Monday, 19 December 2016

Winter in Spain - Week Three

Sunday 11th December
A Mini Mahoney Merry Christmas

We decided to make today a Mini Mahoney Merry Christmas as we wouldn't be seeing the family over the actual days. Bob and I moved the garden table to the sunniest spot in the garden in readiness for an afternoon barbecue. We opened a few presents. Rowan was very pleased with her Doctor's dressing-up outfit.
Button opening her present - it lasted about 2 minutes!

Amber with a new rattle

Granny helping Rowan open presents

Doctor Rowan preparing to give an injection
We had a snack lunch in the garden then got on with preparations for the barbecue.
For our Christmas meal in the sun we started with melon and Iberico ham and a glass of Cava, followed by chicken brochettes and steak from the barbecue accompanied by oven roasted vegetables and a risotto with a very good Rioja. For afters we had a shop bought chocolate and cream gateau; no Christmas Pud this year. Of course, we had Christmas crackers too! Lucy had a swim in the pool between the main course and the dessert. Rather her than me - the pool thermometer read 13 degrees!
The barbecue in the sunshine

A Mini Mahoney Merry Christmas!

Lucy swimming at 13 deg C - crazy!

Monday 12th December
Moraira Beach

Today we made up a picnic and drove over to Moraira so that Rowan could have a proper play on the beach. Button got really excited at the beach and charged around and in and out of the sea. Bob and Lucy swam in a tidal pool and later in the sea off the main beach. Lyn helped Rowan build sandcastles.
Button loves the beach

Moraira beach with Penyal d'Ifac in the distance

I was interested in a small, fenced off lagoon by the beach set up as a small wildlife area. A very confiding Heron was there along with some ducks, gulls and Moorhens. A solitary Cormorant was a little further off.
Grey Heron in the coastal lagoon
We had a picnic lunch in Morag then went for a walk along to a fort at the end of the beach. We liked Moraira and will be back.
Picnic lunch in Morag

Moraira Fort with Bob looking out to sea
Back at the villa we had a simple pasta meal with Rowan while Bob and Lucy got ready to go out for a meal at the Azahar restaurant. They enjoyed their meal although they found the dessert disappointing.

Tuesday 13th December
Good Lunch at Arenal

We drove down to Arenal for Rowan to play on the climbing frames at the beach as this is the last day that the family will be staying.
We had an excellent lunch at La Fortuna on the beach front. Bob and I shared a Paella Marisco while Lyn had Sea Bass and Lucy have oven cooked lamb. We all enjoyed it and found the staff very good and friendly.
The view from our table at La Fontana
We made our way back to the villa in the early afternoon as Bob and Lucy wanted to start on their packing.

Wednesday 14th December
Goodbye Bob and Family

We all got up quite early as Bob and family had to leave for Alicante airport. All went very smoothly until, at the last possible moment, Amber projectile vomited all over her clean travelling clothes and the car seat! Babies have such a good sense of timing! Despite leaving a little later than planned, they got to the airport in plenty of time for their flight.
We drove Morag down to Granadella beach. The pebble beach is in a very attractive cove though the extensive fires last September left the surrounding hillside a bit bare. All the Tapas bars and restaurants were closed as it was so out of season and we had the beach almost to ourselves apart for a solitary metal detectorist.
Granadella beach

Granadella bay
We had taken sandwiches and ate them on the beach accompanied by a nice hot cup of tea brewed in Morag.
Lyn sat on the beach and read her Kindle and played with Button while I set off for a walk out to a ruined fort at the headland. It was quite a stiff climb up from the road and the path was very affected by the fires. I didn't complete the walk to the end because of the damage. I did get excellent views of the bays from the cliff path though.
Granadella from the cliff path

Morag, Lyn and Button from the cliff path
We left Granadella once someone began using a very noisy jet ski in the bay. Back at the villa we sat outside by the pool with a beer in the sunshine.

Thursday 15th December
Quiet day

The day started very showery. I took Button for her morning walk between heavy showers. We had booked a hire car for a few days but decided to cancel it as the weather looked to be so poor. We drove down to Consum supermarket for supplies for the next few days. Other than that we just spent the day in the villa sheltering from the bad weather.

Friday 16th December
Denia and Cake

We drove over the mountain to Denia to see the town. It is much bigger then Javea with a long sprawl of holiday flats to the north of the main town and port. We stopped to take Button for a run on the deserted beach, then made our way back to Javea in a torrential downpour! Denia is not our sort of place - too big and not with a welcoming feel about it. We probably won't be visiting again.
Back in Javea we called in to the Austrian cafe at Arenal beach. We had hot drinks and delicious cakes before driving back up the hill to the villa.

Saturday 17th December
Coorying in

Another poor day with prequent showers and heavier prolonged periods of rain although it did clear up a little late in the afternoon. Apart from taking Button for her walk we stayed in all day.

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