Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Hols in Spain

Having been left this flat on the Costa del Sol in my step-mother's will, and having finally got around to putting it in the hands of a letting agency, we felt obliged to go out there last week to assess any damage our guests had done while staying there over the summer.  It's a hard life, having to spend time in Andalucia, but you know, you have to take your responsibilities seriously!

Apart from Friday, when it was overcast, the weather was fabulous, with temperatures ranging from 25 - 30° C, and wall to wall blue sky.  There was a bit of charging about to do, but really not much.  We bought a cheap DVD player to put in the flat, and a few other bits and pieces, but for the most part we were able to just laze about reading.  This is not something we would normally do, when on holiday, but this time we just felt we wanted to do pretty much nothing, so that's what we did.

The sea was nice and warm, too, so it only took a few seconds to actually immerse yourself completely, and I could stay in snorkelling for half an hour before starting to feel properly chilled.  It was very murky the first time we got in, but twice I got up at 8 for a dip, and we also swam in the late afternoon, when the water was the clearest we've ever seen it.

Last Christmas, I gave Jenny a snorkelling mask with a built in camera, ready for exactly this occasion.  I seem to recall she was somewhat underwhelmed, but actually, she was pleased with it when she finally got the chance to use it!  It turns out to be much harder to get decent photographs and movie footage than you imagine at first, because you're being sloshed around in the water, but I reckon with a bit of practice, it'll come good.

This was one of several shoals of different sorts of fish, swiming amongst some rocks within about 10 metres of the shore.  Jenny saw them on the first day she used the mask, but completely failed to make the video mode work.  I then saw them the next morning, and succeeded where she'd failed.  It's not exactly stunning footage, but you get the idea.

The thing that struck us most forcibly was that although we've been snorkelling here for years, we've never seen so many fish before. The reason, however, is now pretty clear.  Generally speaking, we've steered clear of the really rocky areas, simply because the rocks themselves are pretty sharp, and you can easily cut yourself (I did on Sunday morning!) if a wave sweeps you onto them.  Also, in some areas there are rather a lot of sea urchins, and yes, we have in the past, spent time with needles and tweezers, extracting echinoderm spines from flesh!  However, the fish have no such qualms, but tend to avoid the sandy areas, as there's not much to eat there.

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