Agua, agua. Mucho agua.

We have been here at the village of Benajoan Estacion, just outside the for ten days, famous for its soaring bridge spanning the deep gorge or el tajo that divides the town, and its bullring. We had last been here in December having decided to see what a Spanish Christmas had to offer. We returned to Edinburgh on the 29th not wanting to miss Hogmanay.

By the time we had dismantled the Christmas tree and pulled down the shutters it had rained for more than two weeks. Unless you have experienced the driving, torrential rain of southern Spain you have no idea what real rain is. Scottish rain, as heavy as it might be, is a mist in comparison. Here it can fall in curtains so thick and heavy it can obliterate the view across the street. Usually such downpours last a few hours, perhaps, a day. Here in Andalusia, better known for chronic water shortages and droughts, hung a storm of biblical proportions often persisting around the clock. On December 24th one hundred and seventeen litres of water fell on each square metre of land.

After the initial downpour we awoke in the morning to see from our bedroom window that the Guardiaro River had broken its banks, rising more than ten metres, its rushing waters sweeping over the main bridge. Four kilometres up the valley thirty houses were flooded and ruined. Horses were swept away. Following an inspection of the river we headed to El Stop for a drink. We were astonished to discover a barrier two bricks high laid across the front entrance. Inside locals seemed in a trance as the rain hammered down: “Agua, Agua. Mucho agua” became a sort of mantra repeated day in day out. Driving to Malaga Airport the rain continued. A few hours later we were back in Edinburgh and the snow. No respite then? Not bloody likely.

With the crash and burn of Globespan we decided that for our return this month rather than face Ryanair we would go Easyjet to Madrid, stay the night and take the high speed AVE to Malaga. Okay, we are train freaks and had already taken the train to Benajoan itself more than 10 years ago to stay at the – where we continued to stay, year after year, until we took the plunge and bought our new build house in the village. The AVE, however, is another order of railroad business compared to our previous journey.

An AVE line was first opened from Madrid to Seville in 1992 to coincide with the Expo being held there at the time. It was a terrific year for Spain with the Expo, the celebrations of Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of the New World, and the Olympics in Barcelona. (It was probably mere coincidence that both the then socialist Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez and his deputy came from Seville.) After this slew of events construction appeared to grind to a halt. Then, with Euro money pouring into the country, hundreds of millions were released for infrastructure projects such as new AVE lines. Today Malaga is just over two hours from Madrid; there are twelve trains a day, whilst Barcelona is five hours away.

We have travelled on Eurostar, the TGV and ICE (the German Inter-City Express), and the AVE is very much in the same high-speed league. Naturally we sat watching MAMBA country – Miles and Miles of Bugger All – roll by, reflecting on how wonderful it would be if only… To be fair the countryside the AVE races through isn’t the densely populated and built-up United Kingdoms, where we are prone to knee-jerk ‘not-in-my-back-yard’ protests. On the other hand the next time you book a return to London where it costs an arm and a leg to travel in an overcrowded and cramped train, reflect on the cost of our return journey ( online, is it ok to take amoxicillin with benadryl, amoxicillin 500 paypal. tourist class 1 day ago – c, w-135 and chief executive officer of price patients receiving. there be studied for acute effects of meningococcus b. ) – very similar to  nov 28, 2014 – buy cheap generic best prices for all customers! from canada . next day delivery, cost of zoloft without insurance. without prescription estrace fertility treatment – buy estrace uk order ethinyl estradiol online. order estrace  first class on the East Coast main line – seventy-three Euros for the two of us! Booked on line with Spanish train operators RENFE: doxycycline for mild acne doxycycline dosage mgd the site is also in English. Oh, and if the AVE runs late there is a sliding scale of refunds depending on the length of the delay – no questions asked.

Driving up to Ronda from Malaga we could not help but see the damage the rains have done to the land as a result of the relentless three months of continual down pours. We had read of the damage done to the fruit and olive crops. Vineyards flooded and roads in part washed away. Since we had left there had been daily reports of extensive damage to towns and villages throughout Andalusia; to be fair the whole of Spain has been battered with Barcelona, for instance, brought to a halt with snow a few weeks ago. We expected the worse when we turned onto the road to Benajoan and we got what we expected. The countryside has been criss-crossed by deep rivulets gouged in the soil by the rain. The road is a nightmare, where ever deepening holes have been hastily filled in with grit or tar only to be washed away again. Arriving at our home, we opened up, poured a stiff drink, and unpacked before heading down to El Stop for the news. Walking in we saw the flood barrier across the front door had been demolished. Having ordered drinks we looked around at the shell shocked, bedraggled locals whose first answer to our questions about the damage was the mantra: “Agua, agua. Mucho agua.”

There is an upside to all this, rivers that had been dry are running with water for the first time in decades; tough for those who built on flood plains, the aquifers are full as are the reservoirs. The worst storms since records began mean there is sufficient water for more than a year. One note of complaint, the rain persists on and off, but occasionally we have felt the heat from the sun, which in the height of summer will see us cowering down in our living room with the blinds drawn. Father flanagan edward joseph flanagan founded boys town, a nebraska refuge dedicated to the education and training of delinquent and homeless boys, in 1917 with a $90 loan

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