THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Homage to Catalonia
Back in France

Spanish wine




I am in La Priorat because an old friend invited me. We first met when he arrived in Poland from Canada in 1999. I was his first professional contact there. He has been following my photographic progress on Facebook and kindly thought of me when one of his businesses – a vineyard in Spain – needed photographs for its marketing.

Saturday and Sunday have mostly been dedicated to a photoshoot around the winery and estate. The scenery is spectacular, it's fascinating to learn about the science and art of winemaking and I love the winding roads through this rocky landscape. 

This morning I took a break to visit the spectacular mountain village of Siurana. The drive there was slow (it's mostly single track road with a speed limit of 30 or 40 kph that only a knowledgable local would dare to break) but pleasurable. I drove there with the roof down in the Spanish sunshine and it was close to my idea of Paradise. The road is steep and winding, gradually climbing up and around the mountain on which the beautiful little medieval village stands.

The ruined fortress there was the last Islamic enclave to fall in Catalonia and the 800th anniversary of this happy event is commemorated by a cross. I spent a happy couple of hours wandering the narrow medieval streets before returning to my friend's place, I took his sons out for the ride in Speranza that I promised them yesterday. Then we headed out on a 4x4 buggy to climb the slopes of the vineyard to make external shots of the property.

My friend and his family are on their way back to Barcelona, where they now live. I am spending a quiet evening in my hotel, writing this post and catching up with corresponding before settling down to make my "selects" from the hundreds of photographs and post-process them in readiness for delivery to my "client".

Tomorrow, I am heading to France and plan to overnight in Narbonne, a town I have never visited.


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Rennes-le-Chateau is interesting in itself, but the narrow drive up the steep hill proves equally as interesting in a different way!!!


If you are serious about wanting that picture on your wall click the email link in the sidebar and I will be happy to give you a link where you can download the full (enormous) file for printing. I love my commenters – they give a point to blogging – so let's call this a reader special offer.


Thank you kind sir. I have devoted lots of time to my photography since I gave up practising law and I strive for professional competence but without complicating my tax return with fees. My "client" was pleased with the results of my first commercial shoot so the pressure is off now and I can relax and have even more fun. The drive today was wonderful.

Thanks for the tourist tip but sadly I am already in France. Spain has fantastic motorways!

barnacle bill

If these are just a few of the photographs you have taken Mr Paine you are to be commended upon your skills as a photographer.

You certainly seem to have the "eye" for a good photograph, I like your composition and you were certainly blessed with the weather. The third picture is one I would love to have on the walls here at Baranacle Towers. It just captures the essence of those small Spanish villages.

Perhaps on the way to Narbonne a little detour via Rennes-le-Chateau?


The sky looks perfect for visiting a mountain village in late September.

I like the stone details in the wall and the path in your third photo. I am reminded that I have been recommended to visit this area of Spain.


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