Mar 20, 2016
We've had a busy time saying goodbye to so many folk since I last made an entry. Terry and Wen next door were first off, then Jean and John, now today Joyce and Barry are off; he has to have eye check up before mid March to enable him to carry on driving (at 78 he's amazing, driving that huge RV and towing a car at the back).
Yesterday we finally got our day out to Ronda (pics above) which was another wonderful ancient city. But we made a big mistake not realising how cold it would be high up in the mountains. Luckily we took hoodies, but I only had sandals on, but after a couple hours walking around we were both chilled. We had to eat outside because of Blue, so we found a cafe that was fairly sheltered with a spot of sunshine and ate hastily so we could get on the move again. Shops were expensive here, but it was nice to look at the beautiful clothes, leather goods and linens. Best feature of course was the amazing bridge, built from 1751-1793, over the gorge, 120 metres deep (about 400 feet). We had picked a good day to come; the tourists here last April were packed like sardines on the bridge, mainly Americans & Japanese, so although we had come here specially to stay for a few days to see the sights we hadn't stayed in the town, but driven around the mountaintain ranges nearby. Anyway this time we enjoyed looking around the old town and architectural sights, and what was even better was the fact that we could get in our Smartie and take the old original cobbled road right down to the bottom of the gorge to see the bridge at close quarters. It was blowing a gale by this time so we didn't take the path to get right under the bridge, but we'll save that for next time. Got home for 5pm and a welcome cuppie.
It's been cold all week with a chill wind, but a chance to get chores done. Another trip to Morrison's in Gib, with the Smartie getting blown ask over the place. Haven't been anywhere, just staying warm and cosy, plenty to watch on tv.
The site is now only half full, weather lovely most of the time, but still cold nights. Been to the quiz, as dogs now allowed in bar....so we thought, took Blue, who was very well behaved and sat under the table. Then we were told from Friday dogs won't be allowed in. So that was short lived. Had a few good nights out in Duquesa, and been to the market with Karen a couple of times. Sadly their m'home was sold so we have new neighbours in it. Nice dogs.
Will miss Karen and Jason being there but we've seen each other a few times since it sold although they live an hours drive away.
We have a tame blackbird who visits every day, he gets raisins every morning and evening, and if we are late serving, then he comes into the Lady hopping up the steps, then picks up any crumbs from the floor. He's not frightened of Blue, he makes a terrible racket if Blue looks at him as if to start a chase, then flies to the fence to shout at us. We also have a pair of Blackcaps, and a pair of Sardinian Warblers, they all come to the feeding area where there's fresh water and dried fruit with crushed nuts twice daily put out for them. But only the blackbird is brave enough to feed from our hand and come inside.
Liz and Geoff are coming over when I get back from Scotland, and are to stay in an apartment right in Duquesa. Very reasonable, overlooking beach and pool area, good security, underground parking. So if anyone fancies a few days here next winter/spring let us know and I'll pass on the info.
The bar we go to on a Thursday, Refugios in Castillo village is a regular haunt now, and we've got to know a few people. Especially the ones with dogs. One guy who also has a dog with separation anxiety, recommended a kennel to us so we went to look last week, near Gibraltar; we were impressed by the fact it had a great play area with a small swimming pool, lovely big cages, each with a wooden kennel in, raised bed area. Very busy, at least 40 woofters, on 2 levels, ground for medium to large and a penthouse roof terrace for small ones! Run by British lady who's obsessed with dogs......liked it, but thought we'd better look at more. Short version is that we found one on our doorstep, run by British Sue and vet husband. Rambling farm type house, that takes just 9 dogs and a few cats. Lovely cages again and 2 large garden areas to run about in. The swimming pool is a full size one which the dogs have to themselves!! Sue and Ron are lovely people, Blue was off lead and really enjoyed exploring, made friends quickly too. So we arranged for him to have a weekend trial, and he's there at the moment. Sue sent photos and assured us the first evening and the next morning that he was fine, eating well, but, as expected, barked continuously when in his kennel on his own....so, he's in their house with their own dogs, and being thoroughly spoilt. What a relief for us, knowing that if we want to go away for a day or even a few days, we now have somewhere safe we can leave him, with peace of mind whilst we're not with him. At less than a tenner a day, half what we'd pay in Scotland, it's well worth it. So he'll go there when friends come to visit if we want to take them out for the day, and we can now consider a trip to Morocco, and even better, maybe a Christmas visit to Scotland!
So with Blue safe and happy, we, at last, got to the nature reserve at Gibraltar Rock. St Michael's Cave was wonderful, especially with the colourful highlights, and Roy enjoyed exploring the Seige Tunnels, excavated in the 1700s. I don't do caves much, makes me wheezy so I had a quick look then waited in the sunshine for him. St Michael's was different, a large cavern not at all claustrophobic, and very airy so I could stay there to see everything except the very lowest cave, which again became fusty, so I got out quick. We had a good hour and half walk in hot sun, saw beautiful butterflies, lizards, wild freesia with a really strong scent, some gorgeous lavender, different to the hill walk type near us, and lots of unusual plants never seen before. And of course the apes; I was here in 1962, still got photos of mum, dad myself and the apes, but so different today, nowhere near the same number, but probably better cared for nowadays. So a lovely day out, and tonight a meal out for us in a restaurant where we couldn't take Blue, as he's with Sue till tmoro morning we'll make the most of it!
That's it for now, I'm flying home on Friday for 12 days, to see them all and as it's Jenny's 40th, and she's hasn't had a holiday of any sort for years, she and Douglas are going to Venice for 4 days whilst I baby/teenage/dog/house sit. Billie will come to help me at the weekend, along with Bruce and Lily, and Liz is coming for a flying visit literally for 3 days so that will be wonderful. Will put as many pics in as I can now, and hopefully a video if I can manage that!
A PS.... Just fetched Blue, of course he was pleased to see us, but he's been really happy with Sue and we couldn't wish for anything better, so he'll be able to go there so we can get away with Liz and Geoff to Ronda and out for a meal...... Morocco, here we come, well next winter anyway....
Plus, it was lovely to go inside the Indian restaurant, to sit and enjoy a meal out....have booked him for his next holiday, the weekend of the 8th April. I bet we don't even get a postcard!