Association Turismo Valle De Lecrin

We have now joined the association Granada Rural Sur which is a Tourism Association of the Lecrin Valley (Turismo Valle de Lecrin) to help us draw more visitors into this beautiful part of Andalucia and enjoy all that it has to offer.  See our recent entry on their website – Casa Molino Pinos del Valle

GranadaRuralSur is a Tourism Association of Valle de Lecrín, created in 2005, composed of a group of businessmen and entrepreneurs in this region south of Granada whose activities are related to rural tourism. The main objective of the association is to promote the region inside and outside our borders. The region of Valle de Lecrín is a region located in the central part of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. This region consists of eight municipalities: Niguel Albuñuelas, Dúrcal, Lecrín (where Talará, Murchas, Chite, Béznar, Acequias and Mondújar integrated), El Padul, El Pinar (composed Pinos El Valle and Izbor), El Valle (With Melegis, Restábal and Saleres) and Villamena (with Cónchar and Cozvijar).

The association has been created to help the visitor to the Valley of Lecrín find out what is on offer in the way of activities, bars, restaurants, accommodation etc. It also provides information about the rich culture, historical, natural and geological heritage of this region.

In the Valley of Lecrín there are paths of lush vegetation, peaks that pass from 3000 meters, ‘orchards’ full of orange trees smelling of orange blossom, old mills that still work, and a long list of places to visit.

The range of tourism services is composed of cozy rural houses distributed throughout the region; Small hotels and rural hostels; Restaurants where you can taste great local dishes; Wineries to enjoy the wine of the area; A balnerario and multiple companies dedicated to active tourism such as climbing, horse riding routes, walking and cycling, etc.

The route Boabdil is the best way to explore the Lecrin Valley. The route covers 113.11 km and can be completed in stages of 7 to 12 km that joins together the 18 villages of the Valley.

So what are you waiting for – book a stay with us here in Casa Molino and explore this beautiful part of southern Spain.

Walking, Trekking, Scrambling, Mountineering – Escaping the Summer Heat

If you’re planning on doing some outdoor activities such as walking, trekking, scrambling or mountaineering during the months of July or August here in Southern Spain you need to slap on the sun screen and take plenty of fluids with you as it gets HOT.  The ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors around here is Winter, Spring or Autumn when the temperatures are a little gentler than now, however if your only chance of visiting this area is during the height of summer then you may want to consider exploring the higher walking routes up in the Sierra Nevada or high above the Alpujarra as temperatures can be 10 degrees+/- lower than down here in the valley.

If you are in Lanjaron the tourist office there has plenty of information on walking routes available as does the ski area up in the Sierra Nevada (this area isn’t just for skiing – there are activities going on up there all year round – walking, mountain biking etc).

If you feel a little nervous about exploring on your own then perhaps consider some guided walking with Spanish Highs – they are highly experienced and knowledgeable about the area and our guests have been very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed their time with them.

UPDATE – SPANISH HIGHS NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR THEIR WINTER ALPINE MOUNTAINEERING SURVIVAL COURSE.

If you’re unable to come out to Spain for your summer holiday but want to enjoy the great outdoors in the UK then why not contact Ron and Hilary at Summitreks Adventure Centre which is situated on the shores of Coniston Water in the heart of the Lake District National Park.  From Summitreks main base in Coniston they deliver activity programmes and courses anywhere in the Lake District.  If you book any activities with them please mention you heard about Summitreks from Mel & Phil at Casa Molino Guesthouse.

Whatever you decide to do this summer, have a great time and enjoy the great outdoors.

Hasta luego.

Summer Has Arrived!

Well summer has well and truely arrived and we have temperatures up in the mid to high 30’s – great when you are relaxing on holiday but having to work in the heat is another matter!  Even the fish in the resevoir below Pinos are suffering and hundreds have died from what the authorities think is oxygen starvation due to an increase in algae in the water, but they are still doing more tests – tests on the water came back normal.  I could see fish floating on the surface when I passed by this morning on my way out of the village.

Phil has made a start on our new porch and has built the new brick archway and has tiled the floor and step to the new front door.  He’s now tiling the inner walls and the next job is to put the finish on the walls before we can paint.  Then he can add the finishing touches and it’s all done and he can move on to the next job – cladding the lower part of the exterior walls in stone.  Suffering with a broken ankle put his work plan back by 6 months so we need to get as much done on the outside whilst we have dry weather and then move back to the work inside.  Once the porch is finished I’ll post some Before & After photos.

Still keeping busy with the TV work and other bits and pieces so no chance of us getting bored!!

If you want to see what’s happening in the beautiful and varied region of eastern Andalucía that lies between Granada and the Costa Tropical or just get some info on Where to Eat, Sports & Leisure etc then visit South From Granada.com and take a look – the site is updated on a daily basis.  Our local Fiesta, San Roque, takes place in August from 12 – 16th.  The peace and tranquility of the village is shattered and you can’t find a place to park but they do have a good time!!

Well that’s all for now folks – have a great summer whatever you do.

Hasta luego

Mel & Phil

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!!  For those back in the UK – enjoy the lovely sunny, warm weather, for those over here in Spain – make sure you have an umbrella with you!!  We’ve got the UK’s usual bank holiday weather!!  Still at least we know we’ll definitely get a hot, sunny summer.

Just about caught up on our backlog of satellite tv work and now feeling a lot more relaxed.  Back at the hospital 12 May and see what the x-ray brings up for Phil’s ankle.  If all looking good then we’ll order 5 tonne of sand and start working again on the house.  Lots to do on the outside to finish it off and to build the new entrance porch.  Once this is done we’ll start back on the inside work.

I’m busy looking after a few more rental houses this year and if anyone is interested in visiting the area click on any of the links to the right to view some of the properties.  If there are just 2 – 4 of you then Casa Abuela is a lovely village house in the lower part of Pinos del Valle.  If you decide to book some time there let them know you saw it on Mels blog site.

That’s all for now folks.

Hasta luego.

Mel & Phil

Happy New Year

Well here we are in 2011 and work is continuing on the street at the side of our house.  They have now put new sewage pipes and water pipes in and the street has been dug down, old rocks taken out, leveled out with gravel and wire mesh laid!  Today they came to start laying the new surface but rain stopped play so to speak.  As it’s the weekend no more will be done till Monday now and weather is looking better for then.  Up until now we’ve had a mild sunny week with just the evenings getting a bit nippy.

We had an eventful Christmas – we went up to the Sierra Nevada to do some snowboarding on Christmas Day and met our friends Kate & Bear up there.  Weather wasn’t great with very limited visibility but we thought “what the hec”.  We managed to get some runs in and stopped for a coffee/chocolate break at mid-day.  After that we thought we’d go up for another run then try a different one.  However after getting off the lift and only a short way down Phil took a tumble and hurt his ankle.  He couldn’t snowboard down to the bottom so I hiked back up to the ski lift with him to see if he could hop on to get down.  However the weather had got so bad they’d stopped the lift so they had to call for a snowmobile to take him down and I had to make my own down in virtual “white-out”.  Bad enough but as my board had been sitting in the snow it had iced up on the edges and was running backwards!  After scraping the ice off I managed to get it going in the right direction and got down to the center.  I met up with Kate & Bear and made our way to the Red Cross center only to be told they’d taken Phil down to the main Medical Center.  We made our way down there and I found Phil laying on a steel table with his leg in the air and a man putting bandages around it.  Thinking it was only a bad sprain I then found out he’d broken his ankle (Phil did say he heard it crack twice when he fell!).  After sorting out all the paperwork we borrowed a wheelchair and Kate & Bear helped us get back down to the car and Phil settled inside the passenger seat.  After returning the wheelchair we waved goodbye to our friends and we made our way home (thankfully they were staying up at the ski resort for a couple of days and got an excellent days skiing in the following day – which was clear and sunny – totally the opposite to Christmas Day).  Not exactly a Christmas present Phil wanted – I managed to buy some crutches from the local Pharmacy (25 euros which I thought was very reasonable) and he’s hobbling around the house on those and also using my office chair to whizz around on (thank goodness our living area is virtually on one level.)  Two weeks have passed since the break and two more to go before we have to go and get another x-ray to see if it’s healed enough to take the cast off.  In the meantime as Phil can’t do any work he’s honing his driving skills on the PS3 with Formula 1 and GT5!

Well that’s all for now – will let you know when Phil gets de-plastered!!

Hasta luego

Mel

Best Wishes for 2009 – Hope you survive the year unscathed!

First of all we would like to wish you all a very Happy 2009 and hope you come through the current credit crunch unscathed.

We had a nice quiet Christmas and went up to the ski resort on Christmas Day to do some snowboarding and it was brilliant! Nice blue skies, not too many people and great snow conditions. We arrived at 9.00am and left at around 5pm so had a full day on the slopes – highly recommended. We are hoping to get up there again a couple of times between now and the end of the season – mid week is best when there are less people.

On 6th Jan we went to the annual Conchar Mosto Wine Festival but only stayed for an hour as the wind was icy cold and our hands were frozen but we did manage to get 3 different tasings of mosto and very good they were too. This year they had designed new drinking vessels so we have 2 new ones now in our collection!

Just like the UK we’ve been having cold weather here too – not quite as cold as UK but enough to give us snow in the village one night! It’s been pretty windy this week and with an icy edge to it. Not good if you are working outside. Phil is in the middle of doing up the front balcony ready to install a new door (he finished the other balcony last week) – hopefully we’ll get the new door in next week but we have to wait for a dry day and at the moment the weather is up and down. Hopefully drier next week. After that jobs done we need to hire another skip and have a big clear out ready to move stuff around so work can start on some of the rooms on the ground floor.

We have finally decided to bite the bullet and get ADSL installed at home and we’ve found a pretty good deal that also gives us 300 mins of free UK calls per month, free local & national spanish calls and also a cheap dial number for friends and family to call us on from the UK and it only costs 3p/min. If you want to give us a call for a chat then the new number is – 08445987008. We are still waiting for the ADSL connection but have the router ready and waiting – hopefully we’ll get the call within the next week to say it is all set up and we can plug in and start using it.

Not a lot else has happened since Xmas but hopefully by the time we get around to updating the blog some more work on the house will have happened. We seem to go in fits and starts at the moment. So for now we’ll bid you adios and update you soon on what’s happening.

Love

Mel & Phil

Merry Christmas & Prosperous 2009

December Already – Where has the year gone!  Have been very organised this year and have written all our cards and got them posted via our friends who we have seen and have kindly taken them back to the UK to post for us.  Have also got all the presents bought and posted off (quite a lot done via the internet and sent direct) so we can kick back and relax now!

We flew off to Gran Canaria for a week at the beginning of November to join Kate, Toria, Kieron & Emma for a well earned holiday. It was lovely to see everyone again and spend some time with them and it was also a nice break away from all the building work.  As we’d never been to Gran Canaria before hired a car to explore the island and found it to be so different in the centre and north compared to the South.  The south is very barren and rocky (not so much a surprise as it’s a volcanic island) with loads of tourist complexes and beaches but once you get inland it changes to mountainous scenery with pine trees and much more greenery.  The difference in temperature was also noticable – up to 10 degrees cooler in land and to the North.  We preferred the north of the island because the scenery was so much greener and less touristy – Phil’s not a beach and sunbathe person!  We can highly recommend a visit to the Arehucas Distillery in Areucas – a short tour around the distillery and then a fantastic tasting session of everything they produce!!  Near to Areucas is the town of Firgas where they produce mineral water (a good bet after sampling all the rums etc at the Arehucas distillery) which is sold throughout the Canary Islands.  Places to visit here include San Roque Square where the Townhall and Church of San Roque are located, nearby the Casa de la Cultura, a mill for gofio and the monument to the livestock farmer.  Also worth viewing are the promenades of Canarias and Gran Canaria irrigation channels placed at intervals and tiles painted with bucklers and local village landscapes.

After arriving back from our break in Gran Canaria Phil carried on with the work on the house.  He’s slowly been scraping/chipping the walls back to the old plaster and then giving them a coat of new plaster and painting them.  It’s been a long, messy job but he’s nearly done.  We’ve had scaffolding up on the landing since August and at last it’s now down and the place looks loads bigger and much brighter. The next job to tackle is putting in the new balcony doors we bought 2 months ago – probably do this after Christmas.

We are hoping to go up to the Sierra Nevada and do some snowboarding on Christmas Day – all being well with the weather.  The ski resort opened about 2 weeks early this year as we had some heavy rain which resulted in good snow high up and there have been regular intervals of rain so it’s meant some more snow up top and lower down on the mountains around us.  The weather here, like the UK, has been cold (we are so glad we are now in our new lounge with the logburner – once that gets going it warms up very quickly) which has meant the snow hasn’t disappeared in a rush.   We are also looking forward to the annual Conchar Wine Festival on 6th January and the 3 Kings Parade on the night of the 5th (not sure whether we will stay in Pinos this year to watch the local one or venture into Granada again).

Well that’s all for now folks – hope you all have a great Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009.

Abrazos y besos (hugs and kisses)

Mel & Phil