El Valle del Rio Nacimiento

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Alboloduy from the mirador

Today we visited a part of Almeria we had never been to before, the valley of the river Nacimiento. We decide to make our way from the top of the valley back towards the coast so headed up the Almeria – Granada motorway and shortly after Gergal took the turning off to Alboloduy. This road twisted and turned down through olive groves and vineyards until  we reached the village of Alboloduy,

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The track to the mirador looking back across to the Ermita

First, we parked across from the village and walked up a track to the mirador looking across to the village to stretch our and the dogs legs.

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The Church and Plaza

Crossing the road to Alboloduy we parked in the car park in front of the church. Last Saturday the village had held its annual Dia de Vendemia, a fiesta to celebrate the wine- making tradition of the area.

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Typical street in Alboloduy

Signs and tiles in the streets indicated to us a walking route through the village and we followed them up the narrow, cobbled streets.

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One of many mechanical mules parked in the village

We must have passed at least six mechanical mules parked in the street. This is now the mode of transport of the camposino. Perhaps they are used here because the streets are so narrow or because their owners brought them out for the weekend fiesta.

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Shelling almonds

This woman was sitting inside her open doorway shelling almonds. We asked her if we could take her photo.

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Inside a traitional cottage

She was happy with this and invited us inside to look at her traditional house and artifacts.

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Looking back down to the valley

We arrived at the top of the village and looked down to the beginning of the valley. As you can see there is no water in the River Nacimiento but there is a wall built along its banks to protect the nearby cortijos from flash floods.

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Restored house at the end of a lane

Back down to the bottom of Alboloduy the space opens out but traditional style of building remains. This looks like a well cared-for property.

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The laundry room 

Yet in front of this house is a traditional lavadero.

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The public laundryy

On the way back to the church square we found this communal laundry area with one of the village women doing her washing.

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La Fuente

Next to this was the village fuente spurting drinking water.

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The park in Santa Cruz

We left Aboloduy and carried on down the valley just a few kilometers to the next village, Santa Cruz de Marchena. The valley is wider here and there are lovely public spaces in front of the village. Here we stopped for a drink outside the Hogar de Pensionistas looking at the campo through the jacaranda trees.

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The church at Santa Cruz de Marchena

The church behind is pretty too.

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Vine covered terraces

We took a walk around the village which is much smaller than Alboloduy but many rural walks were signposted. We did not have time to take any of these but we took a photo of these interesting wooden, vine covered terraces of a row of cottages.

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Traditional Spanish town architecture

We then drove on through Alsodux and stopped at the first and largest village of the valley, Alhabia. This is really a town and there are some fine examples of traditional, Spanish town architecture near the main square.

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Alleycat of Alhabia

Away from the centre the town is a maize of narrow streets but not as pretty as the other villages although the cat population seemed to be large and friendly.

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Plaza Juan Amate

A circular walk took us back down through Plaza Juan Amate.

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The church and main square of Alhabia

Then we finished off with some refreshment in the main square before heading home. We would like to explore more of the valley, particularly the walks and the campo. An excursion for another day.

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La Chanca – The other side of Almeria

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The Alcazaba above La Chanca

This morning I, Digby, took a tour around La Chanca, the old gypsy quarter of Almeria above the fishing port and overlooked by the old Moorish fortress, the Alcazaba.

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Boy with ball

At first it looks very attractive with the colourful houses. This little boy asked me to take his photo, but if you look closely you will note the state of his football. This was my first indication of the poverty in this barrio.

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Typical street scene in La Chanca

As I walked up the hill the streets an buildings became more dilapidated. Old appliances were left outside houses.

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TVs inside, fridges out

In this street even a fridge stood outside the front door yet every house had a satellite dish.

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Another typicall street scene

Seeing me with a camera, I was often asked to take a photo. The children liked posing.

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They asked me to take a photo.

I am not sure why these women asked me!

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Typical La Chanca

Further up at the end of the barrio a passed this pink building with vine, plastic chairs and cats.

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Reining a pony

Above La Chanca I found this man training a pony in a corral.

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Goats above Almeria

He also kept some goats, but there was no evidence of a cortijo, just some shacks and corrals.

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La Chanca from above

This is a good view of La Chanca looking down. The modern city of Almeria can be seen behind the castle.

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South Pacific comes to Las Negras

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Rocio and Natalia outside El Brindi Negro

Summer has officially ended so  El Brindi Negro in Las Negras held an end of season fiesta with a South Pacific theme at lunchtime today. Natalia and Rocio, dressed appropriately, as usual were front of house greeting and serving the public in their normal charming manner.

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Miguel behind the bar

Miguel, our neighbour, as usual was behind the bar.

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Margaret and Rocio

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Margaret and Rocio again

Margaret posed for a couple of photos at the entrance with Rocio.

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Rekes Pandora in South Pacific mode and black wig

Reyes Pandora organised the skirts and garlands which were handed out to the customers.

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Miguel and Rocio

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The whole crew

Here is the whole crew including the DJ.

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Miguel, the owner

Of course we cannot forget the owner, Miguel ….

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Busy in the kitchen

…. working hard with his partner in the kitchen to feed the hungry visitors.

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A great smile

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Friends at a table

Everybody seemed to have a good time whether sitting at the tables….

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Friends at the bar

…. or up at the bar.

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Reyes chatting to a friend

The quirky decor of El Brindi Negro is a great backdrop to the photos.

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Enjoy

We hope you enjoy them.

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A different view of Granada

 

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The Plaza Nueva, Granada not San Pedro, Las Negras

Here are some of  my, Digby, photos of Granada which I took today. First I  spotted this naked hippy taking his rubbish to the bins in the Plaza Nueva in the centre of Granada. By the time I got my cameraa out he was walking away through the shade and crowds. We encounter many such people around Las Negras, in particular San Pedro, but never before in the centre of a large, bustling city.

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Puerta de Los Tristes

I liked the light, colours and composition of this image outside a bar. It tells a story too.

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Old Vespa, Old City

This old vespa with the old buildings also made a good image.

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Market in the Albaicin

At the top of the Albaicin, in this old square, it was matket day. I liked the light and shadows formed by the trees and the group of old people.

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Albaicin Cat

You cannot walk through the Albaicin without speaking to a cat.

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A clash of colours

At the bottom of the Albaicin is a street of colourful shops. In front of one was an equally colourful shopper.

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La Campesina

Finally , by the cathedral, a living statue of a peasant woman. I thought I would include the other figure as I thought he added to the composition and story.

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September Light and Colours

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After the hazy and windy days of August we now have the calm, clear days of September. The photo above, taken Yesterday in the Valle de Rodalquilar looking towards El Playazo, shows the clear light and vibrant colours of this time of year. Also note the arid landscape. Rain during the last three months has been negligible.

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Looking over the beach at San Pedro

Today we walked to San Pedro. Brilliant light and in this first view the green leaves of the banana trees add freshness and color.

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The beach at San Pedro

Although it is the weekend, the beach was uncrowded compared to August.

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Daisy and friend

Daisy made friends with a fox terrier, I have commented on their common ancestry on Facebook.

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Colours of the sea

Here is a view looking towards the other end of the beach. We love the colours of the sea.

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Cala de San Pedro

Walking back we captured this photo of Cala de San Pedro framed by a palm tree.

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Ruta Fotográfica de Los Puertos

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Boats in the fishing port of Almeria in the morning

I, Digby, went to Almeria City this morning to join a photographic group, organized by Jose Campoy, for a walk around the ports of Almeria.

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Fishing in the port

I arrived early and parked, as suggested, in the entrance to the fishing port. I had time to take a couple of photos of the port in the morning light before heading to join the group at the meeting point nearby.

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La Iglesia de San Roque

Our first pause was below the Iglesia de San Roque. This church was built in about 1500 on the site of an old mosque but most of the existing church dates from the 19th Century and suffered damage during the civil war. From below I captured the tower against the clear blue sky.

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La Iglesia de San Roque and the Alcazaba

I shot a better view of the church and the Alcazaba on the hill behind as we entered the port.

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Mountains and macines

We were guided into the commercial port area. This is not open to the public so special permission had been organized to let us in and we were accompanied by a member of the port police. There was not a lot going on in the port on a Sunday morning but some of the machinery made good photos. I thought these chutes alongside the mounds of sand, or is it allum, made a striking image. The cars parked seemed to be covered in it.

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More machinery

This is also an impressive machine.

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Container ship in port

There were not many boats to photograph. Here is a small container ship, colourful against the backdrop of the Alcazaba.

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Tug and scrap metal

This tug in the foreground and the pile of scrap metal looked good against a panorama of Almeria.

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The rig

Further along the quay was moored this large drilling rig.

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Rig, gulls and ferry

A photo of the rig with seagulls on its mooring cable and one of the ferries to Melilla to the right.

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Ferry and castle

Ferry in the port with a great view of the Alcazaba behind.

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El Faro

The group reached the end of the port at the faro.

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The fishing port 

The tour of the commercial port had taken over two hours. When we got back to the entrance the group entered the fishing port where I began my visit. The light had changed since my first photos.

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Fishing boats with the Alcazaba behind

It was lunchtime and the tour was almost over but I left the group to go to the far side of the fishing port as I wanted to get a photo of the fishing boats with the Alcazar a behind.

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Returning with a mate

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The pair of chameleons on our bottom fence

Our chameleon has now appeared on our bottom fence every day for a week. Today she turned up with a mate.

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The female ceawled up our side fence

We know she is a female because, according to research the females display yellow or orange spots during the mating season which is late summer. She left the male on the bottom fence and climbed the side fencing.

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Closely followed by her mate

He soon followed her though.

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Amongst the boygainvillea

They then settled down in the bougainvillea. Chameleons are solitary animals and only pair up during the mating season.

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