Monday, 1 February 2016

Monday 1 February – Ohanes

Where’s Colin? He’s at a viewpoint/‘recreation area’ (otherwise known as a picnic spot with barbecues) above the village of Ohanes, at N37º2.550’, W2º45.031’.

We’ve certainly had more fine days than grey ones since reaching Spain, but today was a corker. Not even a whisp of cloud and it was warm with it – although potentially some of the warmth was self-generated by virtue of walking around on the side of a steep valley.

After a quick shufty around the street market in Canjayar, where we spent last night, and establishing that the two ‘supermarkets*’ there weren’t going to be of use to us in solving our grocery deficiency, we set off onto some steep winding roads for the village of Ohanes, chosen as our destination by virtue of having a viewpoint symbol on our road map.

My hope that the viewpoint would have a car park was dashed, but after a quick sortie on foot I did locate a parking area at a different viewpoint, right up above the village. Multi-point manouevres were required on some of the hairpins to get Colin up here.

Out into the village we went, discovering as we took the town tour (as yesterday, ceramic waymarkers were inset into the road, and this time I had loaded the information page onto my phone) a good handful of ‘improvement projects’ signs, like this one at our viewpoint/recreation area:

What we really liked was the public accounting right down to the last cent, because it’s really important to be accurate right down to the last 63c when spending €31k …

The impressive outdoor gym, with 10 pieces of equipment, had been funded too and I had a go on most of the apparatus, declaring that if we had a gym that good in our village then I would use it.

Good bit of scaffolding! Note how none of it goes anywhere near the ground and very little is made of metal. Not sure that would get past UK H&S.

We had seemingly stepped back in time as we made our way through the tiny village streets, passing on our way a load-carrying donkey, and eventually found our way to the start point of the village tour (we’d joined it half way through) which gave us an excellent view of the place: 

After a look at the exterior of the church and the main square, next up was the public wash house, but I doubt that doing laundry there was an efficient process, as surely the washer women would have been too distracted by the view:

A little further along we got a good view of the extent of the terracing in this steep valley. We had thought, from the vantage point of the village that agriculture here had been largely abandoned, but later explorations up the valley told us otherwise – it’s just that the planting is not obvious from a distance:

With our village tour complete, and having failed to find a bar for lunch, back to Colin we went, to sit out the midday sun. By 4pm it was time for another look around and having identified on the map what appeared to be a feasible route, off we went. It turned out not to be feasible (goodness, Spanish maps are low on detail and accuracy), but we still had a nice stroll up a tiny little lane, which took us to another picnic area (EU funded, this one), next to a running stream (there’s not a lot of those around in this corner of Spain) and a little way beyond was this:

It was just gone 5pm by the time we finally located an information sign detailing a walking route from the village, but at 24km long it was too late in the day for that discovery. A quick out and back along it completed our leg-stretching of the day, and we arrived back at Colin just as the sun sank over the hills opposite.

Tonight I’ve managed to make dinner out of the few ingredients we had left in Colin’s fridge and pantry, but tomorrow we are going to have to take a diversion to a big shop. Maps and t’internet have been consulted, and I have a plan…

(*Think small, untidy convenience stores but with an exceptionally diverse range of stock. They may not have stocked much that was of use to us in the food department, but we did pick up a washing line for 70c and, if we’d had the need, could have picked up a pressure cooker and a percolator too…)

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