When I've trawled through my photo portfolio, I discover that I have kept relatively few pictures of places that we obviously dismissed and even though we always had the camera with us, we often didn't even take it out of it's case. So the ones here are ones that appealed to us most.
Go on, let me know what you think!
The first ones are properties in Aguilar de Campoo or near there. And as I look at them again, I still love this area and wonder whether we'd be better to stay nearer family - only an hour and half away - and brave the weather and the greater isolation in the villages, many of which are completely deserted in the winter months..
|Monasterio - up a steep, steep hill!|
|Not one wooden cart, but two|
|Lovely on the outside, inside....less so|
|St Martin de Valdelomar - roadside view|
|St Martin de Valdelomar - garden view|
|St Martin - reformed annex part|
|St Martin - unreformed part|
|Puentetoma - a personal favourite but lots of problems with the property|
|Like pretty shoddy 'improvements'|
|Pomar de Valdivia - nearly bought this one but we weren't totally convinced|
|Near Baza in Granada - so very nearly perfect|
|Even had some development options!|
|Cortijo Zorro - not discounted yet!|
|Nestling in amongst 4 hectares of land.. it has a lot of appeal but can we afford it??|
Why have I no pictures of the cave houses? I am kicking myself because some of them were so gorgeous and absolutely fascinating. I have spent hours imagining what it would be like to like there. One of them had a fantastic garden and as no one was living there, we 'liberated' a huge squash, some membrillos, (quince in English) and some walnuts.
At one place in the northern area of Granada, we bought 5 litres of extra virgin olive oil from a man (who really wanted us to buy his house, of course) for the excellent sum of 12 euros - oil he had pressed himself from his own olives, no less. And it's delicious.
I already mentioned the delightful Marcelino, the baker and the apple tart and madelenas we bought from him and his daughter.
And at St Martin de Valdelomar, the estate agent insisted we collect some of the grapes off the vine in the garden - and they were the most delicious I have ever tasted! Small, purple grapes with an intense sweetness - we ate them like little monkeys in the car as we drove back to Aguilar de Campoo.
We have walnuts from almost everywhere - and almonds too in Granada - and our only unsuccessful 'liberation' was from a persimmon tree which was near one of the caves houses. Cesar and I tried one. It was clearly not ripe. It dried our mouths til they felt like shoe soles. We couldn't talk because of the involuntary curling back of our top lip - it must have been very funny to see our faces. I think to our credit, we came back to Valladolid and bought one from the fruteria just to see how they should taste - and they are very nice. I just don't recommend eating them from wild trees - whilst they are still a bit yellow - definitely not!
Oh, and on the way back to Valladolid from our Granada trip, we found handfuls of olives at one of our roadside stops. These are currently soaking in a terracotta pot in the hope that one day they will be edible. (Something else I recommend you don't try direct from the tree.)
|Plump dark olives from Jaen - Olive Country|
Still searching for the best advice on curing olives, if that's the right phrase. I know that if we manage to make them edible, we'll be looking for a place with olives, without doubt! And figs; and vines; and membrillos; and walnuts; and almonds; possibly persimmon....