March 26, 2015: Shopping in Orgiva

I got a great night’s sleep last night.  I was actually asleep before midnight, I think, and do not remember waking up even once all night long before I got up just after eight this morning.  I feel much better today.

It is still a bit on the chilly side this morning so I moved into the lounge and worked from there.  I got SGL updated and got to work on some video editing.  My first GoPro video from Spain is going to be uploaded this morning to YouTube.  I am very impressed by how good the GoPro looks.  That thing takes amazing video.

Dominica started to wake up at ten thirty.  She really needed the sleep.  Liesl got up at about the same time and came and asked me to take her to the market so that we could buy yoghurt.  She and her sister have been going through a lot of yoghurt every day.  We have bought two four packs every day that we have been here!  They love the no-preservatives yoghurt here.

I took the two girls to the market this morning.  They were very excited to get to go and thought that it was great fun.  They love that the market is right out our front door.  We bought bread and yoghurt and Luciana picked out some cookies to try.

Around noon we were finally ready to head down to Orgiva to do some shopping.  We are getting low on cash and we need that to do much of anything up here on the mountain so it was pretty important that we find some.  And we wanted to get some groceries beyond the small amount available at the little market next door.

The drive down the hill was the first time that we have seen the approach to Cáñar in daylight and Dominica was suitably impressed that we had done it in the dark.  The road is very windy and twisty and scary with big drop offs all over the place.  She agreed that the average American driver would be unable to navigate it given the requirement to do so in a stick shift vehicle.

It is not very far, maybe seven kilometres to Orgiva, but the drive make it take fifteen or twenty minutes.  It is a big of a stressful drive.  Driving in Orgiva itself is no picnic either.  Lots of “one way at a time” narrow streets, some with lights and some with “you just have to know when to go” driving.  Lots of people and dogs darting into the streets without warning.  No idea where you can park.  And, of course, we had no idea where we would find a grocery store or an ATM.

We drove nearly all of the way through town, which is not saying much as it is a very small and dense town, when we thought that we spotted a grocery store.  We also had to wait for someone pulling out of a parking space which was awesome because we were pretty sure that that meant that we would be allowed to park there. So I darted in and we lucked out that the store was a Dia, which is a major grocery chain in the area.

Grocery shopping was pretty easy.  We did not need all that much, just some basics and to let the kids pick out some things that they might want.  We probably spent no more than thirty minutes grocery shopping.  We got fruit, paper products, toddler wipes (you can’t buy those in Cáñar!), cereal, chips which Luciana requested and a few odds and ends.  It was most of a shopping cart and I was pretty shocked when the total turned out to be only forty four Euros (less than fifty dollars!)  That would have been closer to one hundred dollars in the States.  We were pretty happy about that.

There was no ATM in the grocery store, though.  That presented more of a challenge.  So we continued driving the way that we were until we left town and I had to pull a U-turn and drive back into town and go all the way through and out the other side still not having found an ATM or even a bank.  This worried us a little.

We drove into town again and tried going down what I would call “restaurant row”, a cobblestone street full of food venues and people everywhere.  Traffic was so heavy that we came to a complete stop for a couple of minutes almost instantly.  We spotted what we thought was an ATM so Dominica decided to just hop out and hope that I could make it back with the girls to pick her up.

The girls and I ended up driving all over the little, one-way side streets before eventually making it back past restaurant row and being able to pick Dominica up.  Thankfully there really were ATMs there and she was able to take out money and get back to the street and hop in as I went by, stuck in traffic again.  That worked out well, surprisingly.

From there we decided to just drive back up the mountain to Cáñar.  On the way up we stopped at a scenic overlook to take a few pics and ended up having a herd of goats come down the mountain to right where we were!  It was really cool to see traditional goat herding right there in our village.  The girls really enjoyed that.  I got a great picture of Luciana posing in front of the goats and one of Liesl posing in front of Orgiva.

We got home from Orgiva and opened up the house.  Dominica is feeling much better today and the cool air is not bothering her.  It was in the fifties today and no snow or high winds.  She even did laundry this morning and had the clothes hanging out on the line to dry as everyone does here.  We moved the kitchen table out to the lower terrace so that we could eat and relax outside which was really nice.

We spent nearly the entire day sitting out on the lower terrace enjoying the weather.  I took my laptop out and worked from there which was awesome.  I look forward to being outside a lot at this point.  The weather is supposed to be much better tomorrow, too.

Dominica and I snacked on break and cheese in the afternoon.  We also made a batch of fish fingers which the girls both loved and devoured!  At one point Liesl and I ran to the market and got another huge wedge of the local cheese and some cookies that she wanted.  The cheese would have been easily thirty dollars or more in the States, it was only four Euro here in Spain!  Everything is so much more affordable.

Dominica decided that she did not want to go out for dinner tonight so she attempted to use everything that we had in the house that was getting old and was not going to last much longer.  She made a big thing of amazing, fresh bruchetta and a large thing of poor man’s potatoes which is a local favourite.

I worked outside until it was very dark and cold.  Then, when dinner was ready, we ate in the kitchen and closed up the house.  The day with sunlight was nice but by the time it was late, around eight this evening, it was too cold to stay out there.  After we ate we retired to the lounge with the heater on low.

The girls spent pretty much the entire day playing on their own in the lounge.  They are great at entertaining themselves here.  They love that the house is so open.  They often talk to people outside the windows.  They don’t know how to say much but they know to say “Hola” to people outside and everyone always says “Hola” to them as well.

The girls are continuing to do really well with trying new foods and actually eating what we have.  We were really worried because this has completely disrupted their eating patterns.

The girls went to bed at midnight tonight and Dominica just a little while later. I stayed up until two thirty getting some posting done and getting the SGL blog caught up and attempting to get the last of the day’s media posted to YouTube.

We found out this morning why the posting is taking so long, the Internet access here, which is a stationary WiMAX connection down to Orgiva, is only 300Kb/s upload speed!  That is horrible.  So we are actively working on getting that speed increased.  Hopefully getting it at least to 600Kb/s will be no problem.  Much faster than that is unlikely, though.  We can only get 128Kb/s on our cell phones.  The signal is as solid and strong as can be, but there is no 4G service here so going to a better plan would not help us at all.  So we are stuck using the solid, slow, free service that we have.  At least it is free and reliable.

Tomorrow is Friday.  We are hopeful that we can do something this weekend although we have no idea what it is that we might want to do.  If nothing else we will probably take a drive around the area at least on Saturday.  And I am hoping that we can try out a different place for tapas tomorrow night too.  We’ve only eaten out once so far in our entire time that we have been in Spain!  How crazy is that?  Today is our fourth day in the country and we did not eat at all on our first day (except for train station food in Madrid, which doesn’t really count) and our second day we had just that one meal out and since then we have eaten at home.

We were talking today about how odd it feels being here and trying to keep in mind that we live here and are not vacationing here.  We have this kind of nagging feeling that we need to be somewhere to doing something like seeing a sight or whatever.  But just being at home, doing normal things is what we are here to do.  We need to just get used to doing normal things and actually living in Spain.