Visit from the Hessies

My parents came to visit us last week, so we got to enjoy a summer holiday away from the garden and some quality time here with them too.

Dave and I went ahead and booked into a guest house in the next valley, the tourist hub of the Picos. Mum and Dad arrived around midnight in their hire car, having driven the winding roads to get there after landing at Santander at dusk. We had a few beers and chatted before a much needed sleep. In the morning, a herd of cows woke us with their cow bells as they were taken past our windows at 6am! And Mum and Dad enjoyed their first (slightly sleepy) view of the mountains in the daylight.

The first stop was the market. Since we were late up, the pretty little town of Potes was mobbed! We were glad to escape the throng with our goods and get back to the peace and quiet of the guest house. (I’m not sure about this whole ‘tourist season’ thing – maybe we could live here for 10 months of the year and go on holiday for July and August!) Then we enjoyed several walks and strolls and beers.

Back at our place a few days later, Dave and I showed off our veggie patch and fresh produce. It’s been two months to the day since we started working on it and the results look good so far.

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Showing off the chillies

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Mum and Dave enjoying a glass of wine at the veg patch

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Some fresh produce

We did a few more little walks and one mammoth hike up ‘the old woman’ who we can see from the balcony. Last time Dave and I went up, it was foggy and we didn’t get to enjoy the view. But this time we were rewarded with a cloudless vista! The hike involved 1000m of ascent, a picnic and a rest, then 1000m descent. The latter was almost the end for Mum’s knees, but we made it back down to the village where we were parked, where Pili happens to live. Pili invited us in for a beer and we crowded sweatily and tiredly into her living room. I was so tired that I think the Spanish chat would have been impossible if it hadn’t been for the beer!

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On the way up the mountain, sporting our matching Australian hats.

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Dave, me and Dad on the old woman’s chin

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Hard earned siesta (but still the long descent to go!)

On the last day of their visit, we went on one more walk – but this time only going uphill. We hiked up a track to a village that has no road but several restaurants and enjoyed a fabulous Spanish spread, some more beers and a chat in the shade after the hot hike up. Then we hitched a ride back down in the cable car – much nicer on the knees! And then back to the cars to part ways for now.

It was lovely to show Mum and Dad what life is like here for us – I think they’re more excited about our plans now that they know just how brilliant this place is.

-Anna

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