I have been isolated in my little finca in Andalucía since the 14th of March and during this time my wife has been staying with her father in London. They tell us to social distance from one another and recommend 2 metres but we have managed to extend that by over 1000 miles!

If you are going to have an extended stint in solitary confinement you could do a lot worse than have it here. I have two dogs that I have been permitted to walk during this time and we have enjoyed daily treks along our local circuit and have witnessed together the arrival of the bee eaters have seen the campo bursting into life.

Just recently, in the last week or so, people have been given limited freedom to go out and about, while continuing to keep their distance. The dogs and I now come across the odd walker or cyclist or jogger.

I was worried that prolonged isolation might be very destabilising for my what might already be my pretty tenuous grip on reality and that that my mental health might deteriorate. To be honest it nearly happened. It was, as they say, a very close shave. A particularly low moment came when I noticed that there were a few crumbs underneath  the coffee table and in a moment of weakness I thought I might actually go and get the vacuum cleaner. Even worse, and I am rather ashamed to admit this, one Saturday morning I went to the cleaning cupboard and got out some stuff and cleaned the bathroom. Clearly this couldn´t go on!

Mercifully I was saved from descent into the low depths of house tidying by some happy developments from the government. As mentioned before we were being unshackled at least a little but it would be liberation enough to allow me to return to the my local stretches of river.

This all happened about a week ago and I have been happily traipsing off whenever I had a few hours free of work. You should see the rivers now. They have been topped up nicely by the rains we saw outside our windows during our confinement. The Río Grande is running clear and has plenty of fish in it and so too does the Guadalhorce but it is pretty coloured making them difficult to spot.

These two rivers are full of character and during even a short walk you can venture between broad muddy shallow and narrow rapidly flowing sections. There spills and pools and braids. You crunch over gravel, sink into mud and scratch yourself with thorns. And all of this makes for very interesting fly fishing.

The best thing is that you have the river to yourself. Footprints, if you come across them will have been your own from days previous. These are strange times. The world is full of worries but they are not on the riverbank and it is very comforting to be reminded of this.


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