We’ve had some down time here in Spain, well downtime from hosting and providing unforgettable outdoor experiences in Andalucia for our clients in any case. Instead, we have concentrated on working on our country home, which includes growing our own food – inspired by the worldwide events of recent months. “El huerto”, in Spanish, or vegetable garden, has been providing us with heaps of tomatoes and plenty of heat in the form of pimiento del padrón, a spicy pepper often served as tapas and various types of chilli.
Growing our own food has been a learning process for us, with the help of some local knowledge from the neighbours to give us a head start. With the summer nearly behind us, although we are still enjoying dry days with 25 degrees C or more, we are thinking about what might replace these plants to keep us stocked up with healthy organic food throughout the winter. The country house will in time become a place to host clients who wish to learn Spanish with us, within a rural environment, close to two gorgeous popular villages and only an hour’s drive or train ride into Seville. This project of course is a work in progress.
Now that the fierce heat of August has left us, we are able to venture into the hills during the day ourselves. One of our favourite, accessible places to explore is the region of Grazalema. We took our ropes and climbing gear there very recently in order to keep current on the crags. The sport climbing routes cater for the rusty, the relaxed and the pro – climber wise. Simancón is a classic circular hiking route here, bashed out at pace within 3 hours if feeling energetic, or taken slowly in order to absorb the wild sounds and remote location over 5. We chose the latter, with a siesta in the woods at the end.
Our van allows us to take our rolling home with us and spend the night in some quiet tree covered parking spot or other among the peaks or long weekends exploring the coastline, Gabo de Gata being our most recent trip and one of our top 5 coastal Spanish spots. Here we spent most of our time in the sea and the clear dark nights spent with the camera pointing at the milky way working on our night photography skills.