Having been stuck at home for most of the passed three weeks, I decided that a trip out would be good, so I asked Chris to drive us around so we could look at the progress being made on the new railway line for the AVE (Spanish high speed train). We watched the early work nearest to us, which we think was mainly the preparation of an access road, that cuts across the campo where we walk the dogs, and they are now busy constructing a bridge which will eventually take our main road down to the coast, over the rail line. (That's our theory anyway). So today we drove a little further to a village called Alfaix, which is close enough to be a part of Los Gallardos, though it's 5-10 minutes drive from our village. Here we saw this impressive structure of steel rods, which we think is the main support for a bridge that will carry the rail line from the concrete junction you can see beyond it, running parallel to the motorway immediately behind it. Then we drove on to Sorbas as everyone talks about the Sorbas section of the work, though, in fact, it is really just outside a little village called Herrerias. We were hoping to see the entrance to the tunnel that is being constructed through the mountains. They have hired a huge piece of very impressive machinery that not only bores through the rock, and conveys all the waste removed back to the entrance, but at the same time, it connects huge sections of concrete reinforcements that will form the actual walls of the tunnel. We were a bit disappointed as the workmen turned us away from the road to the tunnel, but we drove up to the village of Herrerias which is set high on a hill, and from there we had a good view of the power plant that had to be constructed before the work could begin, plus the bridge carrying a small 'train' that was ferrying the waste soil and rock out, and presumabley the concrete rings in. We saw an endless stream of lorries carrying these to the site. The tall arm raising up to the right at the rear of the power plant, is not another bridge. It is a very narrow conveyor of some sort, but at the moment it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I don't know how much they achieve each day, but they only have the boring machine for a limited time, so they have to crack on with this section of the work. It is a twelve year project all together, but hopefully we will still be here to see the train up and running, and it's quite exciting to see the 'work in progress' to make it all happen.
Herrerias itself was a tiny village mainly made up of plots of agricultural land each with a small cortijo on it. But we stopped and parked in the village square which had the fuente found in almost all mountain villages. The villagers will use this to draw water for their household use. It is free, and usually potable or drinkable. So I drew myself a welcome drink as it was very hot, but Chris was not willing to risk it! I had to take a photo of this little village house with its long row of pots, all sporting brave cacti and other plants. Under the constant barrage of the sun heat, reflected off that white wall, it's quite amazing that anything survived in them.
On a sadder note, another of my little cats fell victim to the road last night. Every night I call them in when I go to bed, and although they are sometimes a bit reluctant, a shake and rattle of their biscuit box usually has them running in. I like them in because, as I said in my last post, the kittens are not very street-wise, and I don't want them disturbing the dogs and making them bark in the night, nor jumping up on our windowsill and yeowling to be let in during the early hours. But last night I had them all indoors except Sombra, and no amount of calling would bring him in. It had been so hot all day and the night was cooler so they were enjoying playing around outside and making up for lost time. In the end I had to give up. I was very tired and needed to go to bed, and I decided to leave him out, and this morning he was dead on the side of the road. I couldn't believe it. Our road is so quiet and I doubt more than half a dozen cars drive up after midnight, so it seems impossible that he could have been there just as one did. Of course, his name means Shadow, and that's what he was, a little dark shadow, so the driver wouldn't have seen him until it was too late. I am really sad. He was a beautiful kitten and had the makings of being a big and beautiful cat. Luna has been quite lost without him today, and has spent a lot of time sitting on me, which she doesn't usually do. So I shall be trying even harder to make sure they are all in at night from now on.
We are having another little heatwave, or perhaps I should say that the weather is back to what we should expect for August. Our thermometer in the shade was registering 38º today, and they are forecasting 40º for tomorrow. But mercifully it should be dropping a few degrees again after the weekend. It's just coming up to 10.00 at night now, and when I have finished this I will go and have a swim. It is the best way to cool down, though we don't usually sit around outside once we get out of the pool, as that is when the midges like to have a nibble! I love the pool at night when the underwater light is on. It's very relaxing to lay back and watch the patterns made by our waves.