WARNING: I will refer to the “beautiful” and/or “amazing” scenery about 4,000 times in this post. Feel free to send me new adjectives.
Welcome to Part 2 of Small Town Spain where we finally catch up to last December which we spent in the adorable hill town of Lubrin, Spain.
Lubrin is a “Pueblo Blanco” or “White Village” – which will be plenty evident when you see the photos. I wonder if they have a neighborhood association monitoring which shade of white everyone uses?
Described online as an “enclave of tranquility and tradition,” I’d say that just about describes Lubrin perfectly. Very quiet, very mellow with everyone turning out every week for the weekly market to get their fruits and veggies (and shoes and clothes, since there’s no clothing stores in town!).
Lubrin is located in the southeastern Spanish hills about 450 miles from Barcelona and 21 miles from the sea. Remote is it’s middle name. We would drive 25-30 minutes just to reach a town with a grocery store! Lubrin does have three little restaurants/bars that are largely supported by a significant expat community, along with a brand new produce stand and a couple of bakeries. It’s juuuust enough, but there’s nothing like a main street where you can walk through little stores like in Albarracin or Teruel. Our month there was quite relaxing and we were able to do a lot of prep work for our final weeks of travel… plus we played a lot of games and drank some mighty tasty fresh-squeezed orange juice!
Arriving in Lubrin you need to drive on a lot of twisty-turny-uppy-downy roads. It’s an open secret that the fancy car lines test their sports vehicles in these hills. It happens so fast we never got a good photo of it, but cars completely covered in black (as if it were stealth and we’d never see it) and loads of computers and wires inside the vehicles regularly zoomed all over these hills.
The whole reason we ended up spending 54 days in Spain was this here pet-sitting assignment. Months earlier, while we were still in Africa, we agreed to take care of Cheech, adding Europe to our trip around the world. Yes, one more time that pet-sitting helped shape our RTW trip! Cheech was a bit of rescue dog, having been left alone a lot by his owners when he was young. Now he’s in the care of a lovely retired couple – Hi, Cheryl and Mike! Cheech pretty much likes three things: lying in the sun, eating (a very exciting 60 seconds out of every day) and walking the rambla (the stream bed that acts as a dirt road most of the time) to collect rocks. If only we were all so easily satisfied.
The one challenge we had with Cheech was that he liked to take a lot of short walks through the day. We’re talking up to six 10-15min walks down the rambla EVERY DAY! It was pretty and all, but that was rather a lot.
Lubrin also brought us some new human friends, Warren and Betsy, who you might remember from our making olive oil and eating churros posts. We followed them online while they did their trip around the world as we were saving and planning for ours. Meeting Warren and Betsy was like meeting our mentors! They are incredibly down-to-earth, but I have to admit they seemed kind of like rock stars to us and we couldn’t have found better folks to introduce us to Small Town Spain ways.
Then, Christmas came and we got a very special treat…VISITORS! Our good friends Ed and Brigit flew to Madrid on Christmas Day and drove straight over to Lubrin to spend a few days with us!! How lucky were we? VERY! Merry Christmas, indeed!!!
So wonderful to catch up with friends who know all about us. When you travel, you spend a lot of time answering the same questions, “where you from…how long you traveling…what do you do…” With these two, we could just jump into all the juicy stuff like how strong Brigit has become since we left. I’m pretty sure she couldn’t have held me up with one hand pre-trip!
We greeted Ed and Brigit with fresh veggie soup, olives and jamon that they are still talking about. That’s one of the joys of the area – the local ingredients are so fresh and so ga-ood! Olive oil bottled down the street, oranges picked from that hill over there, veggies grown over that-away and honey from the hive down the rambla. Awesome!
Fortified, we all took a road trip to Garrucha, a delightful seaside town.
Back to Lubrin. Brigit and Ed got to join us in one of our twice-daily events: watching the goats go by across the street! That’s right, this hill town is apparently tailor-made for goats and their herders. Cheech felt it his sworn duty to protect us, loudly, from each imminent goat attack! Without his piercing bark we might have been caught off guard as every morning and late afternoon the goats would pass on by. Poor Cheech would go bonkers, often scaring the living daylights out of us when he’d bark. That might be the most excitement he got every day! Well, except for the rocks.
We would run into herds when we were out hiking or just sitting outside. It was a bit like going back in time and we loved it. Here’s a quick video of some of the goat herds we watched – definitely NOT an experience we’ve ever had in the US! You can hear Cheech whimpering in some of it and us “shooshing” him to stay quiet. Enjoy 60 seconds of goat joy… The video ends strong with a close-up of Aaron in the middle of a goat herd along with the goat bells and shepherd.
We miss our serious, old fella. Adios, Cheech, and thanks for the wonderful, rock-filled walks!