On a very pleasant Friday morning I suggested to Chris that we might go for a drive so we set off for the Cortijo Grande. For anyone who has visited us here, the mountain range between our village and the coast is called the Cabrera, and in the lower regions of this range there is a golf course which is generally referred to as Cortijo Grande, though the name also covers the surrounding area including several very nice villas and a cluster of smaller homes, and apartments that are popular rentals for golf-minded holiday folk. It is a beautiful area with stunning views. Up further there is a village called Fatima, and above that, an area of housing known as Cabrera village. On a clear day, these houses can be seen from the campo where we walk the dogs. Cabrera village is a cluster of houses, duplexes and apartments all built in the moorish style, with terracotta walls and colourful domes and minarets. On our first holiday here after we decided we wanted to live here, (before we had sold our house in England, so we were only looking and geting ideas about the region we wanted to be in), an agent took us up to view a duplex there. Although we loved the area, the peace and the scenery, we both knew that we would not cope with the mountainous approach road on a regular basis. It isn't too hairy, and I am quite comfortable driving it for an occasional visit, but I would not like to do it every time I go out. We also felt that as the village is so small and mostly occupied by ex-pats, it might be a bit 'clicky', which isn't to our liking at all. However we decided to drive on up today and look at the houses now the building is all finished. We agreed that we had made the right decision about it. The houses are very nice, but very on top of one another (quite literally in some cases), the promised communal swimming pool has not materialised, and the surrounding trees and shrubs have grown sufficiently to mar the view from the lower houses. But it is still a beautiful place so here are a few photographs taken there this morning. The one with Chris just in the bottom corner, shows the row of houses that we looked at. After wandering around the village we drove back down to Cortijo Grande and stopped at a bar for a morning coffee which we drank in a very pretty garden. There was a lovely bush covered in yellow flowers that were almost like tiny roses. I have inserted a small close up in the corner of the picture, because they were so lovely. I have done the same thing with this picture of a pretty flowering tree that was in the carpark at Cabrera. I don't know what either of them are but they were both very lovely. While we sat enjoying our drink in the sunshine, we were surrounded by bird song so I had to include this photo. The tree was high above us and the birds were very like starlings but rather more musical that the UK ones. The tree looks a bit dead but it is a jacaranda which will be full of lilac blossom in a couple of weeks and then the leaves will come.
It was Cortijo Grande that took the worst of the big fires last summer. The restaurant there was destroyed when gas bottles exploded and many houses were badly damaged, though being primarily stone there wasn't too much to burn. but the smoke damage was extensive and many outbuildings were lost. This photo shows how the copious rain this spring has helped the vegetation to regenerate and apart from the blackened trees, it is looking quite good again. Isn't nature wonderful?!
While on the subject of plant life, here are a couple more pictures taken on the campo this morning. I have to show you this grass head because I just love the photo. It is almost like the head of an exotic bird. It grows in big clumps and looks so pretty. The pink flower was one I saw in bud last week and I thought it would be a common mallow, but now it is open it is more like a wild hollyhock. They are all along the road side and some are nearly as tall as me, with quite big flowers, though this one is somewhat smaller. I am sure it must be related to the hollyhock; even the leaves are very similar.
As you know, every Wednesday I go to sewing group in Turre. We meet together more for social reasons than anything else, but as we sit round tables chatting, we do anything from cross stitch to knitting, quilting, or papercraft. It is where I meet the lady who is teaching me lace making. It is a good way to make friends and learn about what is going on in the area. We meet any time after 10.00, and at around 12.30 we pack away and go to a local bar for a drink and tapas. Every few months we have lunch together instead, and that's what we did this week, so here is just some of my 'crafty' friends. Yvonne, front right, owns our local papercraft shop, and it was she who told me about this villa being on the market. Look at all those lovely salads. Makes us look a healthy lot doen't it.?They are actually just the starters, and we had a very good meal after them.
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