Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fun with Family

Here I am again as promised, to tell you a bit about last week when we had Jonathan and Ella here. The weather could have been better. It was a couple of degrees cooler than the previous week and we also had the strong afternoon winds that often come in April. But they still managed to get out every day, and both went home with a bit of a tan. Fortunately our yard is quite sheltered and they liked to sit out on the swing seat with the dogs. They have a dog of their own at home and they enjoyed having ours to fuss. Jonathan was here three years ago when we had them as pups, and he was surprised at the size of them now! 

On a couple of days we took them down to the sea front and left them there to explore on their own, but we did have a couple of nice trips out with them as well. On the Sunday afternoon we took our lunch to our favourite beach, and when we arrived it was almost deserted. Carolina beach is one of two bays that meet at a short peninsular of rock. Last time I was there I tried to get a panoramic view of the bay by taking several shots and 'stitching' them together in a photo editing program at home. This was difficult because in each shot the waves were breaking in a different place. However, with my new camera I can take just one long shot so here it is. We did paddle along the water edge but none of us was brave enough to swim. We sat and watched a body-boarder having fun in the breakers, but he had a wet suit on!

Walking back to the other bay, (or hopping back as we had not bothered to slip our flip-flops on and the sand was so hot!), Jonathan spotted this lizard. We watched him catching a bug for his lunch, but he wouldn't eat it while we were watching him. He just sat with one eye on us and one eye on the bug. But he did pose very nicely for this photo so then we left him in peace. Don't you just love his outfit? Stripes on his body and big spots on his legs. Love it!

Our best day out was on the Monday when we went to Lake Negratin near Baza. This was our first visit too, though it was on my list of places to go, but a friend of Jonathan's had told him about the thermal springs there and he wanted to see them. It was a two hour drive so we set out quite early, and easily found the road, until the last mile or so that is. We then spent ages going round in circles until we realised the first road we had taken was the one we wanted! The thermal baths were a disappointment as they were all closed up. (There was a photo on Google earth of them open and full of people in March last year, so I was hoping we would find them the same, though I had warned the others that this is not holiday season so it was likely they would be closed). But the lake itself was awesome. It is huge, and the water is almost turquoise blue. All around it there are rocky hills and beyond them the mountains were still capped with a good covering of snow. I took too many photos to put them all here so I will just add a few and make a separate folder in my picasa gallery with the rest. 

We sat near the thermal baths to eat the lunch we had bought on the way, and then we drove to a place further round the lake where there is a man-made beach. Again the views were stunning but the wind was getting chilly so we were glad to find an open restaurant there, where we could get a hot drink before the drive home. I am glad I have seen this beautiful place and would certainly be happy to go there again with future visitors.

Anyway, Jonathan and Ella both enjoyed their week. They had been through a tough winter and the break did them good. They are both vegetarians which is something quite foreign to me. It is also foreign to the Spanish who really like their meat, and there is never a specific vegetarian option on the menu in a truly Spanish restaurant. So I was rather relieved to learn that they both eat eggs and cheese, and I managed to feed everyone for the week, without any meat. Now they are hoping to save up enough to come again when it is warm enough to get in the pool and the sea.

I have now loaded some photos taken throughout their stay which can view by clicking HERE.

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