Picture of the Week

22 August 2017

Week 33: Assumpta’s party, hair-of-the-dog, and beginning recovery

Filed under: — Administrator @ 14:28

The week was my first full week of vacation. Under normal circumstances I would have spent many hours on two wheels; however, the knee problem and resulting leg inflammation kept me off the bicycle for most of the week–very frustrating but in the circumstances there was nothing I could do. Fortunately, towards the end of the week I was able to take the first baby steps towards recovery, following my doctor’s instructions. In addition to this, there was also much partying and similar levity going on.

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On Sunday morning, my wife and I drove to a nearby vegetable market. This is a real farmers market, where every Friday and Sunday farmers from the surrounding area sell their produce. There is of course also other stuff, like bananas, that is brought in from outside the area, but the focus is very much on local things. I took a few photos to convey the feel of this mercadillo:
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Shoppers of various ages:
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Ground level view:
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Two kinds of peppers. The small green ones are called pimentos de Padrón, after a town in Galicia in north-west Spain, and are absolutely delicious when fried in olive oil with a generous sprinkling of coarse salt:
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Tomatoes, red and green. They do not look as perfect as the ones in the supermarket, but the taste and smell is much stronger:
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Leeks, pak choi, carrots and other good things. The prices are good too:
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There are also a few stands selling clothes, but it is very much a secondary activity here:
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On Monday evening, we attended the birthday party of our friend Assumpta. As usual, we started by munching on various goodies that people brought along:
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Later, Assumpta’s husband Elio put his Argentine BBQ skills to good use, and the audience was clearly ready:
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Our contribution to the food was the birthday cake. My wife’s cheesecake is always very popular and she is usually asked to prepare one for birthdays:
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Assumpta gets her cake; at this point it is technically no longer her birthday, since we are past midnight, but this is a Spanish party, so it will last until the wee hours of the morning:
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On Monday, we got together again, for a “hair-of-the-dog” lunch to dispose of the leftovers from the night before. Elio, Cani and Mariluz admire Elio’s new barbecue:
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At the table. Most of the others had been to the nearby beach during the morning, hence the attire (or lack thereof):
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Elio, Assumpta and Chloe:
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This time, our contribution was produced by me, a Japanese salad with edamame and a ginger/soy dressing (the colour comes from a bit of tomato purée that is also added):
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And as usual, there was meat that needed grilling:
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While we ate, I snapped some portraits around the table. This is Lucas, Elio’s son:
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Mariluz:
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And then it was siesta time for some:
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A couple of images from morning walks with Cheeta. First, one of our neighbours:
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Even though unemployment in Spain has fallen significantly since the worst years 2013-14, one still sees many handbills like this one, posted by people looking for domestic work, gardening work etc.:
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On Wednesday we went to the city to do some essential shopping at Beershooters, near the Mercado Central. Right next to the beer shop, there is an old-school shoe repair place with a rather striking window display:
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Flower stall behind the Mercado Central. We bought some of these sunflowers:
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We had lunch at a nearby modest place, which we call the “obrero restaurant”. “Obrero” means “worker” in Spanish, and this restaurant is popular among the construction workers working on the many new apartment buildings still being put up in this area. It is honest, good food, and a lunch with 3 courses, dessert and a beer or soft drink costs €7. Things always start with a simple salad to share:
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I particularly enjoyed my second dish, beans with some kind of shellfish:
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Thursday afternoon was a big moment–I got on a bicycle for the first in a week. For someone who is used to exercising daily, a week’s enforced rest is positively painful. But I must take it easy for a few days, so this first outing was just down to beach with Monica to have a drink at one of the bars on the promenade:
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Monica’s mojito:
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The next day I was able to do a longer ride, a total of 22 km, but still very soft, on flat terrain, following the beach road to the harbour of El Campello. The harbour has two parts, a small fishing harbour and a larger harbour for pleasure boats. I always find the former the more interesting of the two. Despite the “no fishing” signs, there are always people fishing from these rocks:
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I always enjoy looking at the nets drying on the ground:
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And the various things that grow on the equipment:
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There is a small fish auction house:
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The Virgin of the Sea watches over the proceedings:
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Just south of the harbour is the main beach of El Campello:
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On Friday evening we went to the opening of a photography exhibition in the centre, and afterwards one of my fellow photographers and co-workers invited us for a beer at his place. While walking there, we passed the entrance to our main pedestrian promenade, Esplanada de España. It is a sign of the times that such places now often have roadblocks in place to try to prevent attacks like the one in Barcelona. Ours look a bit nicer than plain concrete barriers:
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Our hosts Christophe and Philippa live on Plaza de Santíssima Faz right in the centre, a lovely little square full of diners on a Friday evening:
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We enjoyed a few beers and good conversation:
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And the view of the square from their 4th floor balcony was fabulous:
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On Saturday I did another beach recovery ride, but this time slightly farther and faster. I began at the southern end of our beach, Playa San Juan:
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This year, the municipality has put up large posters encouraging people to litter less (or not at all). The campaign uses characters like this one, “Plantalatas”, a woman who “plants” cans (“latas”) in the sand instead of taking them to the trash bin:
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I again cycled north to El Campello, but I went beyond the fishing harbour to an area called Baños de la Reina, a series of secluded, rocky beaches (called “calas” here):
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Still further is Playa Almadraba:
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There is even some art to look at while basking in the sun:
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And so ends a somewhat rambling week.

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