After that massive whine I figure I should balance it out with something nicer. It turns out that my parents live about ten minutes drive from a load of wild flamingos, out at the San Pedro del something – I forget what now – salt flats. Actual. Wild. Flamingos. Just hanging out. How the HELL did I not know about this before? I think it should be a rule we all follow from now on: if you move to a new country, ask around if there are any flamingos in the area. I’ll let you unpack first, but if you don’t find out within a couple of days I’ll be mad.

The flamingos weren’t by the edges of the water much last Saturday (a few days before, apparently, they’d been really close. Stupid flamingos), but I did manage to get fairly near to a few young flamingos, and get my camera to zoom in reasonably close to a group of four pacing a circle – like they were walking on the water – feeding.

Flamingos are cool. Spanish electricity is not. But at least seeing Weird. Pink. Birds made up for the way that, just a few hours later, the heavens opened and did not stop. For 48 hours. Rain the like we’re not used to, thunder and lightning all night (of course it doesn’t help that the windows have three different things to close – shutter, insect blind and glass – and on each night I forgot to close one bit. My, the noise), with the electricity vanishing at various points and one enormous thundercrack so loud at 5am that I woke up and sat bolt upright in one swift movement. Not helped by the open windows, naturally. At least I now know that if we’re attacked by aliens in the middle of the night I’ll be ready for action. So long as they’re noisy about it.

And electricity going off isn’t all that bad. Unless you happen to be having a wee in the internal bathroom during one of the outages, and are suddenly pitched into complete darkness. I used the upstairs bathroom for the remainder of the stay. The water pressure in the shower may be rubbish, but at least it has a window.

(But still. Flamingos!)


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