Landscape

We drove on up beyond the village this morning towards Lubrin, another small town high up on the sierra where olives are pressed into oil and rendered into smoothly sublime soap at the Almazara Fabrica on the edge of the pueblo. Lubrin is where the utterly raucous annual Fiesta de Pan takes place, ostensibly celebrating (if that’s the right word) St Sebastian (twice slain, poor chap), but actually an excuse to throw a lot of bread around, eat, drink and be exceedingly merry. We went a couple of years ago and a post about the fiesta is in the Spain...

There’s a canopy that runs right across the front of the cortijo. That’s the place to enjoy the views, shelter from the breezes and catch the maximum heat available from the winter sun. Today, however, the wind is more easterly than usual so, I’m sitting on an old wooden bench up against the west-facing wall of the wee house, shielding me perfectly from the cool air wafting off the sea a few miles away. I don’t often sit here and I’m struck by the completely different soundscape just a few feet from the main terrace. The small paved area in front...

We were in Almeria again yesterday, picking up my daughter, Natasha, from the airport there. It’s a shiny new airport where very little happens. Yesterday five arrivals and, I suppose, about the same number of departures, was the total air traffic activity for the day. The mind boggles at the economics of this enterprise: perhaps it’s busier in the summer; maybe there are cargo flights I didn’t see.  But still, it’s a puzzle. I was in the passenger seat for the journey back along the A7.  Ample views and time to let the mind wander. There’s plenty to see besides distant...

Yesterday we went to Almeria. It’s an easy 50-mile journey - the A7 takes you there in about as many minutes. A quiet dual carriageway, no tolls, gentle curves, lofty bridges carrying you across deep barrancas where rivers flowed once upon a (very long) time. After 20 miles you reach a vast plain lying between the Sierra Alhamilla (inland) and the Sierra de Gata (on the coast). Alhamilla is a big sierra, represented on the physical map in mid-brown shades denoting higher altitude. Its peak, further inland and out of sight, is 1397 metres – that’s 50 metres more than...