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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.
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All Provenced out? Then head further south this year, to the breathtaking mountainous climes of Andalucia. Just don't be squeamish about driving over lemons.
Chris Stewart, skilled sheep-shearer and sometime Genesis drummer, took one look at the Alpujarr´s, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and decided that's where he wanted to be. This is the story of his adventures coming to terms with the terrain, the lifestyle and, of course, the locals, who possess all the rugged, homespun charm you'd expect. Stewart soon discovers all the hidden foibles of his bargain purchase, and spends the following year(rendered here in detail) installing the little luxuries of life like, say, water.However, just when you're worrying that all this might degenerate into a rose-tinted "Englishman finds nature" idyll, Chris's wife enters the fray. Nonsense-free, straight-talking and relentlessly unsentimental, Ada should be a required resource for all travel writers. Ada gets bored with the fake machismo of pig-killing, Ada sees through the selfless "help" of the natives, Ada calls a peasant a peasant. With her on board, Stewart has the perfect counterbalance to his declared optimism, and Driving Over Lemons becomes a loving but clear-sighted encomium, economically and wittily written, to a wonderful part of the world. --Alan Stewart Review:
"Take half a cup of Bill Bryson, mix with three tablespoons of Peter Mayle, then add just a pinch of Monty Python, and what you get is Driving Over Lemons."- Chicago Tribune"A wonderful antidote to...modern electronic life. I love this book."-Peter Mayle, author of A Year in Provence "This funny book is required reading for anyone who has ever dreamed of taking up the pastoral life in a foreign country."- Travel & Leisure "The ability to write hilarious travelogues... may well be a national characteristic [of the English]. It's certainly possessed by Chris Stewart."- The New York Times Book Review
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