Summer in Andalucia: Thurs, Jul 03, 2003

Just come in from the heat and watched Tim Henman losing at Wimbledon! He’ll never make it will he? Why do they all get so worked up? Seems really strange …….. I’m so far away yet can watch tennis, football, rugby etc. Just like I never left. Even Coronation Street if I want!

We’ll, the summer’s in full swing here. We’ve had no rain since a 15 minute shower in the middle of May. Temperatures have been high (upper 30’s) during June and the locals tell me that it’s been the hottest summer since 1963! Temperatures have been those expected during July and August. As I’ve no guiding work until I go to Chamonix in mid-July I’m spending the time catching up with work on the cortijos. Never knew that swimming pools took so much looking after. Each day I have to clean, skim and backwash the pools. Sounds easy, I know, but all work has to be done in scorching heat, as I take the dogs for a walk in the early mornings before the sun rises.

I have got some local guys to work the land as I cannot cope with all 4 acres. They have rotavated and strimmed all the groves. Looks great now and should mean no further work until September or so. Lots of trees here. Oranges, lemons, olives, almonds, peaches, cherries, figs and apricots. God only knows what I’m supposed to do with them and when?

Some problems with “Cucarachas”. These are a small fly/flea looking insects that can inhabit humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. They lay eggs and can become a bit of a plague. Sprayed them with plenty of repellent and put down some special anit-Cucaracha tablets. Hope this will sort it. No real problem with mosquitos yet, although I take precautions to limit their effectiveness. Chlorine in the pond stops them developing. Big problem here is “Leishmaniosis”, which is a form of Canine Aids virus. The bite of a sandfly can infect a dog with the virus. Have got collars for the dogs and they take tablets, but I know from the vet that Cassie already has it. Should be OK if controlled though.

Went out with friends last Tuesday. Aim was to go to a new restaurant that’s opened at the end of town. At 7.30pm, Sarah, Paul, Tracy, Ella, Irena, Anne, Haydn and I went, and got as far as Antonio’s cortijo (35 yards from me!) He invited us in for a quick Sangria. 5 hours later we left rather worse for wear! Very friendly these locals.

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