By Veronica

In the Lecrin valley

We rejoined the walking group we first got to know when we were in Velez today, a big advantage of returning to an area you know (alongside yesterday's backblipped intercambio). It was a walk from Melegis, a village in the Lecrin valley. This valley is known above all for its orange orchards, as you can see ... literally millions of oranges are grown here. Sadly the price of oranges is so low it's barely worth picking them (oranges in a greengrocer in Almuñecar: 39 cents a kilo). Most of these go to Valencia to be made into packaged juice.

The pace of this group is rather more rapid than I am used to, but it was a short and easy walk, only just over 5 km. Afterwards we repaired to L's house in Melegis for drinks and tapas (if such delicacies as Christmas cake, mince pies, and shortbread biscuits can be so described), on her roof terrace. I have to say it was a bit chilly up there, it's several degrees colder than the coast.

Back home, it was Mystère's big day: we let him out to explore. I thought he would like the garden, but as ever his first reaction was to head unerringly for boundaries and human-inaccessible areas, looking for escape routes. The garden is well-fenced, but not 100% cat-proof. The escape routes involve jumping onto walls with unknown hazards on the other side, though, so he thought better of it. After nearly an hour's exploration he was happy to return to the house to do some data processing. And just now he had a mad half hour, racing from end to end of the house -- he never does this at home because he has enough opportunities to expend energy outdoors.

In other news, landlady B came round for another tussle with the TV, successful this time, and wood merchant Marcos visited and found a solution that involves us carrying wood down steps, not up them. Sounds good ... finally, an apero and tapa in our local, the Dorada de Plata, and dinner at home. Pasta with mushrooms for us, smoked salmon for Mystère.

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