2016 Spring Trip To Spain – Day 4

I was up at 04.55 this morning, just before the first indications of dawn, hoping for a sunrise that merited dashing down to the coastal viewpoint but alas, no luck. There were clouds but not terribly sunrise friendly clouds, so I just farted about on my iPad until Garrath woke up at around 08.00.

After that we did all the dreary getting up stuff, had breakfast, repaired to the chicken shack for tea & coffee and to fill in time until it was time to collect the laundry from Lavanderia Ana. Fresh and squeaky clean laundry collected we made our way into town to SUMA, the collection agency for the local authority, to change the bank account from which the property taxes are paid.

Surprisingly it was a very quick and pleasant experience. They have a ticket queueing system and we didn’t have to wait long to be seen. The member of staff had no English (why the hell should he, we are in Spain?) but with Garrath’s ability to speak rudimentary Spanish and my ability to understand the answers, we got through the process in about two minutes flat. Needless to say the transaction had to be completed with their theatrical application of a rubber stamp, always compulsory in Spain. Years ago when I had some redundancy money I should have invested in a Spanish rubber stamp company I would have been a wealthy woman by now!

After that we took a troll down town to find a Sabadell money machine, only to find that both of the ones on Gabriel Miro were not functioning. So another trek to the other branch in town was called for with a short break at Cafe Dany for tea, coffee, water and olives on the way. I am seriously addicted to olives but only when we are close to the Mediterranean. Somehow olives do not work in the grim, grey weather of the U.K. except when I make Tomato soup that is. Tomato soup with olive purée is delicious, whereas I find Heinz tomato soup disgusting.

That brings me to another culinary point, we eat entirely differently here to the way we eat in the UK, even though our eating preferences are far more continental than English when we are there. Here in Spain we enjoy local produce, local cooking methods and an altogether lighter diet. Spanish charcuterie is, to my mind, the finest in the world and there is a rich variety from which to choose.

Chorizo has gone world wide anyway, but here there are so many varieties of chorizo it is almost bewildering. Well it might be bewildering were it not for the fact that I am determined to try every single variety to find out which one I like best. By the time I have tried them all I will have forgotten what the first one tasted like so I will have to start all over again. (You have to admit that as an excuse, that one is a doozy!)

We eat lots of salads here especially in the warmer weather whereas in England it rarely gets warm enough to make salad appealing. We do pass on Spanish soups in restaurants though. Honestly, the average portion of Spanish soup, an incredibly robust and chunky affair that is usually served in a heap, would feed me for a week!

Meats and fish simply grilled on the plancha or cooked over a wood fire is simply delicious, as are slices of vegetable fruits cooked on the plancha. Salads in restaurants are beautifully prepared, very substantial and often served as a starter. Vegetables are normally served as a separate course and in consequence they star rather than taking second place to proteins.

After the short break at Cafe Dany we found the Sabadell bank machine that worked, got the required funds out, returned to the car and drove on to the chicken shack for more coffee, tea, water and free wifi then back to the house for a salad lunch and the ultimate in going native, a siesta!

The siesta almost thwarted my stated intention to go down to Las Salinas on a wildflower and bug hunt, but at 16.30 we went down, camera and macro lens in hand. The wildflower hunt was less than successful with not much of interest around, but the bug hunt was very successful – for the bugs that is. They hunted me, they found me and they bit me, again and again. Thank goodness for Fenergan, the magic cream that subdues the live volcanoes on your skin that mozzies and sand flies leave behind.

A brief rest at home for sore feet recovery then at 18.45 we were off again to guess where – The Chicken Shack. After all 18.45 is well after wine o’clock! I must not drink too much too soon though because Garrath has set me a challenge to do one of my Sun or Moon illustrations using the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, so cheerio for now and look out for the illustration tomorrow.