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After only 12 days our Defender was finally „repaired“ and a first test drive was successful. It was already 1:00 pm when we managed to leave Mataro to drive to Valencia. Our idea to stay in the vincinity of Valencia proofed to be difficult as most of the hotels do not accept pets or speak enough English to ask wether  pets are accepted. The one that Camilla had found sounded good but when we got there it was right down town and did not have a parking space suitable for our oversized Defender. We finally managed to find a nice business hotel south of Valencia that accepted pets up to 20 Kg. All of sudden Joiz  lost 3.5 Kgs, so there was no problem.

Sometime life takes funny turns. As a member of the EU-funded Visualmedia Project, I had met Pekka, who was working at the University of Trondheim, a supporting project member. As it turned out, Pekka is spending 6 months in Alicante to escape the cold and dark Finnish winter. As Alicante was on our way we quickly agreed to meet for coffee on Tuesday morning. Once we got there we immediately liked the city. A beautiful promenade lined with palm trees is stretching along the harbor and lots of cafe’s and restaurants make it hard to take decide which one to choose. Pekka and his friend Hannu greeted us like long time friends and we sat down at a lively cafe near the market hall for breakfast. The 2 hours that we spend together flew by much to fast, but we had to leave because we didn’t want to arrive in El Pilar near Lubrin too late.

Once we got off  the highway and drove towards Lubrin the landscape changed immediately. The countryside reminded me of Southern California and Lubrin could go well as Mexican Village.

Our place for the next couple of days, the Casona Granados turned out to be perfect hideaway. We immediately felt welcome and our room is a blast. As we were the only guests on Tuesday night, the cook did the  delicious 3 course menu just for us. Clayton and Rachel, the owners of this stylish boutique hotel and it’s restaurant Albar did everything to make our stay perfect. With their help we even managed to return the (not so old but broken) turbocharger by courier back to Germany. Hopefully we will be reimbursed by the German dealer.

El Pilar, the small village approx. 7 Kms west of Lubrin is a conglomeration of a handful of houses, many of which are for sale. This small village suffers from the same problem that many villages in the countryside have. Young people are leaving for the big cities  due to a lack of jobs while only the old remain. After their death there houses remain empty. Trends in technology and our  working society, will hopefully bring back younger people as these villages offer everything we lack in the cities. Fresh air, fresh locally produced food and affordable housing. All it takes is guts and fast internet.

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