Mad Dogs and Englishmen…and Irishwomen…

Yesterday started with Stan doing a bit of watery work at a friend’s cortijo, and then we headed off to the coast as our Texty Teen wanted to see her ‘boy friend’, who we are not allowed to call her boyfriend, or share or like or comment or, well, anything, for fear of being deleted, blocked, banished. Like all peace loving parents we merely nod, agree, and drive.

Getting to Smell-Ejido early, I went and had a haircut,  performed by a slightly  – but nicely – crazy lady who did a great job considering the material she had to work with – it’s difficult to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I have her card and will return.

Having seen Texty Teen safely there, we mooched on alone to Almería city, to visit the brilliant provisions market and buy a picnic lunch.

This, the new decision for jollies and general days out. Fed up to the back teeth and tastebuds of bad restaurant food and slop filled menu del dia meals we have resolved to picnic as long as the weather is nice enough, and eat the food we really like.

This week we went for complete opposites when it came to trips – a couple of days in Guadix passing the Puerta de Ragua at 2000 metres and getting close to the snow-covered sierras, and yesterday a desert trip to Tabernas and the area around it.

As soon as you mention Tabernas, folk think of Mini Hollywood, but we haven’t ventured there yet – we were interested in the immediate area though – there’s not a lot of info on the net and I thought it might make a good article for Spain Holiday.

Just beofre Tabernas there’s a motorway restaurant – we stopped there and were quickly thrown out again – apparently it’s the film set for a new Claudius film, an English/Italian production. We didn’t leave until we had at least wheedled this information. Terribly posh trailers too, go down to Restaurante Alfaro if you also want to hassle the security guard. 🙂

We walked to the top where the castle lies, smiling uneasily at a couple of dodgy looking Gypsies and taking their photo on request. There’s a great view from there of the rather miserable town grown rich by the film industry of the 60’s and 70’s, for a few dollars more, it might be improved – but it’s all a bit square, boxy, lacking in personality. A bit meh.

Back down in the 35 degree heat and high humidity and we drove a bit then went through a tunnel to a track. Stan got out to take a photo of a ‘lovely finca with potential’ (heap of stones) whilst I panted, wheezed, and drank the last of the water. I noticed a couple of puppies wandering up to him and tired at that point I looked away in the other direction.

Falling over an indignant viper who quickly slithered off, Stan turned to find 20 eyes trained on him. 10 hungry dogs were eyeing up English Roast lunch. He moved faster than the snake and back into the car…I’m sure they were just being friendly. 🙂

We wandered a bit more further on, the old film locations make an interesting stop – you forget for a minute this isn’t actually the Wild West – just the pretence. But it is an extreme place, all the same, and worth a trip. Just bring a bone or ten.