IN THIS ISSUE
1. FROM THE CHAIR MAY MEETING NOTES 2. MEETINGS & EVENTS. 3. LAKE VIÑUELA PHOTO CLUB 4. WALKING GROUP & QUAD DIARY 5. BIRDING NEWS 6. BIRDING NEWS 7. CORDOBA TRIP 8. COMMITTEE 9. PARTNERS NEWSLETTER
EDITORIAL I hope I have got it right this time, the first one I have done on my own! I had a few hiccups last month but seem to have got to grip with things this time, my apologies, in advance, for any errors I am sure all will become clear with practice. Gwilym and I went to Madrid last month for a few days, we went on the Ave from Malaga and then the Metro into Madrid, what an experience, and it was so easy. The tickets were booked through Cynthia, the travel agent next to Meson Sara, we were able to book 1st class for the outward journey for a mere 34€ each and the return journey was tourist class and cost 52€ each! I have to say there was very little difference in comfort, there was plenty of leg room in both. If you haven’t done it yet, I would highly recommend it, we had a great time. “
“The Diabetes Support Group” Contact Ann Bowles: 952.464.184 / 607.879.450 firstname.lastname@example.org / www.lacaladiabetics.com
FROM THE CHAIR a message from Lyndsey Padley Having just spent two weeks in the UK, what a treat it was to step out of the plane to sunshine on our return here!! We can confirm that England is still a luscious green, despite the hosepipe ban many areas are flooded, (!!) however the wine is still cheaper here in Spain. On a more serious note may we ask that you always check dates on the receipts you are given when you book a tour, event etc. We are only human and mistakes can be made. So please do double check, via the Newsletter, at the Market and via our Notice Boards. Our Webmaster, Mike, has expressed some doubts as to his continued role in producing our Newsletter (living in the UK). Mike suggested that perhaps someone more local, i.e. in Spain, would like to take over this onerous task!!! Mike and Kim have said that the Newsletter is a way for them to keep in touch with us all here. Well Mike, the general consensus is that there is no one more adept than you at producing the newsletter and indeed the flyers that we impose on you from time to time (we should take this opportunity to thank you for your patience.) So please, on behalf of us all keep up the good work and we look forward to welcoming you and Kim to Spain when you are next here. Also, everyone, please, Mike does ask from time to time for suggestions on improvement to the Newsletter, so please if you have any comments, do let him know. Also if you have any information you think the El Valle should know about please do let me know at email@example.com. Enjoy the summer!
MAY MEETING NOTES An attendance of 50 plus was achieved at the el-Vallé monthly meeting at the Camping Bar, Monday 7th May 2012. The feature for the evening was to be a performance by the El-Valle Drama Group. The meeting was opened by Jane and Carol and an overview of all forthcoming social events was given, full details of which can be found in the newsletter, on the web site and at the Friday market stand, Puente de Don Manuel (Cruce Periana). It was also announced that the June el-Vallé meeting would feature a talk on gardening with advice on what will survive and what won’t in our climate. Questions would be taken but PLEASE write them out and pass on to any committee member in good time before the meeting, June 4th. It was time for the main event and the Drama Group opened with an amusing little ditty which was followed by a selection of sometimes risqué recitals, one liner jokes, poems and monologues. The whole performance was well received and included an audience participation sing-a-long. To round off the event Derek gave a rendition of The Two Ronnies classic, "Rindercella" which did not contain a single "curse" but by cleverly switching the start letters of words had the entire audience imagining that the air had turned blue with profanities. Thank you Drama Group. All that remained was "The Box" which held E288.00. Five numbers were drawn but the lucky key eluded every-ones grasp. Jane closed the meeting by thanking all for attending and as usual on behalf of the membership and guests our thanks to the committee members who spent the evening organising, selling tickets and generally making people feel welcome. Alan Impey
FORTHCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS ALL MEETINGS START PROMPTLY AT 7.30pm Monday 2nd July: MEETING FOLLOWED BY “SPOT THE LOCATION” Monday 3rd September: MEETING FOLLOWED BY “PETS IN SPAIN” BY VET CAROLINA
WEDNESDAY 20TH JUNE SKITTLES 3:30pm FOR 4:pm. FOOD approx:8pm MEMBER BOWLERS 10€, MEMBERS 6€. NON MEMBERS 8€
DATE; SATURDAY 21st JULY LEAVE 5 BERTURA(HOTEL ROMERO) 8pmLEAVE RACECOURSE 2am MEMBERS 11€ NON MEMBERS 13€
DATE; WEDNESDAY 15th AUGUST LEAVE 5 BERTURA (HOTEL ROMERO) 6pm, LEAVE ALMUÑECAR 1 am MEMBERS 8€ NON MEMBERS 10€
DATE; SATURDAY 8th SEPTEMBER DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER
We now meet at 11.15am on the first Thursday of the month at the Moreno’s Bar, Puente Don Manuel.
April’s challenge was in the style of Martin Parr, a photographer that takes a critical look at the British way of life especially when abroad. Although held in great esteem by his peers, it seems that the majority of our members were not of the same opinion, hence the lack of interest and entries to the challenge. This photo is an example of those entered, others can be viewed on the following “Picasaweb” http://tinyurl.com/bsncaoq May’s challenge is either an open category or an exercise in the technique of “Air Brushing” providing a before and after photo in order to show the difference. Report and photos in the July edition of the newsletter. th
On 4 May, some of our members enjoyed a field trip to the botanical gardens of Finca La Concepcion on the outskirts of Málaga. Unfortunately too late for the Wisteria but well worth the visit. These are a few shots from our time there.
There is a further selection of photos taken by club members on the following “Picasaweb” http://tinyurl.com/bnd96rt If you feel inclined to enter any of our challenges please do so, you can join us at any time, either by applying for a membership form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or attending a monthly meeting at Moreno’s Bar on the first Thursday of any month at 11.15am. We are an independent club with no conditions of membership other than an interest in photography. Follow what we do and when by signing up to our blog:https://lakevinuelaphotographicclub.blogspot.com
If you feel inclined to enter any of our challenges please do so, you can join us at any time either by applying for a membership form by email to email@example.com or attending a monthly meeting at Moreno’s Bar on the first Thursday of any month at 11.15am. We are an independent club with no conditions of membership other than an interest in photography.
EL VALLE MONTHLY WALK After nearly losing a couple of people we set off on a glorious and hot morning for our last monthly morning walk of the season. Next month it will be in the evening. After a long downhill start it was up the other side where I assured everyone that it was the last hill but I don't think they believed me by the end. We then crossed the road and went cross country for a while (sorry Trevor about the sandals but they had only just ploughed that field honestly) before picking up the track and heading back towards the lake. Everyone seemed to enjoy the peace and quiet and the views and wild flowers are amazing in this area. We stopped for a breather to watch the turtles in the deposito then headed back towards the houses. It was interesting that not many people knew about the self catering accommodation complex we went through before making our way back to the lakeside and around the lake to the other side back to the cars. Seventeen of us then headed to the Camping bar for lunch. They did us proud with their Menu del Diá at a very reasonable price and huge portions and I think everyone left tired, hot and with very full stomachs. Hope everyone enjoyed themselves and I look forward to seeing you all at the walk next month.
QUAD DIARY This month has certainly been a mixed bag weather -wise! One minute there is a blanket of snow on Maroma, with a group of intrepid walkers having to abandon their ascent to the summit because of drifts and visibilityst the next we are basking in 30+ degrees, someone just having flipped the light switch. Now, on 21 May the snow is back on the summit! There have, however, been some enjoyable quad excursions, some with the first migratory visitors from the U.K. joining us. This focuses our choice of routes so that we can show off the most impressive areas (and restaurants) of the region. The first choice is the gorge from Riogordo to Alfarnatejo, where the fields were awash with poppies (see photo). The area is known as ‘The Southern Pyrenees’ because of the impressive peaks and the gorge has Neolithic remains from 5000 years ago. The visitor commented that it is impossible to capture the images, scents and sounds for the folks back home and it’s true but I’ll keep taking the photographs anyway! Another favourite is from Cortijo Blanco, via El Canuelo onto the old railway line with impressive views of the lake (see photo) and on to Guaro, then Mondron, Los Marines and back via the north of the lake. Other excursions included the Ruta de Teja to Comares; Rio de Bermuza, Salares to Trapiche along an ancient mule track; Robledal to Alhama and the ‘moonscape’ above Zafarraya in reverse. It has been a varied month in more ways than one!
Birding News BIRDING NEWS
Part of the Axarquia Bird Group - www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com
With the temperature warming up very nicely at last many of you will be taking a visit up the mountains or out into the “flat” countryside so now is the time to keep your eyes open for those “big birds” – the raptors (birds of prey). Many of you by now may be familiar with our large, summer-visiting white eagle, the Short-toed Eagle, known in both German and Dutch as the “Snake Eagle” Culebrera Europea. (Spanish names follow in italics.) You may even have been privileged to see it rise up from the valley floor with a large snake grasped in its talons. But there are other raptors to be seen during these coming months. SHORT TOED EAGLE Most confused with the Short-toed Eagle is the white-coloured (but there is also a dark morph) Booted Eagle Aguililla Calzada. Not quite so large as the former, it has white wings with black edges when seen from below and is sometimes referred to by the local Spaniards as the “Mountain Eagle.” This bird is more widely seen during the winter months.
The other very large bird often seen overhead when in the mountains is the Griffon Vulture Buitre Leonado. The Griffon will travel miles and miles to find its food and the birds have a magnificent sense of smell. You will rarely see the “flying;” rather, they sore on a thermal and then glide down until they find the next thermal to take them back up and so repeat the process over and over again. These birds, once mature are residents to the south of Spain but the young will migrate to sub-Saharan Africa and only return when mature enough to breed.
The other magnificent raptor that you may very well see is the Golden Eagle Aguila Real. Whilst, as far as I am aware, the birds do not breed in the immediate area, the immature birds are often found drifting about and sites such as Ventas de Zafarraya and the Sierra Loja are both good spots to find such a bird. The photograph taken in mid-May 2012 show an immature bird with lots of white visible on both tail and wings.
On the other hand, if you are driving through arable land, whether GOLDEN EAGLE ploughed or down to corn, look out for both Montagu’s Harrier Aguilucho Cenizo and Lesser Kestrel Cernicalo Primilla. The former will be quartering the fields looking for small mammals and, whilst the female is a rather plain brown bird with a longish tail (very similar to Marsh Harrier and Hen Harrier Aguilucho Palido), the male is a most handsome white bird with dark tips to his wing. Male Hen and Montagu’s harriers look very similar; both have black wing tips but the hen harrier is somewhat cleaner. Another factor to bear in mind is that the Hen Harrier is a winter rather than a summer visitor as is the case of the Montagu’s Harrier. The only problem period is during the “cross-over” periods ion spring and autumn.
Most of you will be familiar with the hovering Kestrel Cernicalor Vulgar from school days and beyond back in Britain. You may not have noticed the small black marks on the brown wings of the males but these are missing on the Lesser Kestrel. The Lesser Kestrel is also slightly smaller (females are larger than males in both species) and has a distinct blue look about it. However, the best clue is seeing a group of Kestrels. Other than when out as a family when the young fledge, Kestrel are solitary birds or seen in pairs. Summer-visiting Lesser Kestrels, on the other hand, are very much gregarious birds and are found in small breeding colonies, as witnessed in many of our villages.
Often during the day they will leave their nesting colonies and head off to the fields to do their scavenging and can be seen, just like their larger cousins, hovering above the ground with their heads pointing into the prevailing wind.
Meanwhile, keep following the web site and/or the blog to see what is happening locally.
Happy birding, Bob Wright
GRIFFON VULTURE MONTAGU'S HARRIER
BY ALAN IMPEY
Wednesday 9th May was the date for the el-Vallé trip to Cordoba to view the Patios of the local inhabitants who allow their patios to be visited between the dates 2nd to 13th May. The latest el-Vallé offering was a day trip to the Cordoba Patios. At 8am Wednesday 9th May 47 members/guests, (well it should have been 47 but there were two no-shows) met outside the old Hotel Romero's at Puente de don Manuel to board the coach for the two hours or so trip to Cordoba to view the Patios. The patios are open from 11am to 2pm and 7pm to 11pm so for our trip, with a 5pm return, we had to complete our viewing before 2pm but we still had to eat and there was much more to see in the town of Cordoba. The Patio contests are sponsored by the Córdoba City Hall and began in 1918. Due to a hot, dry climate homes were built with a central patio even back in the days of the Romans. This tradition was continued by the Moors and persists in many homes even today. Filling the central patio with plants and water features has always been a way to keep local homes cool. But, thanks to human creativity and ingenuity, patio decoration ended up taking on a life all its own and at some point, someone realised that these hidden treasures were just too good to be kept tucked away behind heavy doors and iron grates. So, once a year, the doors open and everyone is invited in to see the wonders of Córdoba’s patios. These patios not only offer a visual display of colourful flowers, stone mosaics and ceramic decorations, but also bring out the classic scents of Córdoba: jasmine and orange blossom mixed with scents from the many other flowers and plants that bring the city alive. Apart from the private patios that are opened to view there are many convents and religious buildings in Córdoba with must-see patios and these include: the Encarnación, Santa Isabel de los Ángeles, Las Capuchinas, Santa María, Santa Cruz, Jesus Crucificado, Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, Corpus Cristi and San Pedro Real. Another example, the Viana Palace, a 14th century building, is actually known as the Patio Museum and offers 12 different patios to be visited. As we were travelling to Cordoba contact with the no-shows was made and arrangements made for them to join up with us at a pre arranged coffee stop and they could be dropped back at their car on the return journey. After the coffee stop and before Cordoba we were all given maps with three walking routes that would give the chance to see all the patios taking part.We left the coach at 10.30 with instructions to be back at 4.50pm for a 5pm departure.What follows now is a personal view of the group of six I walked with. We chose to concentrate on the private Patios entrants and followed the route to the letter, thanks to our guide Josephine assisted (hindered) by Trevor!!!!! The Patios were amazing and it was obvious that a lot of work and effort had been put into them. The householder's were in attendance and were happy to answer questions from all. At 2pm closing time we adjourned to Casa Victor, a restaurant we had spotted on our tour round, and enjoyed a lovely meal. UNFORTUNATELY after eating we out of time and there was so much more to see. We resolved to re-visit in future to take advantage of a truly delightful city. Asking around it was apparent that another couple of hours would have been welcome but to keep a balanced view a few people had found the weather too hot. (mid 30's) Everyone was back at the appointed pickup spot on time, apart from Martin and Rebecca, who had wisely elected to stay overnight and travel back the following day. The trip home was uneventful, the no-shows were reunited with their car, and we arrived back at 7.15pm. Many thanks to Carol, Kim and Jane (plain ((private joke))) for their efforts in the running of the trip.
ASOCIACIÓN EL VALLE DEL EMBALSE COMMITTEE 2012-13 Chair: Lyndsey Padley - 628655801 Vice Chair: Jane Harris - 633615154 Treasurer: Terry Frost - 697569141 Secretary: Stewart Common - 647076177 MEMBERS Linda Kemp: - 951167088 Elaine Edwards: - 647076177 Anne Dibden: - 605826358 Carol Jackson: - 635291532 Kim Rogerson: - 696126204 Editor: Susan Jones - 680407894 Almoner: Christine Goreham – 635361233
INFORMATION. WEBMASTER – MIKE HICKMAN
firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE - www.el-valle.org
A representative of the committee is usually on duty between 11am – 12.30pm at Mis Tapas (“BILLY’S BAR”) during Friday Market - Chiringuito Antonio Asociación El Valle del Embalse normally meet at 7pm on the first MONDAY of each month with the exception of August, at the “Camping Bar Restaurante” by Lake Viñuela (km 31/32 A356).
ASOCIACIÓN MOBILE ‘PHONE. 676.641.577 NB: THE ASOCIACIÓN MOBILE IS ONLY IN USE DURING TRIPS OR EVENTS, PLEASE USE THE NUMBERS AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE TO CONTACT A COMMITTEE MEMBER AT OTHER TIMES.