Sunday 27 September 2009

Spain :: Los Animales

Canillas de Albaida has a population around 700, but we saw more evidence of its 4-legged inhabitants than its bipeds.


Most of the cats and dogs roam free, despite strict laws about leashes, tags and microchips. Of course, when was the last time you met a law-abiding canine? They just don't seem to be bothered, so why should the humans mind?



This dog was very friendly, and had a nice way of biting to show how much he liked you. Shortly after this picture, he set his teeth on S's t-shirt and the smiles faded quickly.



This little dog was tiny - barely bigger than a chihuahua - and was trying so hard to run with the big boys but just couldn't keep up.



Most of the houses in Canillas were named after girls (Casa Nina, CasAnnette) but this one reminded us of our buddy Hank: 'hi, marmot!'



After a particularly long, hot day of walking, we trudged up the goat path back to the hotel, just in time to see these show-offs bound out of their hut and prance away bleating down the hill in mere seconds. Sheesh.



We bumped into our host, Gustavo (in the glasses), escorting his daughter and a friend on a pony through the neighboring town of Cómpeta one evening just after sunset. We also saw a variety of horses, donkeys and mules in the area.



This poor kitty eagerly chased a bird up a tree outside the Alhambra, and then could not figure out how to catch it. For a minute it also looked like she might not make it back down again - she did, but not gracefully. Two French women sitting on the bench next to ours shared our laughter and gasps as we watched the scene play out.



Fish pond in the Alhambra. They were quite well-behaved until a little girl started feeding them bread.



Perhaps the least expected animals we saw - these sad ostriches live behind two sets of chain linked fences in a compound that is barely big enough for a few chickens.


They are kept next to a construction zone on the path that connects Canillas to Cómpeta, so we saw them a few times during the week. The female ostrich had lost most of her feathers (were they plucked and sold? was she molting? sick?) - it was quite disturbing. The male obligingly posed for pictures when he wasn't poking his beak through the fence and defending his territory.


Not photographed were the lizards, birds, bats, grasshoppers, wasps, and flies that we also saw. Apparently our guide saw a snake on one of the trails as well - is it any wonder that I stayed toward the back?

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