Yesterday we found a great area of grass near the riverbed in Elda, so today gives us a well earned rest.. It hasn't been so easy this time around finding good grazing with water, so poor Mark is having to fetch and carry while we're here.
I can't walk that far yet, let alone carry 20 litres of water.
Lo & behold here comes Mark already with some water & telling me there's a lake just over there! - and we're leaving tomorrow! Doh!
Tomorrow is exciting! For us more than for Tio who may have a tooth ache - we've been invited to the house of a very kind co horse owner in Spain, 6ks north of here for the night, but our alterior motive is for Tio to see the dentist! He has been gurning on & off for a few days, as if he has toothache.. Can't let him suffer & though he does seem to be eating normally, we can't let him be under par on such a trip as this.
We have naughtily been inside another house with a fenced in paddock recently, by invitation of course, lovely man called Trevor throwing a bbq! We certainly have some luck!
We have endured some harrowing experiences though! & no exaggeration! Passing between two rows of bee hives (right on the GR7 route!!) was terrifying, we were swarmed! stung on our faces & heads riding through at an increasing speed, panicking, swearing, Marks most sentimental & ingeniously repaired cowboy hat falling to the ground amidst the hives...
He had to go back of course, wearing a full (rain) cape with hood, it was a tense few minutes as me & the horses waited at a 'safe' distance for his return, Rayo was stung on the nose!
I pulled a sting out of my cheek which gave me a chubby cheeky look for a few days which Mark found endearing.
He thankfully returned unharmed & with his hat on.
There's plenty of time in this mode of travel to wonder about the glory of nature, most of our daily routes go over mountains (smallish ones) between towns. So the terrain changes, lush grassy plains, planted, not to be eaten! Then stoney climbs (very hard on the horses feet) amongst the pines, through high gorges, eagle country, bandit country, always wondering whats over the next hill or round the next corner.
Sometimes as we enter towns you can almost hear the eerie whistle of 'The good the bad & the ugly', the tumble weed blows across the dusty track blowing up a cloud & there's not a soul in sight.
Now at dusk, sitting next to Mark as he cooks just outside the woods, I'm looking up at the orange lit town and I can hear kids playing & one in particular, a girl, singing flamenco, sounds amazing, dogs are barking, all very Spanish. I hope no one walks by, as I think it's embarrassing sitting here cooking our dinner on the track! But as Mark says quite rightly, it's too dangerous to cook in the woods, even though it's been a wet spring, the undergrowth is tinder dry.
We had a lovely sighting of a family of wild boar! Animals aren't so disturbed by the sound of hooves approaching, so we could watch them for a bit, none of them were large & the babies were so cute with little stripey bodies.
One night a lone adult boar wandered quite calmly around our camp, it came quite close to us & almost seemed tame, the horses were interested & a little nervous, but actually Rayo lunged forward at the boar to see it off!
Down to the lake now with the horses for a drink, beats a walk to fill bottles at the garage!