Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Glad to be in Spain

Having just spent a week in the Britain, it really has made us appreciate living in Spain. I never realised just how heavy the traffic is, having to allow loads of time to get anywhere, the weather is so dreary and cold, and people seem so hassled. Of course, it is nice to see the green fields and trees and our friends and relations, but living back in the UK is not an option anymore, and a short visit is enough.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Datura plant

When you walk on the riverside walk in Formentera the gardens are a pleasure they are well maintained by the council and have a great variety of shrubs and plants, The Datura is nice to look at but dangerous to touch, as it is very toxic and will cause delusions and hallucinations if ingested. It is a woody-stalked, leafy herb growing up to 2 metres. It produces spiney seed pods and large white or purple trumpet-shaped flowers that face upward. Common names are Jimson weed, Hell's Bells, Devil's weed, Devil's cucumber, angel's trumpet and devil's trumpet.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Market Time

It does not seem to matter what time of year, there always seems to be a great variety of fruit and vegetables at good prices on the Rojales market, we find now that we manage to buy enough to last us the whole week for no more than 10 Euros. Our favourite stall is always busy with people from many different countries. The staff on the stall have no problem communicating and are always ready for a laugh and a joke.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Day at the Safari Park

Recently we had a day off so we decided to have a family trip to Rio Safari Park in Elche, as we had been given some discount tickets for 3 euros off entry.

The safari park is situated about 5 minutes from Santa Pola on the Santa Pola to Elche Road. We arrived when it opened at 10.30am to miss the crowds. The staff at the ticket counter were very helpful and explained when the animal shows and train safari would take place.

We started by looking at the chimpanzees and the fur seals before the train ride. The fur seal enclosure had a below water level viewing window, and it was wonderful to see them swimming and gracefully playing in the water.

The train trip took us right around the safari park giving a great view of all the animals, from the big cats, to the hippo, and the oryx.
The commentary was all in Spanish, but this didn't detract from the wonderful and varied selection of animals we saw.

After the train ride, we visted the island of goats, where for 50 cents we fed a herd of goats on chunks of apple- most amusing as they jumped up at us to get fed.

The parrots were next- we decided to skip the parrot show and just look at them in their enclosures. it was very interesting to read the information provided as it explained that the zoo help to rescue badly kept animals, breed species that as rare and reintroduce species into the wild. I was very impressed with the clean and interesting enclosures which all the animals were in.

After the parrots we walked round the remaining exhibits- from the terrarium with snakes and lizards, to the wallabies, lions, tigers and crocs. At 1pm, we saw the elephant show, which was ( again in Spanish) informative and interesting- apparently the elephant helps to moves palm branches to maintain the park.

We finished the day with a picnic and a swim in the pool. I would recommend this day out to anyone, especially families as there is plenty to see and do. There is a cafe and snack bar, although it is cheaperto take your own food and drink.

Entry is 18 euros for adults and 15 euros for children unless you can get a discount voucher- often given away in tourist information centres.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Too many figs

We love figs and at this time of year they are only €1 a kilo on the market, and if there is a handy fig tree they are falling off. The thing is you can only eat so many ... so i thought about drying them so that i have some later in the year. the ideal way is to have a proper drying machine, but then i heard about putting them in the sun in the windscreen of your car, and thought i would give it a go. I cut them in half and put them cut side up on an oven rack in the front of the car and sure enough they dried out really well, now they are in the freezer this pastuerizes them and they will either keep in the freezer for several months or in the fridge for up to eight weeks.