogs scrapping in the street, horseman riding by. It is quite amazing. Surprisingly, most of the trees are Eucalypts, which look a little out of place to my Australian eye.

Who needs a car?

The wetland is right at the edge of town, so there are always flamingos to see - yes FLAMINGOS!!!.  We’ve also seen a Spanish Imperial Eagle which is apparently very rare. There’s only something like 20 breeding pairs left.

I've taken so many photos of horses and flamingos.

Pretty Flamingos
Yesterday we took MoJo to the beach, which is only 15 kms away. We walked alongside the Atlantic and then sat in the sun eating grilled sardines & anchovies and drinking a cold beer. We are about 80kms from the Portugese border. The weather is still being kind, cold nights and mornings, but mostly sunny. Better weather than summer in Sydney and NZ from what we hear. Today is brilliant blue skies and approx 19 degrees. Lunch in the sun again – Sunday lunch is a big deal in Spain. We are bit early though it’s only 1.45pm…
Coming home from church

Back from lunch now… Sat in the sun eating goat and duck etc. Bloody marvellous, when 3 horseman rode by and stopped for a drink, literally (see picture) – no need to dismount!!!

Horse Service

Tomorrow we are doing a private guided tour of the National Park “Coto Donana”. The park is highly protected so you can’t go into it without a guide.