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Thursday 16 February 2017

A Windy Day by the Sea

Today we have been down the coast to visit two of our favourite places in this part of the world.

Our first stop was Las Negras, a small town in a beautiful cove. Sleepy at this time of year but still several bars open and a few shops. We sat outside a bar on the 'promenade' with a perfect view of the Cerro Negro - Black Mountain - for our coffee and tostadas.

A good spot for watching feeding Sandwich Terns.

After a wander around the village we moved down the coast to Playa El Playazo, known to us as Castle Bay because of the Castillo San Ramon which stands at the northern end of the beach.

The castle was built in the 18th century  to defend the Almeria coastline from Muslim pirates. We have walked to the castle on several ocassions - there is a beautiful, rocky cove the other side - but today we just took the first part of the path and then a wander over the rocks. There are some very interesting places where the sea has eroded the rocks.

We then turned round and walked along the length of the beach to the southern end. This cormorant was happily drying off it's wings on the beach.

All along the tideline we saw these jellyfish.

There are plenty more rocks and pools to investigate at the bottom end of the beach and being windy there was plenty of spray too!

A good view too of the Cerro Negro back at Las Negras.

A rare picture of a windswept me!!

Once a centre for mining, Almeria is now very much a tourist area but it also produces a large quantity of vegetables for Europe. Most of these are grown under plastic and so as we leave the coast and head inland there is a large wide valley which is just full of plastic green houses. This picture shows just a tiny amount to give you an idea of what it looks like.

There are some interesting pictures taken from space which show the extent of this plastic see here

Well I think that that is enough pictures for one day - I hope you enjoyed.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

EPP Tuesday

I am linking up with Anthea at Hibiscus Stitches again for all things EPP.

The only sewing that I brought with me to Spain this year was my swap hexies for February - which have been posted off and guess who forgot to take a photograph first! - and my Hexathon quilt. Some progress has been made although not as much as I had anticipated. It is not portable so while watching bowls or sitting on the beach I have been knitting or working in my journal. But here it is in all it's glory so far!

I am pleased with how good it is looking and hope to find some time over the next 10 days to get some more done.

Last week we went up the coast to Aguilas - this is the promenade!

I think they could have been a bit more adventurous with the pattern though.

Have a great week.

Monday 6 February 2017

Spanish Update

Greetings from sunny Spain!

We have now been here just over a week and enjoying every minute. The weather has mostly been good - even the very high winds yesterday were accompanied by sunshine.

The day we arrived we called in to a supermarket after dark on the way to visit a friend for supper. The first thing we heard as we opened the car door was the sound of roosting starlings in the reeds opposite the car park. So the next evening we were there with binoculars and camera just before sunset hoping to see murmerating starlings and were well rewarded. We soon moved from the supermarket carpark to a better vantage point and were able to watch thousands of starlings coming in to roost.

Here you can see some of the early arrivals dropping into the reeds.

The dark swathe across the middle of this picture is roosting starlings.

Here they are jostling for position

The sunset was beautiful that night - here are some of the later arrivals.

The sight has been spectacular although we have not had the huge dark clouds of swirling birds that we have seen pictures of. We keep going back in hopes though!

On Friday we visited the Cabo de Gata lighthouse at the far south eastern tip of Almeria province.

We have been there many times in the past as it is a stunning spot but mainly in search of the Trumpeter Finch. It is a North African bird with a small colony in the Cabo de Gata National park. We have seen Trumpeters on three or four ocassions  but this time we saw several and very close to the car. This one was just a couple of metres from the car.

 A perfect view. And they really do trumpet!

Have a great week.