La Chanca – The other side of Almeria


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.


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.


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.


TVs inside, fridges out

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


Another typicall street scene

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


They asked me to take a photo.

I am not sure why these women asked me!


Typical La Chanca

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


Reining a pony

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


Goats above Almeria

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


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.


About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live pn a small farmer the town of Alhabia in the Alpujarra Almeriense in the Province of Almeria. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy portraiture and figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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