27/08/2012

Three Cultures Highlights

I already posted the video of Day 1 highlights. so here is Day 2,here is Day 3, and finally Day 4. Hope you all enjoy it.

24/08/2012

Three Cultures Festival

Yesterday our big, four day culture festival began. This is the seventh year, and as its fame grows and spreads, so the crowds get bigger every year. My impression was that last night’s opening day crowd was similar in size to last year’s crowd by the end of the festival. Anyway, so that you can get a flavour of it, I’m attaching a link to a video. Fingers crossed that it works - ¡ Ojalá que funcione ! Link to video

16/08/2012

No Happy Ending This Year.

It is now almost four weeks since Gordon Simm, an experienced walker from North Yorkshire set off into the Sierra Almijara on his third attempt to ‘conquer’ the 1.630m summit, La Cadena. In the past week we have also had to endure the second heatwave of the summer with temperatures hot enough and winds brisk enough to ignite brush fires. If there were any realistic hope that Gordon might emerge from the mountains alive, the past few days must surely have put paid to that hope. Indeed, about a week ago his family were taken by an experienced local guide into the area where he disappeared and were able to see for themselves the enormity of the task facing the searchers; they drew some consolation, we have been told, from the knowledge that if this is indeed his final resting place then he is in a place that he truly loved.

13/08/2012

The Fire Season

Spain has been in the grip of a heatwave for the last few days. The weather map showed a deep red across the whole of Spain with the exception of the strip of land between the Sierra Cantabrica ( the northernmost range of mountains which run from the Pyrenees to Galicia) and the Bay of Biscay; these provinces only merited an orange! Temperatures well into the 40s were not uncommon, although here, near the coast we were spared those extremes, our maximum temperatures being 38 degrees on Saturday and 37 yesterday. Today the heatwave is fading and we only expect a maximum of 32 degrees. A consequence of these high temperatures, especially following a much drier winter than normal, is that fires can break out with alarming ease. At one stage recently the main A7 motorway was closed for a time between Figueres and the French border. Major fires are burning on several islands in the Canaries, and there have been big fires in the Alicante area and on the edge of the Doñana Natural Park, to mention but a few. So it was hardly surprising when yesterday afternoon the scrub around the summit of Cruz de Pinto just outside the village caught fire. Fortunately, Cruz de Pinto comes at the southern edge of a ridge of mountains and is easily visible from Frigiliana and from Nerja, so the emergency services were on the scene very quickly and soon had the blaze under control. Thanks to their efforts it was more of a spectacle than a threat, but it’s also a warning - a carelessly discarded cigarette end or a piece of broken glass from a bottle not taken home is all that is needed at this time of year to spark a flame.

09/08/2012

05/08/2012

Dire Straits

The media continue to be preoccupied by the question of whether Spain will ultimately need a full bail out. It certainly needs something. We are at the beginning of August which is the busiest of the holiday months, the time when local businesses must do well. And this year? In April the large hotel in the centre of the village reopened under new management following an extended period of closure. The new team had a properly worked out business plan and sufficient confidence in it to enter a 5 year lease agreement with the building's owners. Over the next four months they rapidly built up an enviable reputation for quality in both the hotel and its restaurant; accommodation was booked out for August and there were good bookings for later in the year. On 31st July, they closed down. The building's owners are on the verge of bankruptcy at which point the hotel will be repossessed by the bank, leaving the lessees nowhere to trade from. On the same day we met a friend of ours on the way to formally close his shop, and he also told us that the bar/refreshment kiosk in the Parque de Andalucía has closed. The holidaymakers are now swarming into the village but at least three valuable local businesses will not feel the benefit.