About one kilometre down the valley towards Benissa is a lavender garden that is open to the public only on Sundays. Being a fan of the lavender fields of Provence, Francine was keen to stick her nose into this one. There was even talk of a lily pond so, under clear skies, off we set shortly after it had opened (10:00 AM).
The approach road was narrow but a sheer delight, with attractive haciendas, apparently without the normally ubiquitous barking dogs of Spain, overlooking the Val de Pop with a backdrop of scrubby hills. We are, of course, very early in the season and, somewhat unsurprisingly, once inside the garden there turned out to be precious little lavender in evidence. Most of what I saw I’d have described as
weeds wild flowers. With this and a sign asking visitors to present themselves at the kitchen in order to cough up their 3, it is probably best described as being very informal.
The few small water features provided no entertainment at all but, while I was waiting for Francine to finish playing with the lack of lavender, I was entertained by another Sardinian Warbler singing at me from a nearby tree.
Looking for some not-too-distant afternoon entertaining following lunch, we decided to head back down to Las Salinas, what I incorrectly tend to refer to as the lagoon, in Calpe. say “incorrectly” because it is actually a salt flat so I imagine the water is at best brackish. Curious, therefore, that we had found a pair of Red-veined Darters there on our previous visit. Calpe is usually a couple of degrees warmer than our valley, being lower. Not so today, though, it was about the same temperature and considerably more windy. To cut a short story even shorter, we found absolutely nothing.
Somewhat deflated after what we considered to have been an unsuccessful Sunday, we made our way back for a consolation litre or so of rosado.
In the immortal words of Dick Dastardly, “double drat!”