Two cats, a dog and 86 million olive trees

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Here we are in the Andalusian region of Southern Spain for 3 weeks.

Olive trees stretch for miles and miles around. Our home owners, retired English couple, David & Sylvia tell us there are 86 million trees in this region and is the highest producer of Olive Oil in Spain. In fact this area alone produces 75% of Spain’s olive oil.

This lovely renovated Spanish home with views overlooking, you guessed it, olive trees is our new home for the next 3 weeks.

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The terrace and pool overlooking the olive groves

Our fur babies are:

Rossi – a labrador/pointer cross, a big adorable softie who gets bossed around by Ozzi. Rossi loved  going for walks and chasing the occasional rabbit. He was named after David’s favourite sportsman – MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi!

Chi – a lovable, lazy cat and when she is not snoozing on her favourite chair, she likes to sit on your lap.

Ozzy – only a year old and quite playful. When his mum was around, he pretended to be shy and would run away from us. Maybe this was Ozzy’s way of protesting because he was a quite an affectionate cat after the home owners had left!

Ozzy is a recent addition to the family and brought for company for Chi (after their other cat Tai passed away), but unfortunately Ozzy and Chi do not get along at all.

Additionally, there was a large pond at the bottom of a water cascade full of Koi fish that we had to feed. A neighbouring property had a number of bee hives and there were always many bees coming to our pond for a drink of water – it was very interesting watching them land and crawl on the edges of the pond liner taking a sip of water. On more than one occasion we had to rescue them from drowning as they strayed a little too close.

The location for this house sit was quite rural being 7 km from the closest village and shops and 20 km away from the nearest large town of Alcala La Real where we would go for our supermarket shopping.

Suffice to say, it was very peaceful except for the occasional car that drove past down the dead end dirt lane, which Rossi loved to bark at.

This sit was during May and we had many warm, sunny days where we sat outside on the terrace eating our meals, reading books from the owners well stocked library and spending a bit of time in the garden pruning and pulling out weeds.

Jacqueline and Rossi on their afternoon walk through the olive groves

Rossi got walked each morning around 8am and then again in the evening after 7pm (when it had cooled down) for around 45-60 minutes. It was interesting meandering through the Olive trees, avoiding the houses where I could hear dogs barking only to be surprised by other dogs that had wandered off from their homes. But fortunately, they were friendly and wanted to follow me home. On one of my walks with Rossi he dashed off and returned a minute later with a rabbit! He didn’t want to share his catch with me and ran all the way back to the house with me chasing after him (unfortunately the rabbit didn’t survive). Chi and Ozzy basically looked after themselves except for the obligatory cuddles when they chose to be pampered.

Glenn was in charge of keeping the pool sparkling clear and the ensuring the vegie seedlings survived in the heat whilst we both spent many hours weeding and dead heading the large garden beds.

We also had use of folding bicycles which were perfect as we could put them in the car and go for some rides along the Via Verde (these are disused railway lines that have been converted into cycling paths). We went out for a few cycling trips and visited some pretty towns and sites such as Zuheros and Baena.

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Zuheros – great castle ruins with a terrace overlooking the valleys

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Bike ride to Baena

When not tending the house and animals we were able to get out and about and visit some interesting places. Local villages/towns like Priego de Cordoba and Moclin made nice day trips and we did a beaut 7 km hike along the Ruta de Gollizno. You can read our post about this hike on our travel blog here.

Moclin castle ruins

The drive to the local supermarket in Alcala La Real was never boring as the approach to the town always presented the the 13th century Fortaleza de la Mota castle complex atop the hill overlooking the city.  This was an entire city within the confines of the castle complex and was quite amazing – you don’t realise how big an area it covered until you were actually up there.

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The highlight of our time here however was to finally see the Alhambra, in Granada. A moorish palace complex from the 13th century that was added to and enhanced by subsequent sultans and Spanish royalty. It is an extremely popular tourist attraction and visitor numbers are carefully controlled so tickets need to be purchased in advance.

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The Alhambra in Granada with the Sierra Nevada in the background

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Visiting places like the Alhambra is one of the side benefits to house sitting. The owners also gave us a great tip about where we could park for free. It saved us $18.

This was a three week house sit – a really nice duration as it allows time to settle into the routine of the pets and provides enough time to explore the local area at a relaxed pace.

All too quickly David and Sylvia returned and it was time for us to move on. We say “adios” to Spain, for our next adventure is in France.

What the owner said“…We have had a number of sitters and can honestly say Glenn & Jacqueline did the best job.....”

Click here to see the full reference

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One thought on “Two cats, a dog and 86 million olive trees

  1. Pingback: Our first six months as roving retirees… – Lambies Travels

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