Almócita – Pueblo de Grafiti


Fondon, Fuente Victoria, Laujar de Andarax and the Sierra Nevada

Yesterday morning we drove up to Laujar de Andarax to enjoy the scenery of La Alpujarra in the lovely autumn sunshine. Here is a photo we took on our way of Fondon with Fuente Victoria and Laujar de Andarax behind and the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the distance.


Fuente Victoria

Here is a photo of Fuente Victoria we took on the way back. We normally take all our photos on our DSLR camera but we took this on our new iPad to see how the camera on it worked – not bad.


Buildings near the entrance to Almócita

We decided to turn in to the village of Almócita, near Padules, on our way back as it is one of the very few places we had yet to visit. At the entrance to the village we saw these old buildings brightly painted.


Painted banner on wall

When we walked around the village we noticed that many of the houses and walls were covered with creative graffiti and/or had poems about friendship, peace and Utopia written on them.


Painted walls

Some were quite charming ….

More grafiti

…. and others more exotic. The Grafiti must be recent, some works are dated 2016, but the village has an old history going back to the Moors.

Plaza de Libertad

Almócita is a typical Alpujarran village of little over 200 inhabitants. Although, like all the towns and villages, it has its own character. In the centre is a pretty little square, Plaza de Libertad.

Sitting in the square

Here the old people like to sit and pass the time of day. This photo was also taken with the iPad.

Street in Almócita

This is a typical, narrow cobbled street alongside the church with attractive houses down the other side.

Old door with jasmine

We liked this old door with jasmine growing up the side.

Village bus stop

Even the village bus stop has its charm.

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Jardín Botánico de Terque



Jardín Botánico de Terque

Yesterday morning we walked from our cortijo up the Rio Andarax past Terque and crossed the main road to take a track, Camino de la Cañada, which led through the valley to the hills behind. The route we took came out above Terque at the Jardín Botánico.


Jardín Botánico de Terque

This is a lovely public space with plants typical of Almeria, aromatic and ornamental plants.


Picnic area

Plenty of space is provided for people to come up here to relax and bring a picnic.


Sierra de Gador

There are also superb views. From this ornamental compass, embedded in the ground with slates and pebbles, you can see the Sierra de Gador.


Looking towards Bentarique and Illar

This view looks across the villages of Bentarique and Illar towards the Sierra Nevada.



From the other side of the Jardín there are excellent views of the village of Terque.


Jardín Botánico de Terque

It was certainly a good morning to take photos with the autumn colours and lovely light.

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Los Millares


The first of the burial mounds. Visitor centre is the white building on the left. Alhama de Almeria and Sierra de Gador behind.

We visited the copper age settlement and necropolis, Los Millares, last week. It is located just 10km from our home and 18km from Almeria City and the coast. There was a settlement here for about 1,000 years between 3,200 and 2,200BC. It is a stunning location on a plateau above the Rio Andarax and Rambla de Huéchar with views of 6 mountain ranges. To the south there are glimpses of the sea and the Sierra Cabrera and Sierra del Cabo de Gata. To the east are the Sierra de Alhamilla and Sierra de Los Filabres, to the west the Sierra de Gador and to the north the Sierra Nevada. A perfect site to defend.


`indalo Man

We dowsed the burial mounds and found that they were all built at points of underground magnetic activity. This is in common with most ancient burial sites. Divining was very important in these times to search for water and metals and we have a theory that the symbol of Indalo Man, found in a cave in another part of Almeria province and dating from these times, could be of a diviner, the arc being his divining rod and not a rainbow, as is surmised.


Part of the settlement showing the entrance and fortification walls.

The excavations of the settlement reveal stone walls of fortifications, workshops and wattle and daub dwellings.


The walls of dwellings and workshops

Not all the site has been excavated but what has been uncovered gives an excellent impression of the size and complexity of the settlement.


Looking down from Los Millares to the Rio Andarax. Sierra de Alhamilla behind.

From the edge of the settlement you can look down on the Rio Andarax. The river was navigable to this point from the coast at this time before the estuary became silted up. The inhabitants would have been able to trade from here and the river would have provided irrigation for crops.


Reconstruction showing fortification walls, dwelling and workshops.

Nearby the authorities have built a reconstruction to show what part of the settlement would have looked like when there was a community living here.


A mock-up of a copper age interior

The wattle and daub dwellings and workshops have been furnished to show how the inhabitants lived 5,000 years ago.


A plan of the settlement in the visitor’s centre.

The visitor’s centre contains a selection of artefacts from the site and a description of how man lived here. There are items of stone, copper and pottery on display. Also interesting is the agriculture of the time. As well as corn, they grew broad beans, olives and grapes much the same as they do in this area today. The site is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, 1000 – 1400.

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In the hills behind Alhabia


The Rambla from the Rio Andarax with the bridge under the A1075

For our long morning walk last Sunday we followed the Rio Andarax downstream from below our cortijo and joined the Alhabia road, A1075, shortly after the junction with the AL3407. It is easy to see where to leave the river as a rambla leads up from the river and under a road bridge.


The AL3407 climbs through the pine woods.

We walked down the road to the junction and then up the AL3407 through the pine woods. This is a very quiet road and we encountered hardly any traffic. Our intention was to walk up this pleasant mountain road till we found a track that would take us back to Alhabia over the hills.


The Sierra de Gador through the pines

From the road there are some lovely views of the Sierra de Gador looking through the pines.


The track off the road with Daisy in the shade.

After walking uphill for about 2km we found the track we were looking for on the left where the road makes a hairpin bend.


Looking up La Alpujarra to the Sierra Nevada. Blanquita, Margaret, Bobby and Daisy on track.

As we walked out of the pine woods the countryside changes and becomes more arid. From this altitude we could see right across the Alpujarra Almeriense. The villages we could see are Bentarique, Illar, Instinción, Ohanes, Padules and Beires with the snow -covered, highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the far distance.


Alicun, Huécija and the Sierra de Gador

To the west we could see the villages of Alicun and Huécija beneath the Sierra de Gador. A walk to these two pretty villages is another one of our favourite circular rambles from our home.


The barren hills to the east

To the east, though, the landscape is very barren as if it were an extension of the desert of Tabernas. In this photo you can see a solar electricity farm and a quarry where the clay is dug for the pottery works of Alhabia.


Alhabia coming into view and Bobby on track.

The path began to descend and the going was quite difficult as the descent was steep and the path covered with loose stones. Soon Alhabia came into view.



There are some good views of Alhabia from the path as we walked down it. The walk was quite arduous and so, instead of going straight home, we made a detour to the village so that the dogs could get a drink of water from the fountain.

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Paterna Del Rio – First snow and chestnuts


First snow

This morning we drove up to Paterna Del Rio to see the autumn colours and chestnut woods. We were surprised when we approached Laujar de Andarax to see some snow already on the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the distance. This photo was taken approaching Paterna del Rio which you can see on the right of the picture.


Towards the Sierra del Gador

From the same spot we took this photo looking south to the Sierra de Gador. No snow here.


The chestnut woods

Just before Paterna del Rio on this corner is the start of a walk through the chestnut woods by the river. There is a parking area nearby. We stopped and took a short stroll into the woods.


The river in the woods

The water in the rives was reddish. This is due to the iron deposits here. In Moorish times there were baths of medicinal gaseous, sulphur and iron waters near here.


Autumn colours

The autumn colours are now spectacular. This photo is taken looking up through the woods.


Paterna del Rio

Here is Paterna del Rio in its autumn glory.


Looking  towards the Sierra de Gador

This photo from the same area looks across to the Sierra de Gador separated from Paterna del Rio by the valley of the Rio Andarax. In the distance we think the peaks are the mountains of Malaga.


La Fruteria

As you are not supposed to help yourself for chestnuts we went into the village and called in this greengrocers. All the produce sold here is from Paterna del Rio. We bought some chestnuts and apples which we do not have in our valley and a bottle of the village wine. The woman on the right has a stack of dried bean plants. She is extracting seeds from the dry pods for the next crop.

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Canjayar and Ragol



Yesterday Morning we visited Canjayar, one of the three large towns, together with Alhama de Almeria and Laujar de Andarax, of La Alpujarra Almeriense.


Typical street in Canjayar

Every town, whatever its size, in this region has its own identity. The narrow, steep streets lined with old houses, though, are very typical of La Alpujarra.


Old street with the ermita above

We have visited Canjayer briefly several times but on this occasion decided to explore its warren of narrow streets. In this photo you can see the ermita on the top of the hill above the town.


Canjayar street with cat

Here we only passed a few elderly people and, of course, cats.


Placeta, Canjayar

This is a pretty little placate we passed through.


Towards the edge of town

Canjayar hangs above a ridge looking over the valley of the Rio Andarax and we walked down the lanes towards the edge of town.


Alpujarra blue

Digby thought this blue door with the blue sky made an interesting composition and colour statement


Looking over the olive mill, La Almazara de Canjayar

Below the town is the olive mill, La Almazara de Canjayar, which we called in to check the procedure for bringing in our olives. We will have about 2000 kilos to harvest in a month’s time. Although it is connected to mains electricity the mill has three vast banks of solar panels to lessen the impact on the environment and keep down energy costs. In this photo you can see the mill and in the distance the Sierra Alhamilla above Nijar.


Looking towards Ohanes and the Sierra Nevada

There is a narrow lane separating the houses on the edge of town from the ridge. In this photo you can see the town of Ohanes in the hills with the Sierra Nevada behind.


Looking towards the Sierra de Gator from the edge of town

Here is the view from the other end of this lane with the Sierra de Gador behind.


Fuente in the Plaza Nueva

In the town centre there are a couple of small squares. In the Plaza Nueva this statue of a nymph sits in the middle of the fuente contrasts with the statue of the man collecting grapes behind.


The church tower rom the Plaza de la Constitución

In the other square, the Plaza de la Constitución. The church dominates.



On the way back we stopped to visit the next village, Ragol.


The Main Street in Ragol

Although we have passed it many times this was our first visit. A narrow main street has attractive buildings and the town hall can be identified by the flags outside.


Houses lining the square in Ragol

At the end of the main street we walked into a small plaza with these interesting houses.


Calle del Pueblo, Ragol

Higher up in the village the streets become narrower and the buildings less grand. This is a corner of Calle del Pueblo.


Cat on a mechanical mule

As usual we encountered several mechanical mules. We took this photo in a rincon of the town to illustrate that cats as well as campesinos can ride them.


Cats under jasmin, Ragol

Cats, as in all the villages, occupy the streets more than humans. At the top of the village we saw these two under a jasmine tree.


Canjayar from Ragul

From here you can look back at Canjayar and the Sierra Nevada.


Church tower, Ragol

This is a good view of the church tower. The church was built in the 16th Century. probably on the site of an old mosque.

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At last some rain


The Sierra de Gador from Alhabia

Yesterday morning and during last night we had some heavy rain. Apart from a couple of days at the end of August when we had the end-of-summer storms, this is the first proper rain we have had since the end of May. In our valley this morning the sun was shining again but as you can see in this photo, taken from the road from our cortijo to Alhabia, that the cloud still lingered over the mountains.


Our finca this morning

The rain has certainly done the land some good: our finca looked refreshed this morning. In the vegetable patch, in the foreground, you can see potatoes and onions with broad beans behind. To the right is another patch with cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli and in the centre is one of our olive trees laden with fruit. We are expecting to harvest 2000 kilos next month.


Autumn colours from our lane

Autumn colours are now becoming evident as you can see from this photo taken from our lane just above our property.


Alhabia this morning

We also took this photo of our town, Alhabia, when we walked in to do the morning shopping.


Terque this afternoon

After lunch we walked along the river path to Terque. The clouds and fresh light made the village look particularly attractive.


Clouds above the Sierra Alhamilla

Looking back along the path towards the coast we noticed heavy clouds above the Sierra Alhamilla. From press reports the weather on the coast yesterday was worse than up here.

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