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Travelling Spain with Two Dogs & a Parrot

With a good internet connection, I can work remotely from anywhere, so my husband Rob & I took advantage of this & are travelling Spain with our pets & everything we own packed into an estate car with roof-box.

Fun with the Pool Summer 2018
15 August 2019 @ 19:45

We had wanted to travel & explore Europe, so in the 9 months September 2017 to June 2018, through choice, through Spain, Portugal & then Spain again, we'd stayed in 7 different homes.  Then we settled for 7 months near Alhaurin el Grande, Andalucia, in our rustic rural house, full of character & with a pool, of sorts!

It was our first summer in Southern Europe & I really enjoyed my daily swims, both to cool down & also to get some exercise when it was too hot to do much else.

Then the pool water turned green.

This happened far more quickly than expected.

The pool was a former deep concrete water storage 'tank', seen outside many rustic residences, but with a tiled floor & nicely painted sides so it was quite pleasant.  However, without a pump, a floating container of chlorine tablets was required.

I'd understood from Eva, the estate agent, that the water may last up-to a month before needing a change, but was disappointed when it became dirty within three weeks.  One day it was a little murky when I swam, with an increased amount of muck on the tiled floor.  The following day I hesitated before entering, but then the heat drove me in.

Rob then asked about the chlorine tablets which I hadn't actually checked for a week & they were all gone!  The next day the water was positively green & would need changing.

Belen landlady informed me that I could empty the pool at anytime by turning open the new outflow valve as the water would go straight onto their land & water the citrus trees.  This I did in the morning, hoping I'd be able to begin refilling later in the day.

Disapointingly, by the evening, the pool wasn't fully empty, but being impatient, I got in to begin cleaning anyway.  No-way was I getting my bare feet in the filth, so I popped on my wellies.

That was a first - swimsuit & wellies laugh

Lack of daylight & biting insects reluctantly forced me to stop sweeping the green water towards the drain - it hadn't speeded-up the emptying process anyway sad

I had to work, the next day, but afterwards in the evening, I finished brushing down the tiles & sides of the pool, rinsing out with the hose.  It was actually fun playing in the water, but not something I wanted to-do every three weeks!

I attached the hose & delightedly turned on the tap & watched about 50% of the water flow out of the hose into the pool.

The other 50% squirted out of the sides of the connector on the tap & into the sink & down the drain.  This had happened when we filled the pool the first time & we'd placed a bucket under the tap to collect the run-off, chucking it into the pool when full.

It only took nine minutes to fill a bucket.

I timed it.

I'd been working from cafes in Alhaurin el Grande during the first pool filling, relying on Rob to collect & tip the water.  However, I wanted to continue the fill overnight & certainly didn't want to unecessarily waste any water.  Tightening the hose connector didn't work so I looked & thought & fiddled & eventually we came-up with a cobbled-together solution.

The foil windscreen sun shield directed the water into the paddling pool & it didn't take long to fill.  By morning, I had lots of water to bucket out of the paddling pool & tip into the swimming pool.

The pool took ages to fill & seemed such an extravagence.  I knew I'd have to pay for the water after three months & had no idea of the cost. But then I told myself, I was swimming every day so how much would that have cost in fuel, time, parking & entrance fees to a gym, municipal pool, reservoir or the sea?  The green waste had watered my landlady's trees in such a dry season, but it still seemed extravagent & much more than a mere luxury.

The kitchen tap dripped so I caught that in a bowl too.  Woody parrot soon added the plop/drip sound to his repertoire, hearing it across the yard from his favourite perch on the front door.  In 24 hours, I could easily capture 3-4 buckets full which either watered the pot plants, or was chucked into the pool to counteract the evaporation.

The swimming pool took a full day to empty & two days & a night to fill to just above waist height.  I'd have loved it deeper, but really couldn't justify the extra water when it was deep enough to swim.

I vowed not to let the chlorine tablets dissolve completely & was curious to see how long the water would last, remaining clear & clean enough for my swims.

Five weeks later & the water did begin to look slightly cloudy, but as we'd had visitors for a week, there'd been a few extra bodies in there.


I hoped it would manage for a while longer...

Like 2


Dave11 said:
17 August 2019 @ 14:20

Great blog. All good fun...

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