Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Miles of Scrub and Mud Houses

If the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, then there must be no shortage of water as the Plains run on for miles and then scrub for miles and miles and miles as far as the eye could see and you can see quite far as it’s very flat. We stopped off at one of the very few pull-ins and stretched our legs with a walk up a hilly bit. We found a strange spring that had a little building built over it that poured into a pond. There were loads of frogs singing and croaking in the pond and with the birds and the cicadas also going it was far from quiet!

We saw this weird huge beetle here and these huge ants. The scrub is made up mostly of these pretty bushes of rock rose and heather.

We also saw this blue butterfly but it closes its wings when resting, I think it is a Common Blue.

Quite often the Satnav lady takes us on a wild goose chase and takes us through tiny little villages, mostly because Peter is too mean to pay the toll charges on the bigger roads! This has turned out to be the reason for us seeing some of the more out of the way places and strange and weird things…like these underground houses!

The first ones we saw looked quite old and we thought they might be tombs or suchlike. But then we saw that one of the chimney type things was smoking! We ventured through the little towns in the area all called Something de Los Oteros in the area South of Leon in Northern Spain North-East of the top of Portugal. After spotting loads more in many villages over quite a wide area we saw many that had built up entrances and doors with padlocks on. Perhaps they are inhabited all the time or maybe they are used during the extreme Summer heat or indeed Winter cold. We bought the Green Guide to Spain but there was no mention of these dwellings in there. Maybe there is a whole race of Spanish Hobbits still living in these underground burrow dwellings!

Peter really liked the houses made entirely with mud bricks and plastered with mud.

We passed quite a few that had been abandoned and were slowly being washed back into the soil. How’s that for eco-friendly and recyclable building!

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