On 24th May we took a ferry over to Tabarca, an island off Cabo Santa Pola, Alicante. We can just see it on the horizon driving from Relleu to Alicante via Aguas de Busot. Formerly a roost for the aggressive Barbary pirates, the island has the remnants of a fortress citadel built in 1770 with some original housing constructed for Genoese refugees from Tunisia. Rather barren and windswept it has nonetheless become a popular place for day excursions with ferries from Santa Pola and Alicante. An off beat island, with a fascinating Geological history . Chris Lambert explained to me that it was essentially a nut between the upward grind of Africa and the South of Spain – the continental drift that threw up the Sierras and the Pyrenees. There is a conspicuous fault line scything the island in half. It has an interesting natural history too – once an enclave for Monk seals in the sea caves on the South coast. Birds include Kentish Plover, Thekla Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling and a colony of Storm Petrel. We had an excellent lunch and a bracing walk before catching the Santa Pola ferry. The drive back to Relleu about an hour. The ferries from Santa Pola run once an hour and it’s half an hour across to the island.
We’ve just had our 80 or so olive trees in the Valero Grove expertly pruned. There is plenty of flower buds so we are hoping for a good harvest this Autumn, say 200 litres plus of Extra Virgin oil. The combination of blanqueta trees and the locally traditional Manzanilla trees produce a very pleasant blend. Last major harvest we sold all our surplus to a local restaurant. The lemons are doing well, and almonds. Oranges could do with some more rain – but are providing us with plenty of orange juice nonetheless.