We are now on the new pitch made necessary by our decision to stay into January. The process was convolute but we are now settled on a very pleasing pair of pitches with very early sun, open views but a slightly early sunset. It is level and does not have much of the thick, heavy, unyielding grass on it. Which is good since the stuff acrts like putting carpet under carpet and creeps our floor pads into ever more disastrous loops and lifts.
And now we have decided to stay to the end of February. The reason is largely the weather – this area of the Costa de la Luz between Cadiz and Tarifa seems unusually blessed with clear skies. It is very maritime and it does face effectively west into the Atlantic. It has tides of course. But the effect of lots of sun is warm days – although last night it got very close to zero and we had to have a bit of extra heat! But then it is December and this is the shortest day.
We have been less active since the move, using more time to get everthing in good shape for the three month haul. But we have visited the pueblo blanco of Vejar de la Frontera which turned out to be extremely beautiful, perched on a craggy bit of hill in the Italian style. Lots of fine white buildings of a very Moorish style and churches, some town wall and a castillo. The lanes are full of charming shops and restaurants. It also has an amazing central market at which we wished we had eaten and will do next time.And a very modern theatre in the centre – not entirely in keeping but very stylish. Friends Jane and Graham, thought I might need lots of bluey (salbutamol|) breathing aid but the three stone lighter and the fact that the steep bits are quite short meant I used none at all. Wooo!
We have also explored more of the coast, in particular a very beautiful section beyond Puerto de Conil towards Cadiz. This is a range of sandstone cliffs of about 10 metres with lots of coves and rocks and stuff and surmounted by the most important section of clifftop juniper trees in Europe. By tree they mean low bush cos it is quite windy but look close and it is clearly a tree in a defensive mode! The access to the clifftop is too good really since they would prefer us to use only the boardwalks. But sadly money must have been tight and the boardwalks are attenuated to reaching access stairs to various beaches!
And yesterday (20th) we made our first visit to Jerez de la Frontera (they are all DLF round here to denote how often the frontier moved!). And as befits the sherry capital of the world Jerz is a very handsome and rich city. The result is good traffic management, excellent road and tourists signage, tidy streets and loads of parkinjg, albeit a bit dearer than in some places. This was by way of an early recce but we loved the squares, the fabulous fish (and more) market, the Alcazar and the shops (says JW). We shall return and i shall do a sherry bodega – Gonzalaes Byass... Domecq... Humberts – the choice is endless. We even have one a lot nearer – Osborne are in Pueto Real up the road towards Cadiz.
We are now booked for the campsite Christmas do – not at all sure what to expect. It starts at 1700, with music (Flamenco) and dancing (ditto) and a meal that in English says salad, mussels in tomato, bone of chicken. And chocolate mousse. But since none of this translates into anything Spanish we await with interest. Especialy as it now seems there is another menu at the same time and place which has scrambled eggs with mushrooms and something done with pork (for the other northern European contingent - it is pork!).
Stuff is arriving for us for Christmas so we shall have parcels! And I have already approved the purchase of Janet's Christmas gift – which will have to cover her birthday as well (up to a point anyway). We have booked a super clifftop restaurant for lunch on the actual birthday – Jan 2 – which will be close to a first!