It has been a good week. We took a great hike on Wednesday. We left our house and drove down the mountain, stopping to take photos of the cloud-covered valley below.
Once on the hard-top road we drove through Pampaneira, turned left and headed through Bubion, the village directly across the valley from our house, and then through Capileira, the second highest village in Spain. The road continues up the mountainside. After we had driven 28km we stopped and looked across to our house. We were probably only 2-3 km away, but it took an hour and fifteen minutes to get there.
We live right in the middle
We parked about 10km up above Capileira at the Ranger's station and walked on a dirt road towards Mulhacén. We followed the road for two hours enjoying views in every direction.
We saw Ibex resting in a pile of rocks with one large Ibex keeping lookout. We spotted many large beetles and later learned from our friend Kiersten that they are called Baetica Ustulata and are being used to study climate change. They only live in the Sierra Nevada and the plant they eat is growing higher up in the mountains as temperatures warm; the study is to see if the beetles will also move higher in the mountains. We saw them at 9000 feet elevation.
And then there was the IKEA delivery. I have worried for weeks, even before we went to IKEA, about whether or not the delivery truck would make it up the mountain, or what if they refused to try, or what if they stalled on the steepest part and drifted down the road and over the mountainside (I can imagine many unlikely things at 2:00 am).
Friday was the day. We had left a map of how to get here with instructions that we would meet them at the Ermita El Padre Eterno and they could follow us up the road. We left our phone number, as well as the number of a Spanish-fluent neighbor.
In the end it was not a big deal at all. They called Sam and he communicated with them just fine. We met at the Ermita and they were right on my bumper the entire 7 kms. No way was an old lady going to out-drive them; I thought at one point they may try to pass me. The two men were very pleasant and everything got delivered in massive amounts of cardboard and plastic.
Sam started assembling immediately and by the time we went to sleep last night we had a table and two chairs, a bed and half a cabinet.
The mattress almost didn't fit down the stairs and into our room, but with only a small amount of plaster being scraped off and falling to the floor, it finally made it. We got the largest mattress available, which is just a bit smaller than the king size we had in Oregon. I feel a bit extravagant, but I have to say it was a very comfortable night.
Today began well and Sam was happily assembling furniture when suddenly we heard a man yelling, and the yelling got closer and louder. We looked out and couldn't see anything, but a minute later it sounded desperate and so we went further out into the yard and saw an old man leaning over our fence calling to us. We walked around to where we could talk. Sam thought he needed help; I assumed he just wanted to meet us.
Even after we were standing right next to him the yelling continued, and the only word we understood was "aqua." We haven't been getting water from the barranco for several days and had already planned to take another stroll up there tonight to see if the pipe had once again come up from the pool, so we assumed he wasn't getting water either.
But it was clear that in his mind this was somehow our fault. We called our Spanish-fluent neighbor and he spoke with him for a bit. It turns out we were the man's second stop having already had an angry encounter with another neighbor who shares the barranco water. He has decided that he is the only one who should get water from the barranco and he threatened to cut our pipes and to "denounce" all of us. From what we understand, being denounced involves a complaint to the Guardia Civil and our neighbor believes that, if denounced, then the Guardia Civil will come cut all the pipes on the mountain.
In the end we said "si" a lot and we told him we would turn off our pipe that draws from the barranco. We have enough water in our alberca to get us through a few months of irrigation and hopefully this will get resolved. He seemed content that he had straightened us out and the last we saw he was off to start yelling at the third neighbor who shares barranco water.
Off he goes with his horse and five small dogs
Yelling over another fence
I, of course, am hoping for a friendly resolution that works for everyone. Sam assures me that will happen.
In the meantime, we have furniture to assemble and mountains to climb.