San Nicolas

I believe in miracles, in premonitions and in the strange things that sometimes just happen.

Breakfast with views

 Last Wednesday Pedro and I were having breakfast on the terrace of our apartment on the beach and enjoying our wonderful view over the Bay of La Herradura. These views explain why we bought this apartment and why it pays us to live so far from the beach.

 Right in front of our terrace there is a small colony of chalets on top of a small hill  on the other side of the old road leading to Almuñecar. At the bow of this motley group of houses stands out a large red one with blue ceramic roofs surrounded by an extensive garden full of cypress and avocado trees.

San Nicolas
Just behind this red house,  you can see another beautiful house: LaTartana.  Today it is a small boutique hotel that is only visited by rich foreigners who still come here and do not have a house in the other fancy places that are Punta de la Mona and Cerro Gordo and do not wish to rent an apartment in the area.

 Next to these two mansions there are some small white houses crowded together, one on top of the other. On the highest point of the hill is a watchtower, similar to the watchtowers that mark this stretch of coast. Only this watchtower is shorter and squatter than the others because it is not authentic, it is a stone-lined water tank. It is a detail of good taste that the designers of this urbanization called SAN NICOLAS had when they designed and built it in the mid-60s. In fact, it was the first urbanization of chalets in La Herradura.

Views from home
I know all these things because I read them in a book that a nice English guy wrote a few years ago. I bought the book at the stationery-newspaper store in town, where I have also found some other books also written by expats and locals about this amazing town of La Herradura.

 When I was telling Pedro all these details, I looked at him and said - By the way, I haven't seen that book for years, it seems I've lost it. Who could I have lent it to?

--No idea, he said.

 I added:   -- It's easy, someone who speaks English must have it because the book was written in English.  Then I forgot about the book when we decided to go for a walk along the paseo maritimo in La Herradura and have lunch in La Bola Marina, a very good restaurant in town.

That was in the morning. By the end of the day, I had got my book back.

 HOME IN ANDALUSIA , by Roy Nash. Amazing, isn't it?

      It all happened like this:

That day in May it was as hot as a summer day,  so in the afternoon I went up to the pool on the terrace to sunbathe, swim and read.

The pool in the terrace

 When I entered the pool area I noticed there was a couple of people on their loungers reading and sunbathing too. We greeted each other from afar with a nod.

 A good while later, they got up and collected all their things ready to leave the terrace. When they passed in front of me, the woman, a very nice lady with a big smile, looked at me and said, -- Pilar. How glad to see you!!

I was really glad to see them too. They were my Irish friends, Gwen and John, who usually rent a flat in the block for several weeks a year in spring and at the end of summer and with whom I used to practice my rusty English on hot afternoons by the pool. But it had been a few years since we last saw each other because of the damn pandemic and we were very happy to meet again after so long.

 We had a long conversation about our families, children and grandchildren, about their daughter's wedding,  about COVID, about what life had brought us....

 Suddenly, John stood up, -- Pilar, I have got your book! I'll bring it now!

He ran out and returned with my book in his hand and a big smile. He had brought it last year in September, but then we didn't see each other, and now he had brought it back just in case.

I could not believe it! It was John who had had my book all those years. The book I had precisely been talking about with Pedro that same morning. 

I hadn't thought about him when I was looking for my book because I hadn't seen him or Gwen in a long time. How could I have forgotten my dear Irish friends? Damn pandemic again!!

My books about La Herradura

And here is my book, it has returned to its place of origin, here you can see it, in front of SAN NICOLAS, the place where it was born because it is the place where its author lived for many of the years he lived in La Herradura, this corner of Andalusia that was his home, his HOME IN ANDALUSIA.

And all of this happened on the same day. Premonition, coincidence, miracle?

Dinner with views
 Finally, to make a good day end well, we invited Gwen and John to have something to drink and some tapas with us at home. They accepted and came for a light dinner. I had prepared salmorejo and deviled eggs, the only things I could do with what I had in the fridge, but they brought wine and the meal was perfect.  We had a great time together

We chatted a lot in a good mix of English, Spanish and duolingo (John  is learning Spanish and he is eager to practice), and, of course,  it's easier to speak a foreign language when you've had a glass of wine or two!!  

Here's to you, Gwen and John!



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