Whitefish Lake near Elgin, Ontario, Canada. Photo taken just before sunrise this morning!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Barbados! Arrive on October 25th!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Smoke in the air

We first noticed it the day before we visited the Cathedral in Seville. A little bit of a haze in the sky. It was worse the next day, and then yesterday it was actually quite bad. We think it's smoke from forest fires, and yet we can't find very much info on the news.

Yesterday was a badly needed day of rest. Although, you know us...we can't sit still for very long. In the morning, Tony went out with the girls for a walk around the town while I caught up on some computer work.

Here are some photos of the town of Villanueva de San Juan (pop 1,400) where we are staying for a week...








They came back to say what a nice friendly town it is. Everybody says hello and smiles, in the way that we're used to in Mexico but hadn't quite come across yet in Spain. We didn't choose this town for any particular reason other than it's location close to quite a few day trip opportunities. It has nothing to offer for tourists, so perhaps that's why everybody is friendly. Other towns in the area are very popular with tourists, and we seem to be the only out of towners here.

Our apartment is great! Comfy beds, and everything we need.

Helen and Ruth, taking advantage of the fully equipped kitchen.

In the middle of the afternoon, we decided to go for a walk. It doesn't take long to get out of town, and onto some of the dirt tracks that run through the olive tree groves. We actually found a couple of longer trails that run to the next village, but they were distances of 12 and 14 kms, and we tried to remember it was supposed to be a day of rest!

You can see how smoky the skies are!

And yet, the sun was trying to break through, as you can see from their shadows.

Cactus flowers.

Scenery along the way.

Lots of wildflowers blooming.

Looking back at the town of Villanueva de San Juan.

As we got back to the town, we heard a motorcycle coming up the road. It rounded the bend, and as it went by us, we noticed the little dog riding along! Tony was quick enough to grab a shot as he went around the next corner!

Just along for the ride.

Watching the world go by.

We ended up doing 5 kms (3 miles) and were gone for two hours. A nice afternoon walk.

Today, we hope to go for a drive to the town of Zahara, but it's raining right now. Supposed to clear up, so we'll see. Maybe it will get rid of the forest fire smoke, if that's what it is.

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21 comments:

  1. Nice that that horse decided to pose for you in exactly the right spot.

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    1. Yes, it was rather nice of him, wasn't it?! :-)

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  2. What fun y'all are having. So nice to travel with people who enjoy doing what you do. Hope that rain stops and the journey continues.

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    1. We are having a wonderful time together and most that is because we like doing the same sort of stuff, like hiking.

      Whether the rain stops or not the journey will still continue, we just may get wet. ;-)

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  3. The horse picture is lovely. A biking dog, how funny.

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    1. Thank you Shelagh!

      We all had to do a double take when we saw the dog on the back of the bike, too funny!

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  4. Those are cactus berries. Also it might be haze much like California haze in morning and it clears around noon. If you can't smell smoke, it's not forest fire. I read somewhere that Spain is full of older people and young people are not having children.

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    1. In Mexico they call them tuna and they eat them there or boil them and make a sweet syrup out of them which they will use to make tuna ice cream which is very nice.

      This is definitely not a morning haze! Nora below was able to solve the mystery for us though, it is Sahara dust and that certainly makes sense, especially with the dust on the patio table.

      There are lots of older people around but there still seem to be lots of children here in Spain, we see quite a lot when we are out and about especially on the weekends when they aren't in school.

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  5. I think the haze is the Sahara dust. I have read that's it bad in Southern Spain at the moment.

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    1. You're exactly correct, that's what it is! Thanks Nora!

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  6. The dry east wind known as the harmattan blows intermittently from December to March.

    We lived in Abidjan, Ivory Coast for a number of years and the harmattan was bad a number of times. I have a number of photos taken during these events and they all have a brown tint to them.

    I am enjoying your trip to Spain & Portugal very much. We visited Spain many years ago and vowed to return, but haven't done so yet. Guess it is time to get serious about it and make some reservations.

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    1. Thank you Clark for that info. Until you and Nora mentioned about this desert dust we probably wouldn't have figured it out but we knew something was in the sky causing this strange haze.

      We are glad that you are enjoying our adventures here in Spain and Portugal and highly recommend coming here for another visit. We have really been having a fantastic time touring around in Louis so far and can't believe our time in him is almost up.

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  7. Glad you found out what the haze was and not fire. You probably would have smelled it anyway. Lovely photos. Take time to rest you have many more adventures ahead of you!

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    1. We are glad that we found out what was causing it as well. Funny thing was, we actually did get a bit of a smokey smell at times but I think that was just from the wood fires that some of the residents had going in their houses.

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  8. Ahhhh, so sweet, do the girls have an admirer??? All neat photos!!!'

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    1. I think that we did! :-) He was a very nice man who was hard of hearing but wanted to talk to us.

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    2. That photo just made me smile - tugged at my heartstrings a bit!!! ;-)

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  9. The gorgeous header photo made me want to pull out my mountain bike and go for a ride! Glad you've got such a nice apartment, though I noticed that Ruth was still bundled up in her jacket while cooking in the kitchen, while Helen was in short sleeves. What's the temperature like?

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    1. Emily, you would love the mountain biking in the area that we are in at the moment. Lots of trails and back roads that you can choose from.

      I wouldn't say bundled, it is only a lined hoodie that I am wearing and it is totally unzipped. It is funny that Helen is in a short sleeved top though because normally she feels the cold more than me, she must be working harder than me in that picture. The house is made of concrete and has no heating in it other than a couple of small electric heaters that we move from one room to another as needed. During the morning or evening we normally have one in the living room and one in the kitchen. The house does tend to stay pretty chilly otherwise but the outside temperature during the day is around 15C - 18C and down to about 7C or 8C at night.

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