8th December

Woke at 4:15 for a call of nature and the sky was glowing like there was low cloud, and the wind sounded like it could build up to being stormy. Are we at the end of our run of nice weather? Woke at 8:15 and there was a lot of cloud but by 9:15 when the sun is properly up we were getting watery sunshine in the windows so what the day will be like is to be seen.

Prepared our now usual breakfast of pomegranate, mango yoghurt before having a bath and dressing. Then ate the above with maize balls for breakfast. All ready for 11:00am as arranged with Peter, who true to form arrived a little late. We were introduced to his partner Dorothea and their visitor Michael, who is an artist. Peter told me that he was not sure about how he met Michael but that he did not have a clue who it was he was looking for when he picked him up from the airport. Lynne has described them all beautifully in a posting on our web site.

First we went to Jalon and had a great walk around the flea market there. Lynne and I’s love for brass parafin appliances saw us part with €30 for a Primus stove that had been well cared for and well cleaned up. A new branch to Lynne’s blow-torch collection. Then it was time to head for lunch. Peter drove into the middle of Jalon and headed out of it on a road at right angles to the length of the valley and main road and up into the mountains. After a long winding climb on mainly single track road we pulled up outside an old wine museum and started walking towards a posh looking restaurant. Then Peter suddenly turned in towards what looked like an old barn with a for sale sign on it. It wasn’t, the sign was VerdiVent and it was the restaurant. You need to book two weeks ahead or more to get a table. There is no mains electric or water. Water is delivered a tanker full at a time and there is a generator puttering away outside the kitchen. The patrons are French and German so it was a little fraught for Lynne but the food was very good, although postres was a single choice of crépes, and Lynne declined the offered alternative of fruit. We really must take Peter and Dorothea to La Xorta next time we are here.

Peter then drove us back the scenic route. In his huge, non-electronic Toyota SUV he is a very good driver and the perpendicular drops from the road gave spectacular views. There was a herd of goats by the road side and Dorothea insisted Peter stop as she loves goats. So Lynne and I got a chance to photograph a beautiful sunset and look down on Calliosa d’en Serria from a location I would never have expected. After a lot more long winding road along the mountain sides we ended up back at the Jalon junction of the N332 main road to Benissa outside Calpé. A huge scenic circle. When we got back to Nirvana we invited them in for a drink and they accepted, which made a pleasant conclusion to the day. Peter and I did business. He will e-mail me a recepit for the €4000 deposit we have given them and he will send us an estimate for the cleaning and protecting the steel beams early next week.

Lynne and I pottered over a few nightcaps and went to bed early. We did have a nice period chatting with Cesca on MSN during that time.