Thursday, June 19, 2008


With the help of our neighbouring farmers, we have just completed our first ‘avena’ harvest.

We had arranged to have the field ploughed and sewn back in February; Enrique cut it last Wednesday and turned it two days later and today a really nice man called Antonio baled it for us!

We have managed to produce 187 bales of ‘avena’ (oats) at a cost of only €1.50 euro per bale, as opposed to €5.00 euros a bale if we have to buy it in! Fortunately, we now plenty of food for the Alpacas to see us through next winter.

Our only problem now is collecting the bales from the field and storing them somewhere dry! I am hoping that Nigel will bring his trailer over for a day, which will make life a lot easier.

Friday, June 13, 2008


A magical night spent with a few of our new made friends! From left to right Ginny, Sharon, Dean & Julee, Caroline & Robert and Wayne

Last Saturday night the 7th June, we were invited to a barbecue dinner by our dear friends Ginny & Nigel at their wonderful new house in La Parchite, close to the village of Los Prados. We were joined by a few of our close friends from the college where we are attempting to learn Spanish!

It turned out to be the most perfect evening. Nigel and Ginny’s new house is set in the most beautiful and peaceful location with an outstanding garden! There was a spectacular sunset followed by a magical moonlit night!

We had steak and champagne on their terrace and we took the opportunity of renewing our wedding vows:-

If in the morning when you wake,
if the sun does not appear
I will be here
If in the dark we lose sight of love
hold my hand and have no fear
I will be here

I will be here
When you feel like being quiet
When you need to speak your mind I will listen
Through the winning, losing and trying
we’ll be together and I will be here
If in the morning when you wake.
if the future is unclear
I will be here

As sure as seasons were made for change
our lifetimes were made for years
I will be here

I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder
when the mirror tells us we’re older
I will hold you
to watch you grow in beauty
and tell you all the things you are to me
We’ll be together and I will be here

I will be true to the promises I’ve made
to you and to the one who gave you to me
I will be here

Truly a night to remember………………………


No! This is not Mr Henderson!!

The Guadiaro River

Cueva del Gato

Friday 6th June 2008 - Our 10th Wedding Anniversary!

Having kicked around many ideas as what we might do on our wedding anniversary, we decided we would have a quiet day together and take the dogs on what is known as ‘The Walk of Mr Henderson’s Railway’

We started the day with a coffee at the ‘Bar Stop’ in Benaojan Estacion before setting off on our walk along the delightful riverside path of the Guadiaro River in the direction of the hamlet of Jimera de Libar.

It is known as ‘The Walk of Mr Henderson’s Railway’ as he was the British engineer responsible for the construction of the Ronda-Algerciras line. This line runs along the Guadalete valley parallel with the footpath.

One small drama! Nuri decided that she fancied a swim in the river and plunged in not being aware of the strong undercurrent and was immediately swept down stream. Luckily she managed to get back on to the bank just before the river falls away from the footpath. Another 10 yards and we may have lost her! Unfortunately for me, she came ashore into a bramble bush, which I had to fight my way through to get to her. The first time I had worn shorts this year, so you can imagine the state of my legs by the time I had got her out! Bless her!

We returned to Benaojan Estacion and had ‘menu de dia’ at the Bar Stop, which is always delicious and excellent value at just 7 euros per head. I know how to give my wife a good time on her 10th Wedding Anniversary!!
On the way back we visited the Cueva del Gato. This cave measures 4.5km in length and crosses the Sierra de Grazalema, following an underground river which forms huge caverns and underground lakes. As you can see, Nuri and Luna really enjoyed playing in the cool pool under the waterfall at the mouth of the cave.
We ended our day home cracking a bottle of champagne on the patio and witnessing the most fantastic sunset.

I apologise for the boring photographs, but they will act as a record of a very special day in our lives………


Poor Little Lorca!

Kym and James relax after a tough 3 days!

How wrong can one be! The shearing went like a dream and although we are still not keen on the shearing process, after the horrors of last year, this years experience was almost a pleasure.

Nigel and Ginny had invited over Kym and James Dixon, a young shearing couple from the UK, who due to their expertise and professionalism sailed through the shearing of all the alpacas in three days with time to spare!

In truth they had completed the majority of the 48 alpacas in the first day, so it made the shearing at the other two venues at Gaucin and Cordoba a walk in the park!

Whilst they work the summer months in the UK, they are both Australian from the city of Wollongong. They were a charming couple, who have only been married for just four years and have only been working together on the shearing circuit for less than 6 months! They are a fantastic team and we are delighted that they have agreed to come back again next year, to everyone’s peace of mind.

We had planned to travel to Gaucin for the shearing there, but unfortunately, Martina was acting very peculiarly after she had been sheared and had segregated herself from the rest of the herd. As she was 10 months into her pregnancy and obviously stressed by the shearing, we decided to stay and watch over her for the day. You’ll be pleased to know that she has now fully recovered from the ordeal and is back to her normal self. We now have the anxious wait for the birth of our second cria, which if all goes to plan, should be early in July!

We did join the shearers on the trip to Cordoba to shear Alan and Lorna’s two alpacas ‘Black Dancer’ and ‘Cassandra’ and what a great day we had.

It was good to see Alan and Lorna’s fantastic new house, which they are in the process of restoring. It’s absolutely full of character and it is going to look amazing once it is finished.

They laid on a superb barbecue lunch, which was the perfect way to finish this year’s shearing! Alan’s homemade burgers were delicious!

As you can see from the photographs, the alpacas due look very strange after they have been sheared! They all resemble ‘ET’

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Martin is never happy to miss out on a photo opportunity!

Lorca will be a month old this Tuesday 3rd June! As you can see from the photographs, he has really grown! He now weighs in at 13.9kgs, so he has almost doubled his body weight in just one month. We think he is going to be a very big boy!

Tomorrow sees the start of the annual Alpaca Shearing! This year, we have employed the services of an ‘Alpaca Shearer’ from the UK, as we weren't very happy with the local 'sheep sheerer' that did it last year. I am sure that you can remember the horror stories.

We have only three day to shear 48 animals, mostly based here in Ronda, but there are a few in Cordoba and Gaucin!!! It will be a miracle if we achieve it!

Watch this space!