Thursday, June 18, 2015

Back at El Boticario

Trawling back to last September here on Spanish Shilling, I wrote about the Parque El Boticario outside Almería City in the Los Llanos de La Cañada (near the Riding Club). This is a 14Ha park designed by the Conserjería del Medio Ambiente, stocked with all the different flora of the province ('1.300 árboles, 2.000 arbustos y 75.000 plantas'), with a duck-pond, 'Moorish gardens', children's park and other wonders. The whole thing, built with European funds, was hastily offered on completion to either the Diputación or the City of Almería. Both declined the kind offer.
So Medio Ambiente (a bloated and largely useless organisation - how could it be otherwise?) was left with the job of maintenance, gardening and watering. They naturally dropped the ball. The park last September was dry and in a sorry state - some of those senior's exercise machines which every village and town feels obliged to buy and leave dotted around, were rusted out. Some overflowing dustbins from a Sunday party. Some dead trees and bushes, some infected plants (chumbo, palm trees and olive, indifferently attended.
A second visit a couple of weeks ago, after a few spring rains (a few), and the Boticario looked a little better. There's a large bar/restaurant, evidently rented out privately, on the edge of the park. Perhaps it pays for a gardener or two.
The park is open - except on Mondays - and it's a nice and of course quiet place to visit, but don't expect to see the maintenance and respect it deserves... 
Later:  I returned a third time later in June, and walked around the higher part of the park, where the shrubs are ever drier. Then, on leaving the park out of the gate - just in front I found the Bar Álamo (it means a poplar tree). Great air-conditioning, and the owner is an accomplished artist with some of her pictures up on the walls.

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