We were off to chill out, or should I say ‘boil’ but relax as we headed to the ‘frying pan’ of the Cordoba countryside in deepest Andalucia. We were heading on our Alpaca adventure, and to meet Alan & Lorna and visit their home and experience a little Cordoba rest and relaxation, that I’d read about in Alan’s book ‘Seriously Mum, what’s an Alpaca ?’
We packed up the van with all the necessary refreshments ,like normal enough for days 😉 picnic hamper, rug and met up with our traveling companions and friends John & Maria and set on our way.
Now we are hot in the ‘Montes’ but as we ventured more inland the temperature crept up. We stopped at Montilla on the way for our picnic feast, thankfully finding a lush park with grass !! and shady trees . This pretty town was deserted, well I suppose only mad dogs & English men, would be out in the full heat of the day and especially the night after the town feria with a temperature of 45 degrees !! We sat glowing and feasting as you do 😉 . Not a soul in sight, we braved a short stroll around the town in search of cool liquid refreshment, finally , parched we stumbled into the only bar open, which happened to be majestically decorated, with typical Cordoban stone mosaic floor and beautiful tiling .
Walking back, we dodged the sun under shop canopies and shade of buildings, waiting at the zebra crossing, we could feel our skin frying
Onwards we went, with a slight city detour, that’ll teach me to ‘tweet’ whilst trying to navigate ;). Traveling past fields of sunflowers and olive groves proudly manicured, the rolling countryside was vast and impressive. Nearing our destination we met with Alan, who guided us through the groves until we spotted our first Alpaca and our lodgings for the night.
What a welcome sight The Olive Mill was, with its white and blue walls, and potted plants. The Alpacas lazily grazing and sunbathing in their paddocks. The original mill stones sat proudly in the entrance courtyard. The mill a wonderful place to getaway from it all, recharge your batteries, and experience life a slower pace.
Alan & Lorna’s hospitality was wonderful, and such a treat for me to be cooked for. After the Alpacas were fed, and we’d cooled off in the refreshing pool, showered and the sun was setting, we were treated to a sumptuous barbecue in the courtyard by candlelight .
The evening was warm and the fire pit glowed under the spectacular star filled sky , while we chatted, shared our Spanish life experiences and quaffed one or two glasses of vino 😉
Up the stairs to bed, we enjoyed a night-cap and the most comfortable nights sleep, albeit not long enough, as I was awoken to, “Mum, it’s Alpaca walking time” . Slightly jaded I joined the others in the already fierce morning heat, for our jaunt. Nellie had chosen her favourite ‘Rafa’ as our walking companion, and much to the delight of the others, he led me a merry dance , diving into bushes to scratch his back, lying down to roll in the dust and just generally keeping me on my not so energetic toes 😉 Back for a leisurely lavish breakfast, and a paddle in the pool to cool our feet , we thoroughly enjoyed our short experience, we all loved the alpacas, the giant lazy dogs Arthur & Blue, and the kittens, but most of all Alan & Lorna who made us so welcome.