Back home and drinking one of those beers from the Aguila people that you have to turn for a moment upside-down. Gassy. Urppph.
Alicia and me had been to Velefique this morning, a small village of 300 souls up in the hills beyond Tabernas (you remember - where they shot all the spaghetti cowboy films). The village is due to have its three-day-long fiesta starting on Monday, a Moors and Christians effort, and we were to supply the four horses and skilled and costumed riders. Not me, no, I'll be either in the bar, if it's open, or the chiringuito: the temporary tin-bar in the square next to what looks like a pop-group platform. Oh yes, it'll be noisy.
The councillor in charge of fiestas is called Ramón. He showed us where we could keep the horses, where the water was and so on (Alicia will sleep up there Monday and Tuesday). I complemented him on his pueblo, which apparently can trace its history back to the Romans.
|They've already started on the decorations|
So noisy indeed was the fiesta last week in next-door Senés, where we had brought our four intrepid riders and horses for another Moors and Christians hoopla, that the bar-owner and wife had upped stakes and closed for the season (only two days this time - the village is even smaller). No one likes to overwork, I agree, but closing up for the fiesta? The only place that served drinks in Senés during the thrash was the estanco, the cigarette shop who luckily has a side-line in beer.
Well, and the chiringuito as well - probably the same crew, I shall have to have a look at them. Their old-bit-of-pig sandwich was delicious.
Fiestas (or ferias) in Spain often overlap the single day saint's celebration (Almería, which kicks up its heels from the 19th carries on until the 27th, inclusive. Well, since the last day is a Saturday, we might manage a merrie and boozy luncheon on the Sunday, down at the playa, why not?).
But first, Velefique. I was reminded of a pretty village inland from Mojácar called Bédar, when my dad had bought three houses in 1966 for ten thousand pesetas (sixty euros). I opened a bar there for a few months sometime in the mid-seventies before deciding that hard work was not for me. I called it El Aguila, the eagle (there was a brand of smokes called El Aguila in those days, plus of course the beer. Marketing, I figured). Fifty years later, and Bédar is now a British colony where people complain about the dog-poop and have tea-parties.
I'll check to see how much a house costs in Velefique during the fiesta next week.
Assuming the bar remains open.