The first time we ever drove to the house on our own, in a hire car, we simply turned off the main road, followed the rough track past a few houses, and set off downhill through the olive grove. We were confident we would recognise the way. It was October 2007 and we had last visited in August. Thankfully the earth was dry and rock hard. We followed a straight line, between the olive trees, trusting our memory that the valley was somewhere vaguely below us out of sight. Somehow we negotiated the holes and cracks in the dry land, without damaging the hire car.
We took a deep breath and made the improvements after our first winter, when the rain hammered down and visitors were unable to reach us without driving 4×4 vehicles. Our predecessors at the house had learned the hard way – the rough track above the house had literally washed away during a storm in 2004 [below] – and we were determined to learn from them and not wait for another storm to do its worst. So we carried on improving the track where they had left off.After another storm in 2006 which damaged the track at the back of the house, our predecessors improved this too [below] 5 to remember
el coche de alquiler – the hire car
cuesta abajo – downhill
agradecido/a – thankfully
en línea recta – straight line
vagamente – vaguely