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Life in the fast lane

I'm beginning to really like my new Province. It's probably a romantic view but there seems to be a symbiosis between the land and the people who live on it. I'm sure that, in reality, everyone writes computer games software and sells insurance but it doesn't seem like that as we drive around more or less deserted roads passing by grazing sheep, cattle and pigs and stopping off in sleepy villages where old women sit on their doorsteps crocheting.

Today we went to a Natural Park, El Parque Natural Arribes del Duero, that runs on both the Spanish and Portuguese sides of the River Duero. We started in an interpretation centre in the village of Sobradilla. We were the only customers in the hour or so that we were there so the guide had plenty of time to tell us about the unique microclimate in the steep valleys that surround the river. She told us how they grow oranges, a crop that's not tough enough to take the winters in our Alicante home just 50 miles from the Mediterranean coast. The centre was well laid out; housed in a 15th Century watchtower that for years guarded the Spanish border from Portuguese incursions and smugglers. As we climbed the tower the diplays mirrored the climb from the depths of the valley onto the more open hillsides.

Across the road the village restaurant was setting up for a special meal based on local wild mushrooms and toadstools. Collecting funghi is big in Salamanca. We zig zagged back and forth from Spain to Portugal across hydroelectric dams and old bridges. We passed men on mules that seemed to be earning their keep working the hillsides. We saw lots and lots of big birds - kites apparently. In Vilvestre we watched a boat set out on a trip along the Duero in a landscape reminiscent of the English Lake District and in Aldeadávila de Ribera if we'd had a pig and 12€ we could have got it slaughtered.

Splendid day, splendid place.

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Combining my blogs

This blog is now dormant. It records our time in the beautiful city of Ciudad Rodrigo but it's a while since we've lived there. We now spend part of our time in Cartagena, Murcia and a part in Culebrón, Alicante.

If you would like to gave a look at what we're up to now just click on one of the tabs at the top of the page.

That's it

Done. Finished. I'm just about to disconnect the computer and that will be it. We managed to get everything in the cars, tomorrow morning we'll dope up Edu and then all we have to do is to drive across Spain. The Culebrón link below will be in use for the next few weeks before we move on to Cartagena in September. Click on the links below.
So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
The story continues .......

Missed something else

This morning, as I cleaned my teeth, I heard hooves in the street. I didn't bother to rush out. I took my time, I put on my boots and strolled out to buy fags and a paper. There were signs of horses or mules or donkeys having passed down the street. When I came out of the fag shop I noticed a fair sized crowd by the Fat Tree but the fun was over, the crowd was drifting away and I didn't have my camera anyway.
I've just checked the town web site and it says that The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Peña de Francia, having been blessed by a local chaplain, set out on a Romeria (a sort of pilgrimage) from the town today heading for one of the highest peaks in the area - the Peña de Francia. They won't get there till Sunday as it's some 50km from here.