Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New Year in Spain

At the crack of half past three on Boxing Day morning, we staggered out of bed and made our way to Manchester Airport to catch the plane to Gibraltar. Meanwhile the Wren and her husband were flying out from Gatwick to Malaga. We were all meeting up in Vejer de la Frontera to spend some time with Jemima and Cody. That night we all met up to swap Christmas presents and catch up on each other's news.

Since I last went to Vejer, Jemima and Cody have acquired a dog, Eva.

Peter with Eva by the fountain in the main square. Some joker had put shampoo in the water and it was bubbling all over the place.

This is Flossie, Eva's best mate. Flossie belongs to Caroline, Cody's mother.
We had great fun taking the dogs to the beach for a scamper.

One evening we went for a walk in the pine forests above Cape Trafalgar. These are the pine trees that produce pine nuts. On the way back, just as it was getting dark, we saw an Eagle Own sitting on a branch. I texted Maalie excidedly. He was somewhat envious. He's never seen one.

Eagle Owl Woods.

Eagle Owl. I didn't take this picture, by the way.

Cape Trafalgar from Eagle Owl Woods.

One day we all went into Cadiz, the nearest large town. I hadn't been there before. It is a strange place, built on a spit of land, and the highest point is only seven metres above sea level. Cadiz was beautiful, very old. Some say that it is the oldest European town. There were some huge Rubber Trees. The original seeds were brought back when the Spanish first discovered the Americas, so must be over five hundred years old.

Wren and Jemima admiring the Rubber Tree.

On New Year's Day, a gathering of Jemima, Cody's and Caroline's friends met up on the beach. It was cold. Really cold. The Atlantic waves were huge. People were wearing wet suits and surfing. Jemima got very excited and suggested we all went in. "No cozzy" said I. "Go in wearing undies" she replied. So we did! My it was cold. Once you got to knee-level, you were knocked over by the pounding surf. We didn't stay in long, but I surprised myself by having a swim in the Atlantic on New Year's Day wearing my undies! Luckily I have no photos to prove it. You'll just have to take my word!

Another silly thing we did was to clamber up a gigantic sand dune and then turned round and ran down again. That was hard work actually!

Peter and me at the top.

The week went by so quickly. It seemed like no time at all, and we were back in Gibraltar. We sat on the roof of the airport waiting until it was time to board. This cheeky little fellow wouldn't leave us alone. He was obviously after my croissant and coffee. I thought it was a Herring Gull, but Maalie assures me it's a Yellow Legged Gull. Well, he should know.

In the plane waiting to take off on the rather scarey runway. The Rock on our right, sea on our left, ahead and behind.

Looking forward to going back soon.


Maalie said...

What a lovely winter holiday. Lucky you to see an Eagle Owl - they will eat cats, you know.

Yes, it's a Yellow-legged Gull alright, it's got yellow legs. Herring Gulls have pinky legs.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

I thought gulls were just gulls..... but obviously I had something new to learn here! You are an adventurer you, going for a swim in such cold water. I know you wouldn't have managed to talk me into getting in there!!!


tut-tut said...

A jump in the ocean for the New Year! Wash away the old; good for you!

JemimaJemoo said...

Actually I have some pictures of us racing into the sea in our undies...anyone want to see them? Jemoo

Maalie said...

tut-tut: Yes, and there was so much to be washed away...

Kiwi: You amaze me, there are at least three types of gull commonly found in New Zealand alone!

Jemima: No thank you.

HALFMOM said...

Yes, it does sound like a lovely holiday!!!


Llama dear, I have accidentally deleted your blog comment in trying to post it. I removed the "approval" thingy, so you should have no trouble leaving comments from now on. Sorry!

Happy New Year to you as well!!

Shammickite said...

Lucky you, spending New Year's in Spain, sounds wonderful! That Eagle Owl is a very attracive bird.... and do they really eat cats? I can't imagine that!
Crazy people here go swimming in lake Ontario on New Year's Day, thay call is the Polar Bear Swim, sometimes they have to break the ice first.... YIKES!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to climb that rubber tree.
More impressive than that bloody Christmas tree of yours!


Ted M. Gossard said...

Nice pics as always, Lorenzo, though I like these better. A bit on the cold side, though, it looks like, but to see a new year in in Spain, sounds quite nice.

Sorry about all the links. Wish Blogger would take care of this problem. It shows up on other blogs as well. Maybe I should get rid of the side post. I need to let them know; I think it comes from the recent posts on the side of my blog. Crazy.

Hope you and yours have a blessed and joyous new year.

lorenzothellama said...

Don't be mean about my Christmas tree Jack!
That rubber tree certainly looked very climbable. I had worked a out a way to the top.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

maalie.... that's a bit harsh... I always knew there were two kinds of gulls here..... big scary ones and little harrassing ones!

JemimaJemoo said...

There is plenty on the internet about eagle owls eating cats. I have seen an incredible picture of one sitting in a window of the Alhambra in Granada with a kitten dangling from its mouth! Lorenzo was a bit squeamish when I told her this. Luckily we hadn't brought any of the cats on the walk with us anyway.

Did you know that Granada means pomegranite in Spanish by the way?

lorenzothellama said...

That's as maybe Jemoo.
Vejer means 'little town on the hill where they have their evening meal at midnight'

today's word is shatsome

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

I have just watched news footage of the snow in Marseille. Just as well I am not trying to cross the Pyrenees in any way shape or form at present!

Latest word is badporp

Ann said...

You dont half get around! I wish we had a few Eagle Owls in our garden. If I tie a few cats to a bird table, will it attract them?

Jack, how can you possibly not like your Mother's Christmas Tree? It grows, it sings, it dances. How much can one reasonably expect from a tree? I'm puzzled.

simon said...

Bloody great post! for sure

Anonymous said...

Hola Lorenzo! My name is Jim and I'm trying to contact Cody in Vejer (when I put Cody, Vejer del la Frontera in google it directed me to your blog!). Cody helped me make a tent with his friend Roly a couple of years ago. I'm currently touring Andalucia and would very much like to catch up with Cody in Vejer. If you get this could you send me Cody's e-mail address and/or phone number to mrsunnyjim@postmaster.co.uk or contact me on +44 7760 237467.
Many thanks, Jim

Raelha said...

Ooh, sounds great. I was in Harrogate for New Year's Eve and do mean to get round to posting about it at some point soon.

I hope there are no eagle owls around here. I'll have to check my European bird guide.

I think you were brave going into the sea down there. I swam in Tarifa one September and it was absolutely freezing.

The Lone Beader said...

That was a really cool looking owl!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Where are you Llama dear?

Craver Vii said...

Spain, eh? We went to a themed restaurant called Medeival Times this weekend. The castle's setting is in Spain, but all the actors spoke with an English accent. What's with that?!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Maalie says you will be skating!! Have a wonderful trip.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Enjoy your wee trip away.....have fun skating...and don't break a leg!!!

Shammickite said...

Skating? Have I missed something? Are you ever going to blog again?

Ted M. Gossard said...

I must say Spain is high on my list of interesting places I'd like to see.

Guess you're having a good time with your brother. Great that you folks can get around. Europe has great scenery and interesting culture. Our scenery in the U.S. may be just as good overall- or possibly a tad bit better when you consider some places, but I think you edge us out on the cultural end of things.

Stay safe. We look forward to Spring here!

Martin Stickland said...

hello my good olf freind (OK less of the old, I know)

Hope you are OK, sorry I have not been about much.

Have a sopper dooper week fruity pie!



Shammickite said...

You still in the land of the living?

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Where are you Llama - did all that skating go to your head that you have no pictures to post or have you gone on out to Spain with your brother??? Or, are you off to Japan again????

Oh Llama, oh Llama - where are you, oh Llama

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

me again looking for you again!

Anonymous said...

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