AS mentioned in my last column, the water level of the reservoir that my house overlooks has been dropping rapidly thanks to the unusually dry winter and the usual summer influx of tourists draining the water supply.
Since you are asking, no, I haven’t been able to sort running water to the house yet. Thank God for wet wipes is all I’m saying… I hope this has at least provided you with a fascinating glimpse of rural life.
The reservoir that I live on is the result of a dam project on the Rio Verde that flooded the Rio Verde valley in 1971. As is often the case, several farm houses disappeared into the depths but the recent drought has meant they have begun to reappear.
Normally the farmhouses are little more that a few exterior walls, however, a really impressive two storey house re-emerged on the far side of the lake. So, in best ‘Indiana Jones’ fashion I dragged a kayak down to the water’s edge and paddled over to investigate.
La Vega de Rio Verde, as I later found out the house was called, was in pretty good condition considering it had been underwater for more than 40 years. Walking inside the house there were still roof beams intact, a fireplace, oven and even an old bedstead. I could almost imagine the estate agent’s sales pitch: “Charming farmhouse. In need of a little TLC, with minor damp problem. Would suit scuba enthusiast.”
Outside there was a stone fountain, a threshing circle and even an abandoned wheelbarrow. It certainly felt a little spooky and when I discovered signs that wild boar had been there recently (I’ve had a few run ins with them over the years) I decided to turn tail.
La Vega de Rio Verde belonged to family of Mayor of Istan, who revealed that his grandmother had died in the house and he could remember her body being taken to the village by donkey for burial.
I’m superstitious by nature (when you have my lifestyle you need all the lucky charms you can get, believe me) and, though not on the scale of an Egyptian Pharaoh’ s deadly curse, on the way back my kayak got stuck on a mud bank.
I decided to wade home across the reservoir, dragging the kayak behind me in true rugged explorer style. All was well until I unknowingly stepped off a submerged terrace and shot beneath the water, leaving my bush hat floating on the surface.
At least I didn’t have to worry about showering that day…
A MISERABLE summer of sport continued for Spain as the national basketball team crashed out of the World Cup in a shock defeat to the French.
I’ve never really understood basketball – it seems that all you do is run up the court, put the ball in the hoop and then the opposing team does the same, ad infinitum. Also, when you are my size (I struggle to make six feet in heels) the game was never an option. This is why I have never expected the same of a Spanish (let alone Andalucian) basketball team as I have of their football teams…
As a region of small stocky types, you’d have to concede that the Andalucians are at something of a disadvantage on the basketball court.
But… if there was a competition for little old men sitting on benches in the town square, Andalucia would be world champions!
Reminds me of the days of drought that we experienced when the sainted Jesus Gil was Mayor of Marbella and any day out would have to be planned like a military operation because of the need to carry water, wet wipes, sanitising hand gel etc. Fortunately, now that I live in the Rhondda, droughts are less common!