This weekend was spent at home – Saturday catching up on things and Sunday was just on the beach, and lunch at our favourite Chiringuito. So, I thought I would record for posterity my travels last weekend – deep in the Andalucian countryside. I went to explore La Chispa Festival – A Midsummer Gathering, near Guaro..
It was held in a beautiful valley, just a few kilometres from Guaro. Moroccan tents and tipis dotted the landscape, with decorative, coloured flags and ribbons fluttering in the warm breeze. Upon arrival, on what was undeniably a baking-hot Saturday evening, we were greeted by chanting! Well, that seemed to give me an appetite, so I immediately checked-out the bar, and then tucked into an organic Lebanese kebab!
I met up with my neighbours, Richard and Cathy and their two sons, who were all camping there for the weekend.
In fact, as night fell, the little valley really felt magical – I could have stayed all night…
…"In a warm, dry country, camping doesn't seem such a crazy idea", I thought, as I drove back to a king size bed in my unsustainable, gas guzzling 4 x4! Sunday I returned, to have a tasty chocolate and banana pancake and few other delicacies from the the arable pastures of Morocco, if you understand my meaning. Then I did a little retail therapy, buying ubiquitous friendship bands, and explored the holistic area, where various practitioners were offering massage, treatments and workshops. It was all going swimmingly until I was accosted by a organic warrior who started to discuss with me the merits of drinking my own urine!
Joking apart, it's good to see that this part of Andalucia is embracing the "la vida natural" economy. Granada province in general and the Alpujarras area in particular, has built a strong economy on meditation retreats, spa breaks and yoga holidays – and this is a good area for Malaga province to diversify into. As wealthier Northern Europeans discover the benefits of a relaxation and a tranquil break, Andalucia can compete for these more discerning tourist travelers who are time-poor but money-rich; rather than the package holiday makers that the Junta de Andalucia is so well publicised as wishing they no longer attracted!
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