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Rural Spain, in the Vall De Pop, an orange orchard just out of Pedreguer, Alicante.

Missive 3;

Travel broadens the mind, or so they say. It seems it also frustrates one with the differences you need to embrace while in foreign countries.

Time seems irrelevant to the Spanish.

How often the restaurant bill takes up 20 minuto to arrive, shops are always closed when you need them, restaurant owners just shut the doors and go on holiday, en-mass, and so it goes. We are though in the country that invented siestas and liberally use “manana” to brush off urgency. This is Spain. There is something good about it all though, especially the siesta bit.

Then there’s the traffic stop lights that hold you up at ped crossings for several minutes while NO pedestrians can be seen within miles. Haven’t got to the demand driven processes we take for granted yet.



Almond grove just out of Parcent. Pity we are not here in spring. These trees are just covered with intense pink blossom.



Its been all action round here over last couple of days. Bush wildfires have broken out in at least 2 places on other side of hills around us. Helicopters ferrying water buckets are a constant over our villa. Today water trucks have been heading over the Coll De Rates to a fire  we are told is near Tarbena. A place we have visited a couple of times.


Smoke in the sky. Yesterday evening we became enveloped in smoke. Mostly cleared today but the firefighting goes on adding to our Spanish experiences.


A couple of nights in Alicante and days on the streets viewing their tremendous harbour/marina and home to Volvo Round the World Museum was well worth the visit.

As is Castell of Santa Barbara, quite an imposing structure atop high point in the city, guarded below by the steel archer sculpture. Architecture along the Explanada offers some interesting photo opportunities as these buildings illuminated by sun-flare. The Explanada itself is comprised 6.6mil mosaic tiles, a very popular place during the day, market stalls, palm trees for a bit of shade and the restaurants, at night it really comes to life with entertainers and people en-mass just enjoying themselves. The city bull ring is in the mid of the view of city from Santa Barbara Castell and then there’s the “even in Spain”(Restaurante China) shot from an Alicante street, and marina.



Russian Orthodox Church huge mosaic Altea on Costa Blanco An amazing structure, log cabin style Russian Orthodox Church just out of Altea, has this 15+ metre high mosaic. More impressive in reality, than on my phone!

Benidorm apartments

Probably a place to avoid, but we wanted to see for ourselves – Benidorm.

Known for having more Poms per meter than the UK the place is set up for mass tourism. The beach though really is a beaut. Long, white sand, calm turquoise water. Across the promenade the road is lined with the bars and cafes loved by the tourists that frequent these places. Yuk, really. And swags of apartment blocks like these fill the landscape for  visitors.


And some of the sights – like the 80+ yr old’s sunburned to colour of overcooked steak, wearing bikini barely worth putting on and riding the footpath in mobility scooters. I kid you not, there’s a swarm of them. Bill G, just what you’ve been looking for!!

Then there what I initially thought was a moving desert. Massive, broad, all moving parts seemed to be headed in different directions, tell you what, at a glance you’d swear it was naked, then I did spot a tiny excuse for a bikini. Felt real sorry for that bikini. Most hidden within the moving mass.

In couple of days we leave our home in this some dry yet fertile area known as Vall de Pop headed for a few days in Barcelona and then Corneilhan near Beziers in south west France.

The Vall de Pop grows citrus, olives, almonds and grapes much on the valley/hill sides supported by dry stone retaining walls some dating back to the Romans, 2,000 years.

Leaves are falling from the almond trees, grapes (very nice they are too, but don’t ask how I know) are about to be picked for wine and sultanas.

Stuff all wildlife, though we will be leaving some of these little fellas that inNot much wildlife here, shame these little critters are about all left.habit the villa and grounds.

And its amazing what you see on the roads! Actually the significant roads are fantastic.

Like the one that leaves Parcent in the valley and heads over the Coll De rates mountains. Fantastic, winding and reaches about 700 metres above sl. Used mainly by cyclists and motorcyclists. This area is a paradise for these dudes as they move in swarms through the winding mountain roads. The highways we’d die for. Guess Spain can thank the EU for that.

Trying to hide something! Anyone recognise this guy?villajoyosa-calp-56-of-90