DAY 16 Sunday 16 September
There’s a very scary looking locust on one of the window screens this morning.
A bright sunny day and a friend informs me that the water to his allotment (campo) is running today and he is planning to irrigate his plot. It is a very simple mechanism but profoundly wonderful process to see the sluice gate being opened and water spill from the pipes onto the parched ground.
En route he borrows the key to show me the inside if the Old Mosque; (La mezquita) it’s a lovely space.
I decide to walk to the Fuente de Berra which I couldn’t find on my last walk.
On my way I watch an old shepherd separate the ram from his flock and then lead them down the road to graze in the fields under the olives- all rather archetypal.
Apparently lots of people drive to the spring from town to collect their drinking water. It’s on the other side of the Chelva River down a dirt road, high up amongst the olive groves - below the level of the road. It’s very understated; it trickles slowly and silently from a low brown spout. I find it because a man and his young son have parked and are collecting several large canisters of water.
I sit down to wait my turn with my small 0.75l bottle and the little boy comes over, takes it and gives it to his father to fill. How lovely is that.
I return home with my bottle of fresh spring-water and a few figs from a ruined-cottage garden.
I buy eggs from the old man up the lane and a few local toadstools, but when I get them home they look too poisonous and I don’t have the courage to eat them!