Having got the preserving duty over with early for a change, having consulted with and paid the gardener, and having entertained our friends and neighbours, we were free to do some ‘holiday’ stuff on Thursday and Friday.
Thursday was the designated Photo Day so we headed off in the direction of Tárbena, the famous mountain village reputed to have remained under Communist control even through Franco’s fascist regime. Certainly there is a famous Communist cafe there. (I have to do my political pilgrimages you know.)
On the way there we stopped at the delightful village of Bolulla and wandered around, snapping as we went. We stopped to try to translate the notice on the door of a closed bar and a very helpful old gentleman on the street pointed us in the direction of one that was open, so we obliged by going there for tea and much needed water. Well it would have been rude not to follow his directions wouldn’t it? In doing so we discovered yet another delightful ‘tea and wee spot’ full of noisy, friendly Spanish people. Valenciano we have discovered, is not a spoken language, it is a shouted language.
The drive up to Tárbena was punctuated by a number of stops where we captured wild flowers and beautiful views. Once in Tárbena itself we were enchanted, not only by the charming buildings but by the open, friendly manner of the people. Everybody on the streets where we wandered said hello – in Spanish of course. Sadly the Communist cafe was closed but we found another new ‘tea and wee spot’ staffed by a lovely young man who told us that he is English but had never lived there. We guess he is the progeny of parents who moved to Spain many years ago – sensible people!
We took a different route back from Tárbena along perilously steep, narrow, bendy roads. I distracted myself by having the camera on shutter speed priority and taking shots through the window. We shall see how good they turn out but whatever their quality, they prevented me from being terrified by the road.
You will have noted that I haven’t done any of the driving this trip. The reason is that this time the car hire company gave us a Corsa instead of the usual Seat Ibiza. I drove it once and refused to do so again because it has an absolutely awful automatic gearbox. It felt like driving an ill tempered kangaroo so Garrath volunteered to do all the driving duty.
On Friday morning we went to the Registro De La Propiedad to collect the Nota Simple then went on to our appointment with the solicitors in Benidorm for advice. We are very pleased with the care and professionalism of this firm and feel better able to progress our plans with their help.
After the working part of the day we followed A PLAN. The plan was to go first to Altea and walk up to the famous church at the top of the hill, through the old town, taking photographs. Altea is such a charming town with so many delightful steep, narrow streets that it just has to be photographed. The light was utterly unforgiving but I did my best and that is all that one can do. I think that I have about 100 shots that qualify for Shadow Saturday on the photo site where I post some of my images.
Altea also turns out to be the centre for Art and Artists in the area. There were paintings and ceramics everywhere some of them for sale at silly prices. There is obviously a market for art here so all I have to do is find a decent framing shop, get them framed and get them sold!
Part two of THE PLAN was to find Puerto Mascarat, somewhere we have seen signs for many times but never visited. Satnav to the rescue, we got there and it was a visual delight. It is a large marina, Marina Greenwich, it had a multi million dollar motor yacht in port and multiple fat cat cars driving in and out. Of course, my socialism was deeply offended, but I took photos anyway.
Both Garrath and I had to curtail the photography at Marina Greenwich because we were both in danger of heat/sun stroke. We Northern types are complete wusses in the Sun! We found a nice, shady bar to retire to and replenished ourselves with tea, coffee and lots of water.
Part three of THE PLAN was to go to Puerto Blanco, a marina that we have visited many times before because it has an elevated viewpoint from which we can take pictures of Calpé’s Peñon de Ifach. Sadly the steps accessing said viewpoint were closed so we didn’t stay long.
Back home and I decided to take photographs of the house and surrounding area – click addiction had set in by then. Garrath added a new chapter to THE PLAN by determining that we had to go down to Playa De La Fossa so that we could buy cigarettes for our friends at the tobacconists and relax at the wifi bar.
The trip to the tobacconists went well but the wifi at the wifi bar was buggered so we moved on to The Chicken Shack. It has a proper name now but in the past it was a shack that sold rotisserie chickens so it will forever be known as The Chicken Shack.
While out and about we were discussing photography, The Photo Mafia and their obsessions and Garrath thought of a new wheeze – Wires Wednesday. So many people dribble on about how you should clone out stuff like overhead wires, but Spain is full of them, everywhere. So Garrath reckons we should do a coordinated set of posts celebrating wires. I have already taken at least 20 Wires Wednesday shots and some of them are so arty that I might even convert them to black & white! That should up my credibility with The Photo Mafia – not!
That doesn’t mean that I have abandoned my mission to justify my label as a rubbish photographer though. Indeed not, I have some images of the bin men in Moraira and I have taken photographs of refuse bins everywhere we went. I also have a painting of a Calpe litter picker so the ‘Bin There Dumped That’ theme will run and run.
Today is Saturday, I have been awake since 04.30 hence the blog. We have abandoned plans to go to the market today. Instead we will pack, oil the furniture, take preserves around to our neighbours, get the house ready for our departure, go out to dinner in Moraira then, no doubt, repair to The Chicken Shack for the last time this trip.
Tomorrow we will put the dust covers on, say our goodbyes, then depart early so that we can lunch in Alicante and have a wander round there before our evening flight. Let us hope that it isn’t the flying drunks service again!