my visit this March was in fact in order to sign over the house in front of the notary. a wonderfully stately process of describing the property by reading out the names of all the neighbouring landowners; the parcel of land to the north east owned by so and so, and so on.

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the weather was not very spring-like, there was rain, cold, and more rain, but when the sun did come out it was very nice to sit outside or wander around my friends’ fincas, or take a walk up to Montanchez

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for a coffee in Emilio’s (dodging the rain)

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I got a bit damp on the way back down, but enjoyed the cloudy skies.

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the rain will have produced an outstanding crop of wildflowers by now

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and filled all the underground reservoirs in the granite, one hopes, it had been a fairly dry winter.

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there were already plenty of flowers; this yellow one is typical of the olive groves and wood pasture any time there is rain

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also this pink one is ubiquitous

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and the tasselled lavender was already in flower.

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the wild lupins were starting to come out, and the tasselled hyacinth, but I was too early for orchids and the little blue iris.

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everywhere the white broom was out, with its distinctive bitter-sweet scent.

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views over the rocky outcrops that fall away from the sierra from the house I stayed in.

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their own rocky outcrop host to all these beautiful lichens.

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on the other side of the sierra, we visited friend Manfred’s new venture – holiday homes in a series of old watermills

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the views behind more open, but looking out all the way to the Gredos mountains – snowy that week.

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little rough stone cabins, each with its own sleeping and living area. wishing Manfred success with this! and huge thanks to him and Pippa for all their help.