Ben and his partner Dave arrived last Saturday morning and were immediately thrown into village life as it was the fiesta for San Isidro. There were local horse owners riding through the streets, as well as the village band playing.
After a mass at the church, they followed a small cart bearing the statue of San Isidro, as it made its way through the streets and up to the sports-recreational area at the top of the village.
We arrived in time to find a space for our chairs, and we joined the many families who had gathered to enjoy what was a beautiful, sunny day.
The highlight is the 'Grand Paella' traditionally provided by the Town Hall, which is free to all comers. Because San Isidro is the saint of the poorer villagers who are agricultural workers and fishermen, the paella is decorated with flowers made from fruit and it looks lovely.
At around 2.00 everyone lines up and huge portions are handed out to everyone along with bread, and we all find a corner to sit and eat, in the shade of a tree if possible. Our visitors enjoyed their's.
After that we went back to the house so Ben and Dave could have a siesta, as they had left home at 4.00 that morning to get to the airport. (We had a siesta too but in fairness we had to leave at 8.30 to go and collect them).
Well rested we set off for Turre for a karaoke session at a little bar we have been to before - because Ben does love to sing. It turned out that there was a big function in Turre that night so there were far less people than usual in the bar, so he ended up singing at least a dozen songs, which were very much appreciated.
It was almost midnight when we got home but we had a wander up to the top of our road to see how the village folk finish off their fiesta celebration. A stage is built across the road and band with singers entertain from around 11.30 until the early hours of the next morning. Spanish folk love to dance, and there were several couples 'getting into the groove' just below the stage.
Although it was so late, there were people milling around, and the street was quite crowded up by the stage. There were a couple of street bars set up, so we stayed for a drink and then we left them to have a good time and went home to bed.
Ben is keen to get back to full fitness after his cycling accident in February so he is following a running schedule that he wanted to keep going while he is over here. It is a bit warm for running now, but he has done very well. This was his facebook post after his first run. At least he took time to appreciate the pretty jacaranda trees in full bloom along the front of the village.
As you can see, he has also made good use of our pool, so it was worth Chris' while to get it in Summer condition, ready for their visit.
Since his run, the main road has been somewhat disrupted as they have finally started work on a roundabout that has been promised for months, if not years. Opposite the village there is an urbanisation called Huerta Nueva (New orchard/garden), and it is difficult to cross the busy main road to get to its lead-in road. There have been some fatal accidents there, and it was decided to build a roundabout which will make access easier and slow down the heavy lorries that use that road to get down to Garrucha docks. As we understand it, there will, be pedestrian access to H.N. via a pelican traffic light system, giving pedestrians priority over traffic. We will see when it is all done. Here is an aerial photo of the road posted by the local authority. The white circle shows where the roundabout will be, and if you click on it to enlarge it, directly to the right of it there is a small blue cross which marks where our house is.
The project is going to take two months to complete, but I think it will be a real improvement when it is done.
We have sort of been alternating between eating at home one day, and out the next, and last night we decided to have a barbecue at home. Our barbecue is housed inside a small enclosure which gives the 'chef' some shade from the mid-summer sun which can make manning it quite an ordeal. Last night Ben took on the role of chef and a good job he made of it too.
Markets are not dad's idea of a fun way to pass the time, but this morning I took Ben and Dave to the market in Garrucha. They took the chance to buy a couple of shirts etc and then we walked back to the car along the sea-front. They have been together for almost 13 years, and five years ago they had a Civil Partnership ceremony. Today is their fifth anniversary so here is their anniversary photo taken with the gravel barge in Gurrucha harbour in the background.
We were going out for a celebration meal tonight but we decided to defer it until tomorrow so we could go for another karaoke session tonight.
So now I must go and get ready but I will leave you with one more photo. Not a sun set this time. Instead it a perfect sun-halo that we spotted yesterday, apparently made by the sun's rays passing through ice crystals in the cirrus clouds around it. It was an interesting sight to see.