Friday, November 27, 2009

Terrinches Relived Again

I've written about Terrinches before, so I won't go through it all again. It's a little village in the SE corner of the province, very near Jaen, the Sierra de Alcaraz and the world's finest olive oil. I go there every year at the same time with more or less the same people, to celebrate someone's birthday. It's always a good party, but, unlike some of the group, I like to take an occasional break from the consumption of alcohol, good food and idle gossip, during which I wander through the neighbouring landscape, frightening the sheep and freshening up the blood for the next meal.

This year I came across, the cleanest, fattest, healthiest and juiciest-looking herd of sheep I think I have ever seen. I wonder what a farmer gets out of such exaggeratedly meticulous care. Good wool, good meat and good milk I imagine (the best cheese down here, and it's very good, is made from ewes' milk), but it surely can't be worthwhile economically.

I ran* through the next village and out into the country on a path I didn't know which goes down into the valley some way, then levels off. To get back you have to do it the other way round, which isn't so much fun. Mountains, green hills, water, olive trees, wide open skies, all the kinds of stuff which were made for us to live in and enjoy.

*The term 'jogging' is terribly passé. We super-fit, 'I shall never be middle-aged' types run.

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