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      August 2011
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Extremaduran cherriesExtremadura is a wide, empty place, but full of surprises. Suddenly the vast skies are dotted with birds of prey, drifting lazily. You see far more raptors here than in Andalucia – it’s as if an invisible glass wall is keeping them in Extremadura, circling endlessly like a giant mobile. We are seeing mainly kites, both black and red, but eagles too – we’ve identified the Booted and the Short-toed, although Linda has banned me from driving and trying to look through binoculars at the same time. Read the full post
Posted: 17/08/2011 07:04:57 by | with 2 comments



Iberico ham, SpainIn the fourth and final episode of Rick Stein's Spain on BBC2, Rick travelled through the Extremadura region, famous for pimentón (smoked hot Spanish paprika) and Spain's most celebrated ham, Iberico, before driving on to Spain's most romantic city, Seville; one minute eating lunch with an old man in his allotment hut, the next dining with a Marqués and Marquesa in their elegant country house. All share Rick's love of growing, preparing, cooking and eating their own produce. And it shows... 

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Posted: 09/08/2011 08:04:03 by | with 1 comments



Columbus shipNow we are meandering up through Extremadura, that region of Spain which, despite having absolutely no coast, provided the majority of Conquistadors who set sail to conquer the Americas. They were motivated by something other than sea-faring experience – and that was dire poverty. This region is exactly what its name says in Spanish – extreme and hard.
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Posted: 08/08/2011 08:08:10 by | with 2 comments



hamsOnly an hour and a half into the journey and, just past Seville, we already have to make a detour. We head over to the Inntravel holiday base in the Aracena Sierra, where we need to look for a new hotel. Our destination presents a furry, bumpy landscape – rounded hills covered in cork oaks. But, of course, like all oaks, the cork trees produce acorns which are ideal for the Iberian black pigs to feed on.
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Posted: 05/08/2011 16:55:47 by | with 2 comments



AndaluciaAs we wind down off our mountains, avoiding goats on the road, and set off across the sunflower-ed and sun-baked plains towards Seville, wishing the van had air conditioning, my mind drifts back to the last time I drove north across this end of Europe. That time it wasn’t to Iceland so much as because of Iceland – that was when the volcano blew...
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Posted: 05/08/2011 09:01:47 by | with 2 comments



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