A nice roaring fire?: Sun, Dec 29, 2002

Still nice weather here ………..20 deg in the shade most days (about 30 in the sun). The problem is that nights can get cold and these houses were designed to keep the heat out.

I’d been staring at the fireplace for a week before my quick mind realised that if I built a fire then I’d be warmer! 1st attempts were awful due to smoke, until I realised that a lever needed pulling which opened up the chimney…..clever eh? The fire also didn’t last long, not enough air getting to it. Using my talent for Do-It-Yourself (as you know) I decided to build a firegrate out of iron railings, fire bricks and toilet rolls (just kidding!). Anyway the result was….perfect. A fantastic roaring fire.

However this posed another problem because the fire was so good and cosy that it burned firewood at a rare rate of knots. Very quickly the spare wood on the house grounds was consumed and I then began a search for more wood. This became similar to the search for the Holy Grail. Rocky and I travelled further and further afield in our search. The answer was to drive 10 miles up a broken down, rutted dirt track to a height of 2,000 metres finding old wood along the way and then drive all the way back trying hard not to go off the edge in the twisting turning corners (the track was in fact marked as a road on the map!). What an effort to get warm?

I then stumbled on an Olive Mill in my village, Lanjarón. They supplied wood. The owner must have seen me coming and had a bit of a laugh at my pathetic attempts speaking the lingo to ascertain if I could buy wood! I told him I wanted about 500kg delivering. He told me that it was uneconomical for him to deliver less than 3,000kg. Having tired of driving up mountains, I agreed. Anybody know what 3,000kg of wood looks like? I had no idea too until he then showed me his monster lorry that would deliver the wood. Too late to back out I retired gracefully, forgetting to ask him if the wood was pre-cut!

Anyway next Friday the delivery will be made. Im fully expecting the lorry to turn up and drop 30 trees outside the gate. Might take me until summer to get it all cut and stored! I reckon that Ive probably bought about 5 yrs supply. Should be warm enough next December though.

Written by:
Richard Hartley

Richard is an avid blogger and the founder of Spanish Highs Sierra Nevada. He is author of the Cicerone Guidebook Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada