No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check. Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain. That was the easy part.
Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials—running water, electricity, an access road. And then there's the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave. A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entrÉe into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can diminish. Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way—among them farmers, including the ever-resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists—Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Driving Over Lemons|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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Driving Over Lemons
'Well, this is no good, I don't want to live here!' I
said as we drove along yet another tarmac road behind a row
of whitewashed houses. 'I want to live in the mountains, for heaven's sake, not in the suburbs of some town in a valley.'
'Shut up and keep driving,' ordered Georgina, the woman sitting beside me. She lit another cigarette of strong black tobacco and bathed me in a cloud of smoke.
I'd only met Georgina that afternoon but it hadn't taken her long to put me in my place. She was a confident young Englishwoman with a peculiarly Mediterranean way of seeming at ease with her surroundings. For the last ten years she had been living in the Alpujarras, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, south of Granada, and she had carved out a niche for herself acting as an intermediary between the farmers who wanted to sell their cortijos in the hills and move to town, and the foreigners who wanted to buy them. It was a tough job but no one who saw her ironing out deals with the coarsest peasant or arguing water rights with the most stubborn bureaucrat could doubt she was the woman for it. If she had a weakness at all it was in her refusal to suffer fools and ditherers.
'Do you bully all your clients like this?' I protested.
'No, just you. Left here.'
Obediently I turned the wheel and we shrugged off the last houses of Ã“rgiva, the market town where I'd been adopted by my agent. We bumped onto a dirt track and headed downhill towards the river.
'Where are the mountains?' I whined.
Georgina ignored me and looked at the groves of oranges and olives on either side of the track. There were white houses covered in the scrags of...