Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chopsticks Allowed

Inside the restaurant
On our quest for the perfect chinese restaurant experience we visited an establishment in Guardamar. Food was good but what really made the place shine where the staff. What truly pleasant people they were, had an interesting chat about China and learning other languages with a couple of the waitresses. The decor was very nice too, particularly liked a piece of art work showing a scene from china of a waterfall. Another thing was that the tables were nicely spaced so you did not have squeeze between to get to sit down. The usual bottle of wine with the meal and schnapps after but there was more a gift of a bracelet with the bill and another bottle of wine to take away with us. All this costs us a mighty, wait for it, 10.95. Its so nice to leave a restaurant feeling so relaxed and not to light in the wallet. The name of this new find is Chino Asiatic to be found at the far end of Guardamar past the church and carry on going past the Mercadona turning when you come to a large car park on the left( very handy for the restaurant ) the Chino Asiatic is at the far side of the parking.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Gota Fria is here

Guardamar beach
Guardamar beach damage
Guardamar. With torrential rain throughout the night and most of the day, the damage it is causing is all around, many people with ground floor or accommodation at the bottom of a slope have found the the water pouring under their doors as it cannot drain away fast enough. The roads have been like rivers with 3 or 4 inches of water running down them. Manhole covers in the roads are being forced up and gushers of sewer type water gushing out of them. All this water is running down towards the beach and has eroded the beach into deep gullies (some several feet deep) as it makes its way to the sea, taking with it the wooden walkways, rubbish bins and anything in its path. On Reina Sofia park the duck ponds have overflowed and the childrens play area was roped off as the water has washed away a lot of the sand.
Driving inland to Formentera, lots of the fields are under water and resembling paddy fields, the farmers are will like this as they normally have to flood the fields manually from the sluices.

Friday, September 25, 2009

This & That From Around & About

flag carriers
What changeable weather we are having after heavy rain and hail storms in some places now the sun is back, what a surprise! We sat on the beach and swam in the sea yesterday. Still quite a few holidaymakers about , taking a chance on some sun after the awful UK summer I expect.
Heard an interesting and some what alarming tale today. A local business woman was attending a funeral, well that was the idea at least. It seems everyone got to the crematorium and the proceedings ground to a halt. The Funeral Director refused to continue until payment was made, expected cheques had not arrived. This good samaritan stepped in and paid the bill, later to be reimbursed by the grieving family. Makes you wonder what has occurred with other expat funerals and payments that lead the company to act in this way. I await further info on the matter.
Dia is once again open all day, well it was at the last count. Have you ever noticed they always have women working in our local Dia shop, one of the women told me that the company never employ men at this branch, I shall expect to see some of the men from around here burning there tee-shirts in protest at this blatant sexism. Spain certainly has a long way to go on the equal rights issues but my usual observation are that its the women who are short-changed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is it Thursday already?

Seems it is and no posting since saturday last. Its been a busy week. John did a stint on the animal rescue ambulance and boy did he need a shower when he got home. The hugh young dog he took to foster carers had been running loose eating anything she could find poor animal. What heroes the fosters are because this young lady is big now and still growing, lovely nature though as I saw when I meet petra out with her foster mum the next day.
As I say busy week, Bec poor thing has the flu, hopefully on the mend now though. We've had quite a bit of rain , oh yes bring it on. We did manage to get a nice walk through the park in Gaurdamar the other day though. The wild life there seemed to be enjoying the fact that everywhere had had a good wash. One lot of creatures that fascinates us are the terrapins in the parks pools. I recall friends keeping these type of reptiles as pets back in the sixties. There are native species of terrapins here in spain but we will have to get closers to see which these are. They range in size from one that would fit in the palm of your hand to huge things the size of a large dinner plate. The water fowl do not seem to bother them at all. We wonder what they find to eat in the pools, must be some good stuff has the population appears to be increasing

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Its that time of year again

ear candle time
you know the weather cools down, quite a lot as it happens, leafs start to turn,days get shorter, everywhere gets quieter and as for John? Well he gets out the Hopi ear candles and gives us all some entertainment. This time Joaquin was around to see the whole process, mind you they are effective much more so than any thing the Doc tried. You can see from the photo Joaquin thought it was hilarious, and now he wants to try it himself. If he does I will be waiting to snap away for a few more pics to put in the family album. Makes you wonder what future generations will make of the whole thing. Bit more interesting than your average holiday photos I should think.

NB: Hopi candles came from the Health shop in Guardamar. No ears where hurt in the making of this posting

Friday, September 18, 2009

Miniature Horse Show

On Sunday the 18th of October the easy horse care rescue centre in Rojales is holding a miniature horse show to raise funds for the work they do in rescuing and caring for abandoned and abused horses. The centre have already rescued several miniature horses and will be able to highlight the beauty of this breed at the show. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the facilities and see some of the other horses that have been rescued.
Miniature horses are found all over the world and come in various colors and coat patterns. The designation of miniature horse is determined by the height of the animal, which, depending on the particular breed registry involved, is usually less than 34–38 inches (86–97 cm)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time for the ITV test again

ITV station
Time for a ITV test again, this time for the Citreon Saxo, its always a bit nerve racking in case there is a major fault you don’t know about, anyway I did not bother making an appointment but went quite early, 64 euros fee - a bit more than for the Renault but this test will be valid for two years. The examiners speak very little English and start the test by checking all the lights and wipers with the owner turning them on and off as requested, (if you know what they are asking for)
It only takes about 15 minutes for the examination, much of it is computerised. Exhaust emissions and brake diagnostics for example. Rust is not a problem here as it is on vehicles in the UK and the main focus is on the mechanics.
Anyway the car did not pass because the airbag warning light was showing on the dashboard, I have always thought it was a faulty connection so did not bother about it but it is enough to fail the test, on the way home I stopped at the mechanics at Benimar, and they set about fixing it straight away, plugged the car into the computer and the fault showed as a loose connection which they fixed for a mere €40. I have been told if you don’t return the same day you have to pay again for the test, i was not going to risk it so returned to the ITV testing station at Torrevieja where they checked it had been repaired and gave me a pass certificate for the car. Well, I am 100 euros lighter in the pocket, but at least I know the car is road legal.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Where do you go to my lovely

Now here is a mystery that I hope someone further along the coast can solve. Its like this, ever since we have been here we have noticed large flocks of seagulls heaing south every evening at dusk. We have christened them the “squadrons". There can be anything from a handfull to a few hundred birds in any one formation. Question is where do they come from and where are they going to. You never seem to see gulls in large numbers down on the playa so we are assuming theses birds live inland. If they spend their days or nights near you please get in touch as we would love to know. We have thought about giving chase but that would be crazy would'nt it? It’s interesting that they fly in a V formation too, never knew that until we came here. Flying in a V formation helps the birds in covering long distances efficiently. All the birds except the first are flying in the upwash from the wingtip vortices of the bird ahead. The birds in the formation take turns flying first. A little upwash assists the bird to support its own weight in flight in the same way a glider can climb or maintain height indefinitely in rising air. In V formation of 25 members, each bird can achieve a reduction of induced drag by up to 65% and as a result increase their range by 71%. The birds flying at the tips and at the front are rotated in a timely cyclical fashion to spread flight fatigue equally among the flock members. The formation also makes communication easier and allows the birds to maintain visual contact with each other. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Another Day Another Dog

Having a bath
and what a lovely wee chap he is.A Shi Tsu crossed with a Highland Terrier he is a handsome fellow and such a fun little dog with very endearing habits. The vet thinks he's around 10 months old and he is in very good health too. We are of course fostering him for K9 so if you know anyone who wants this lovely dog do get in touch. He is house trained have no bad habits as far as we can see unless you count stealing hearts!
We are often asked how we can bear to part with the dogs we foster and it is not easy as you can imagine however we always know they are going to a good home and will be well loved. You need to have a particular mind set to foster I think. What we say is its the same as looking after a friends pet you know you will be handing them back at some point, they are just on visit as it were. Its true that some of the dogs we have require that extra bit of TLC but what a reward you get for this as you see them begin to trust humans interact and enjoy their little lives.
Skipper who's with us now had a shower to day so he's looking extremely attractive though he's not quite sure about the tea tree and lavender aroma that's following him around.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fiesta paella

Last Saturday as part of the Fiesta celebrations paella was order of the day, two large paellas, one fish and one meat were brought into the Los Palacios Square and served up by Pedro and his team, Extra tables and chairs filled the square and a large crowd of local people turned up to enjoy a drink and delicious meal, There was not a scrap of food left. A large stage had been set up in the square and in the evening the entertainment was live music from female vocalists, electric organ and guitar, with a short interlude for the Firework display, although we did not stay up, apparently the live music and dancing finished around 2:00 and continued with a disco untill the break of dawn. Noticably the pool and bar were closed for the Sunday for the majority to recover.
Sunday At 14:00 was the official end of this Fiesta, Marked by a barrage of exploding rockets.
The swimming pool in the Square closes permanently for this year next Sunday the 13th September.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

One man and his horse

seed heads
man and horse
Another of our evening walks had us meeting up with one man and his horse. The meeting took place along the river path to formentera. We were treated to a short display of Spanish horsemanship, Caballo y Deporte, as he put his steed through its paces. Its always great to stumble upon these bits of real local life. The autumn was very much in evidence on this recent walk, witness photo number two the sun shining through the seed heads of riverside plants

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Gran Fiesta de la espuma

Foam party
Foamy John
Talk about a party(Gran Fiesta)week, not content with filling everyone up with sardines the council but on a party in the church square later the same day. No ordinary party either, a mobil disco provided the music and a special machine covered the square with foam(la espuma), and I do mean cover. People almost disappeared in the depth of the stuff a guy was on hand to hose down anyone in danger of doing so. Now there was a man who was enjoying his work. Once again a fun event with no one causing problem and everyone just having good clean fun if you'll pardon the pun. Cannot imagine either this event or the sardine lunch would have happened in UK, Health and safely may not have been top of the list but as far as we could see no one was hurt and their has not been a hugh wave of food poisoning around the town. One added bonus the main town square has not looked so clean for a long

Ands there's more..............

thirsty work
the gang
Food that is. On Monday it was the day of the annual Sardine breakfast (Tradicional Dia De La Sardina). The event takes place across the river from the swimming pool in Formentera. its starts mid morning and finishes mid afternoon with free Sardines, bread, wine and beer. We saw last year that many people make a real family occasion of this so this year we were better organised. We arranged to meet up with Bec and joaquin and some of there friends at the El Molino site. A great time was had by all as we shared a picinc along with the sardines. John ate 9 I believe, but was out done by another member of our party who ate at least 16!!! It was wonderful to be part of this local tradition. It is always fun and trouble free, children running around playing, old people meeting up for a chat and a laugh, new babies being shown off, a good time was had by all. Thank you Formentera Corporacion Municipal

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Yummy Yummy

tucking in
We had another night in Guardamar on Saturday last. We stayed at the Eden mar, very nice rooms and very quiet in that part of town, Its in the same street as Mercadona so very handy for the beach. One reason we wanted to stay over was to try out a restaurant we heard about. I was on a flight back earlier in the year and a fellow passenger told me about the Jaen. Jaen's bar and restaurant is in the main street of Guardamar on the left as you are coming from the town hall towards the Mercadona end of town, look out for the blue toldos ands silver tables and chairs outside.
The menu del dia (served at night too) is just 8 euros per person including wine. The menu is extensive and interesting and wine is included( did I say that already ah well worth saying twice!). The Guy who runs the front of house with just one other waiter is a delight. He works non stop speaks many languages and is constantly cheerful. We had a leisurely meal that started with salad bread and allioli to keep us going while we perused the menu. Everything we eat was great, my fish soup most especially, no room for desert we had a cup of the excellent coffee and a second bottle of red for which they charged us just 2 euros. The atmosphere was lively the place lacked for nothing except the kind of pretention British restaurant are so infamous for. We recommend you give it a try you can bet your life we will be going back again. If you do not want the menu del dia by the way the tapas menu looks mouth-watering.