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The family visits, July 2009
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Co-incidence had it that Darryl's mum and dad were going to be at their house in Spain around the same time as we were at ours. And so we shared the visitors!
Even for Spain the weather was unusually hot and we recorded temperatures up to 43°C in the shade at the front of our house - albeit it is a bit of a sun-trap. Thank goodness for the air conditioning we had installed in the bedroom last year!
This is the main lake at Baza Lakes, somewhere we have been before but this time we went with our friends and neighbours Gill & William and Stewart & Denise. We stopped for a spot of brunch and a coffee and sat beside the lake. Beautiful. And this is why there is a lake. It is, as you can see, a man-made lake. And the road runs over the dam. Being summer it was quite low but still contained many millions of litres of water. We then went on to Guadix, a bit further west of Baza. This picture was taken whilst stood on someone's roof as many of the houses are cave houses so we were climbing on the hills and over someone's lounge!.
The white 'pointy' things in the foreground are the chimneys, the larger one being, of course, the local church! The chimneys provide ventilation in the summer and, obviously, an escape for the smoke in the winter. This is the inside of one of the cave houses, maybe even the lounge we were climbing on the roof of. And this is Gill & William looking around it. The inside temperature is a steady 20°C both winter and summer - no air conditioning needed. The man who owns it allows people to look around his house in return for a donation on a plate as you leave. We worked out that, between the six of us, he'd pocketed about 15€. Not a bad few minutes work!
This is the cathedral in the 'normal' part of Guadix. Unfortunately, and as you can see, it was being renovated when we visited and closed to visitors. It looked as though it would be well worth a return visit. Around the cathedral are the old streets and some stunning buildings. This is the back door to the cathedral, and even this was very ornately decorated.
If you look under the eaves of this building just across from the cathedral, you'll see what we mean by stunning buildings. I believe this one is one is a local government office. And across the cathedral square - anyone for chess? Total change of subject now. This is Gill's family visiting at their house to which we were invited.
Gill had done loads of food (far too much) and, as always, there was loads to drink. So a good time was certain. But it got so hot we moved to ours and headed for the pool. Gill's mum (stage left) seemed to be enjoying it, though she refused to even consider joining us in the pool.
A few days later, we went to Almería city to order an internet connection from Telefónica (the virtual monopoly Spanish telephone company). Fruitless. If buck-passing were an Olympic sport, Telefónica Customer Services (so called) would take gold, silver and bronze. Back at home and a few days later still, Iris and Pete (Darryl's parents), Uncle Frank and his partner Marjorie, came to stay for a few days. The weather was hot so the umbrella was a must, as was the sun cream. This rather strange shot is us having a meal at our local Indian restaurant, the Syedpur - when in Spain and all that - the food was great but the air conditioning was useless so we were all sweating from the heat not the curry!
And this is us all, now including Gill & William, at the pool. Whilst, out of shot, Darryl was busy trying to get the bbq to light! After Frank & Marjorie had gone back to the UK, we paid a visit to Darryl's mum & dad's in Gran Alacant. This is the view from the front of the house, very open and, in the distance are the hills that surround Alicante. Iris on their front terrace. A great place to sit, eat breakfast and have a quiet read and slowly wind yourself into the day.
And then it was the turn of Darryl's sister, Donna, her husband Ian and their daughter Evelyn-Rose to visit us. Donna used to ride quite a bit but had not done so for quite a few years - so we arranged a surprise for her Gill's horse Nisha is a beauty and Donna really enjoyed her ride. So much so she asked if she cold go back the following morning which Gill, of course, readily agreed to. The other horse is Tizzy, with William riding.
And this is Donna doing a bit of jumping. Later that day, Evelyn had a go. She seemed to love it so maybe she is following in her mother's footsteps. Quite a horse-woman, for 2½!!

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