Autumn in Andalucia

It´s a while since I wrote anything here on Andalucia Explorer and it´s not because I haven´t been exploring, I have. This year has been a rollercoaster ride of surviving the continual heatwave throughout July and August while working and researching and travelling for the new Lonely Planet guide on Andalucia.

I´ve written the Cordoba and Jaen chapter and what a massive learning curve that was. By the time it comes out in June next year the hours of trying to figure out how the system worked and the layout of pages that had me pulling my hair out at times, will be long forgotten. I got there. Submitted on time, have now done the re-writes and life has resumed some sort of normality again.

Also my blogs Luxury Spain Travel and Only Spain have been using up those small episodes of spare time and left-over brain space.

This year is the first I can remember since moving here in 1996 that we haven´t lit the wood burner on or before 1st November. By halfway through the month it still wasn´t necessary then, bang, the cold has come. Not real cold but a shock to the system, after the summer then late 20s (c), which needs to kick  its thermostat into action because I have four layers on and still my hands and nose are cold!

With the sudden cold ´snap´ the leaves are turning russet, yellow and red and floating down like massive snowflakes to decorate the patio furniture and every other surface. I don´t know why, I expect Google could tell me, but the leaves have stayed on the trees and kept their colour longer this year.  So here we are a week away from December, the trees aren´t bare yet and the autumn colours, making a fabulous change from olive green, are just - beautiful.

                                      Olive Groves and Autumn Colours

I´m not a lover of the cold so I´m feeling very positive that this winter won´t seem like a long one as it has been slow getting going and really, it´s not even here yet, as officially it is still autumn.

I do love the crispy leaves that crunch underfoot on the dry sunny days and that faint waft of wood fires from smoking chimneys that leave a trail through the usually blue skies. And I adore those changes of the definite seasons we have in mountainous Jaen. Late autumn into winter means the start of noisy, chugging tractors with empty, bouncing trailers that clog the lanes to get to the olive groves and slower, full trailer loads heading to the mill at the end of the day´s harvest.

The early harvest of green olives has already enriched us with its bounty and the fresh, green olive oil/juice, a vibrant liquid with hues of grass and green apples. It can´t be exported because of its short life span, so sadly for non-locals we have to enjoy it enormously on your behalf.

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