One of my neighbours, Barbara, cooks every day for most of the people in the campo on her outside cooking stove called a fogon. Here you can see the fogon – the wood goes on the table and the cooking pot above. It gives the food a lovely smokey taste and obviously saves money as we are surrounded by forests, so the wood comes free and it saves paying for gas.
At the front right of the fogon you can see a smaller version known as an anafe, this uses charcoal in case you run out of wood, and is also portable so it can be used anywhere. The big green ball at the back is a tinaco, or water storage tank.
She lives in a beautiful wooden house with a largish garden. The front is grass and trees and the back is full of fruit trees, including a hot chilli pepper bush which is fabulous for me so that I can have fresh chillis for cooking curries and Thai food.
The little windows open up, and there are floaty curtains inside – exactly the same as the ones I have. Obviously Turkish brothel curtains are all the rage.
I sat down for my lunch yesterday, chicken, rice and beans together with salad, and then the man who owns the little colmado came proudly over and offered me – wait for it – crispy fried turtle dove. He had shot them the day before. I politely declined.
As the outside eating area was full up, I was eating inside at the dining room table and I was joined by a beautiful green lizard.
Some of the insects here are really pretty, such as lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, but a couple of days ago, I had a thick sweater on as it was cold and I felt something crawling up my back. I took off my jumper and there sitting inside the jumper was the biggest scorpion I have seen here.
Luckily it didn't sting me as I have been told that their stings can be quite nasty. According to Barbara, there are quite a few around and you must always shake out your clothes before putting them on. Lesson learnt.