Days of rain and mellow fruitfulness

Where I live in southern Spain, autumn is not heralded by the changing colours of leaves on the trees – almost all trees hereabouts are evergreen – pines, olives, avocados and citrus.  Only the almonds lose their leaves in a very unspectacular way.  It is, nevertheless a colourful season, when oranges and lemons are changing from green to…well, orange and lemon!  And if you know where to look you will find totally neglected pomegranate trees quietly getting on with the business of ripening their beautiful and exotic looking  fruit.  The Spanish word for pomegranate is Granada and the fruit is considered one of the ‘healthiest foods on the planet, packed with nutrients and powerful plant compounds’. I remember as a child, my mother would proudly present us with a precious pomegranate once or twice a year, and we three children and our parents would share a single fruit and pick out the seeds (arils) one by one with a pin.

These days the fruits are more plentiful in grocery stores in the UK, and here in Spain they are literally hanging from the trees.  Many of these trees must be self seeded – not really surprising I guess for a tree with such an abundance of seeds!  Almost every tree is left for the fruit to over-ripen, split open, dry out and fall to the ground.  Now, I love pomegranates and I absolutely hate waste.  It literally hurts me to see food left discarded on the ground.  And so for the last few years I have collected fruit from a couple of trees that no-one else bothers with or probably even knows exist.  In the past I have deseeded and frozen the  fruit, and work my way through it by sprinkling a handful on my breakfast oats and on my lunchtime salad.  Such a huge punchy taste and what a wonderful cheery colour.  This year I have branched out and made several batches of pomegranate molasses – fabulous as a salad dressing or in a dessert.

I was very glad to be able to restock my freezer with this fruit as I was devastated to lose the entire contents of my packed freezer a few weeks ago when a power cut occurred whilst we were away from home for a few days.  About 8 kilos of apricots from my tree and countless figs both donated by a friend and foraged (with permission) from a neighbour’s plot. Plus countless ready meals prepared with love for a quick dinner.  All gone! And then to add insult to injury I had to bag it up and send it to the tip.

I so looked forward to half an apricot each morning, it was like a circle of sunshine every day and my hoard would last the full year until the next crop was ready.  Oh well, I now have an equally punchy flavour to add to my oats, just a different colour!

The other thing that we hope the autumn brings us is rain.  And we have received an abundance of the wet stuff during the last week, albeit, interspersed with beautiful blue sky sunny days.  During recent grey days of heavy rain I have spent many hours deseeding pomegranates, and juicing some of them to make a molasses reduction.  But I also had another important task to attend to – most notably planning my next camino.  It is normal for me to have thought about and decided upon my next route at this time of year, but rather early for me to plan stages in detail and work out how many days I will be walking.  This is because I have a childminding commitment in early June and so have a set end date.  There are also a couple of camigas to keep in the loop.

And so I can share with you that I (we) will be walking from Alicante on the Camino de la Lana over around 26 stages to Burgos, where we will hop on a bus to Cistierna halfway through the Camino Olvidado (Forgotten way) which crosses at right angles to the Camino Salvador that I walked last year.  The Olvidado meets the Camino Frances (by far the most popular route) at Ponferrada where we will cross over to the Camino Invierno (Winter route) and make our way to Santiago de Compostela.  Probably 46 walking days, with maybe a day off for exploring the ‘hanging’ city of Cuenca, a place I have long wanted to visit, and a day for travelling between the Lana and Olvidado. Three lesser walked routes, so I am very, very glad that I will have the company of two camigas with whom I walked last year (unless things change, which of course is entirely possible).  Watch this space!

On the beautiful blue sky sunny days I took a couple of walks – how glorious it was…


About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
This entry was posted in A view of life, Camino de la Lana, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino Invierno, Camino Olvidado and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Days of rain and mellow fruitfulness

  1. Ina Sinclair says:

    Lovely to hear from you again, and in such detail. Have just read Laurie’s blogs of the Camino Mozarabe (remember the Mozarabe Mob? I followed you all the way on that walk.) and the Ovidado and will start planning my stages of the Mozarabe for May 2019. The Olvidado will have to wait until 2021. For 2020 my children are hatching a trek in Iceland as a present for my 80th birthday. This explains my admiration for your and Laurie’s long stages – I am pleased with myself for doing stages half as long!
    And thank you again for your wonderful photos!

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hi Ina, lovely to hear from you. What a wonderful present you have in store next year. If I can still walk the camino at age 80 I shall be so grateful and happy. I think you are amazing – may you keep walking for many years to come.

      Like

  2. Beautiful photos!!!

    Like

  3. Lucymi says:

    Oh great, looking forward to following you on your upcoming adventures. Lovely, fruity photos. I‘ve recently discovered quinces, an almost forgotten fruit and so versatile.

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hi Lucy. Lovely to hear from you. I’ve never used quinces, although they do grow here. I have tasted them in the membrillo that you get in Spain, but it’s a bit sweet for my liking.

      Like

  4. J Marshall says:

    So glad to read your latest post.  They are are such enjoyable reading.  Buen camino.

    ⁣Sent from TypeApp ​

    Like

  5. hannas123 says:

    I could smell those pomegranates !
    See all the colours is beginning winter in Spain
    Look forward to your next blogg

    Like

  6. That is so exciting about your next camino! I can’t wait to hear all about it. Melx

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  7. M3 Mary says:

    Great News Maggie that your next Camino is in planning stage. I shall look forward to your posts . Sorry to hear about your electricity going off and spoiling all the food in your freezer. That would be heart breaking to return home to. Much love xx

    Like

  8. Danielle says:

    Yeah! Another great adventure! Looking forward to those beautiful photos in your blog!👣👣👣

    Like

  9. Danielle Butt says:

    Bonjour,

    Maggie (la vegan) se prépare pour un autre camino… je pense que le début de son message va T’intéresser…

    Sent from my iPad by Danielle

    >

    Like

  10. Always enjoy hearing about you Camino plans Maggie. I’m in the process of making some myself – next fall I would like to do the Via Di Francesco (Way of St. Francis) in Italy. From Florence to Assisi. Curious if you’ve heard much about this Camino?

    Best,
    David

    Like

  11. Marilyn van Graan says:

    Hi Mags – so good to read your blog again – I am still waiting for you to write a book – what a read it will be and lots of humour in between!! I certainly hope I will be one of the amigas again next year – being doing my own bit of research too. Miss you – much love and friendship darlingXXX

    Like

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