Picture of the Week

20 February 2021

Week 06: Carrasqueta, Carmen, taking the Tele-Elmarit for a spin

Filed under: — Administrator @ 20:31

Another week with nice weather, so lots of cycling and walking. But also a longer photo session with my colleague Carmen and her paintings and some rare (for me) flower photos from my garden.

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I started the week by embarking on one of my tougher rides, a final test of my recovery from Covid. I decided to climb the Carrasqueta pass, a ride of more than 70 km, and climbing from sea level to more than 1000 meters altitude. The first 20 km or so of the ride are along a major road (but with little traffic on a Sunday) to Jijona. Along that road there is just about the only serious agriculture in the immediate vicinity of Alicante, large fields of lettuce and other vegetables:
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About 6.5 km from the pass, at around 700 meters altitude there is a roadside bar, very popular with the many motorcyclists who “play” on this winding mountain road on weekends. I usually stop there for a Coke and a little rest before the final push. Sadly, like all bars and restaurants in the Comunidad Valenciana, Venta Teresa was closed:
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But the rest/picnic area across the road was full of motorcyclists as usual, talking and admiring each other’s iron:
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About half an hour later, I was at the top, taking a much needed brief break, although it was very windy and a bit blustery, so I just stayed for a couple of minutes, enough time to eat my banana (standard cycling fuel) and take a couple of pictures of the landscape, although the light was not great either:
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The skyline of Alicante could be seen in the far distance:
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On the descent back to Jijona, I noted the many almond trees on the side of the road:
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And I stopped to photograph them up close. The smell of the blooms is quite strong, but I could barely make it out due to my Covid-impacted sense of smell, just about the only symptoms still persisting:
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A morning walk down to the beach to watch the sunrise and go to the bakery. Walking down my street, I see everything bathed in the light of the rising sun:
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Early morning dog walkers:
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Gyms are closed, and I see more people exercising on the beach than ever before:
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Dramatic morning sky:
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On Tuesday at the office, I did a photo shoot with Carmen that we had agreed on after our test the week before. She brought about 20 paintings to the office, and also her apron and brushes:
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Some of the paintings were large:
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While others were small watercolours like these two:
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Sunday was Valentine’s day, so I stopped in the centre Thursday afternoon on my way home to buy something for my wife. Realistically, it was the last opportunity to go to the centre of Alicante before Sunday, since Alicante (like other municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants) is off limits from Friday 3 p.m. until Monday 6 a.m. After I did my shopping, I photographed these two cute creatures outside the department store:
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Friday morning I woke up to some fog and mist for my pre-work bike ride:
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When I arrived at the office Friday morning, I found a nice surprise on my desk. My Polish colleague Michał had brought me two homemade pączki, a type of traditional Polish doughnut which his wife had made for Fat Thursday. In Poland, that day is called “Sweet Thursday” and the tradition is to eat this kind of sweets. The traditional recipe calls for the pączki to be deep fried in a mix of pork fat and alcohol. Michał told me that his wife had used a slightly lighter combination of vegetable oil and whisky. In any event, they were delicious:
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Friday evening is pizza evening in our house, so as usual I went to our local pizzeria to pick up my order. They too were in a Valentine’s mood:
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On Saturday afternoon, I took a walk to the beach again. I do not usually mention equipment in this blog, but on this occasion I took my 1970s Leica 90mm Tele-Elmarit for a spin, mounted on my Panasonic GX80, which makes a great modern platform for old Leica lenses. A restaurant door down the street from my house:
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The mountains and the beach:
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Sierra de Aitana was covered in snow in early January, but that is all gone now:
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Fishing:
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Padel at the water’s edge:
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Finally, three photos from my garden. I am not much of a gardener, to put it mildly. But I do enjoy having my own lemon tree. It is an old specimen, and we have been thinking about replacing it, but it seems to have revived this winter.

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There are flowers on the tree, which means that there are lemons in the future:
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Flower and lemon on the tree:
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The harvest:
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