On Sunday, following The Wolf's recommendation, we set off in the car to have a look at a horse and some feed. This meant taking the road towards the interior of the province, somewhere up beyond Sorbas and the wonderfully-named Uleila del Campo.
The road went from motorway to fast straight two-lane to wiggly one-lane to something that I hadn't seen for about forty years - a thin asphalt wash on what once must have been a track. The village of El Pilar was so small, it apparently only had two British families living there (one of whom runs a restaurant, El Albar, which I must properly visit one day).
But we had come to see a man about a horse. The horse in question is a mare of six years and she has never been ridden. The deal would include a shed-full of avenate (oat-hay). I guess you wouldn't need the one without the other.
The mare is called Zaha. I have no idea how you pronounce that. We examined her teeth and gave her a hug - she seemed very tranquil - and wondered how to get the bales out of the shed and down a very narrow path. We'll give you a call, we said.
The owner of the steed explained the way towards the coast - avoiding Sorbas and taking the road - some road! - to Cariatiz. This is a village where we had been once before - a pair of American artists had spent a season there and invited us to their exhibition. She painted on canvas and he painted on rocks, which he then turned into a maze through the nearby dry riverbed. All very vanguardista. There was a village fiesta the day we were there, and a tiny but proficient band played acoustic as we hopped about with a glass of local wine.
From there, after the usual three turns around the village looking for the exit (why would you want to leave?), we headed out on a road signed for Sorbas, but then found the turning for the motorway, civilization, and an expensive lunch in Turre (next door but one to a restaurant where an Englishman was singing Frank Sinatra to playback).
Expensive? Well, it cost almost as much as the horse.