Andalucia Diary – Seasonal Travel Notes

La Noche de los deseos

Friday Night was San Juan – the night of wishes. Dsc00096_1 Each year here in in Southern Spain the night is celebrated with BBQs on the beach, bonfires and fireworks.  At midnight everyone baths in the sea ( a kind of baptism!) and makes a wish for the year ahead.  For extra good measure you can also do a little bit of fire jumping too. We got in the mood with a some tapas at an exceptionally good seafood tapas bar in the city – great tapas and good wines.  I was very happy!  If you find yourselves in Almeria, then visit Puerta Mar, near the Town Hall Square, 950 62 07 53.
Afterwards we walked down to the beach, down the main avenue, with it elegant gardens and monuments.  I didn’t have my camera with me (for once!) but still managed to get a few shots with my phone.
The beach and paseo maritimo was packed – everyone was there, singing, dancing, and of course eating!  BBQs and picnic were laid out and at 12, the fires were lit.  Yet, unlike the small fires I witnesses last year in Estepona, these were huge bonfires, like those we’d see on November 5th in the UK.
This morning we woke late and after breakfast in the hotel (another thing I like about Almeria is that it is good value – something that no longer exists on the Costa del Sol.  Our 4 star, new, immaculate hotel was 53 euros a night – that’s about 35 pounds!); we set off back to Marbella. 
We decided to take the motorway north, through the desert and across over to Granada.  This really is so much better than the coast route.  Longer, but the whole journey is through unspoilt countryside. In fact, in just about 4 hours, it is amazing to think what one drives through.  First a genuine desert, then the mountains and alpine scenery of the Sierra Nevada and then the sunflower and cereal crops west of Antequera – remarkable variety.
For lunch we stopped off in Guadix – a small town surrounded by striking rock formations, like those in Arizona – it was baking hot!.  Img_2449_1 The town is a little down at heel, but turning the corner, thanks to the new motorway linking it to both Granada and Almeria international airports.  The town is well know for its cave dwellers – in fact cave living is making a revival in Andalucia.Img_2442   In my Blog Roll, you will see a link to a follow blogger who is really into this.
The caves made me think of tele tubbies or Hobbits in Middle-Earth. Many are well cared for, permanent homes, others lived in my travelers. It’s an odd hilltop community that over all seems to being renovated as a tourist attraction.  Throughout Andalucia you can find these cave homes – some with nothing but a door and a chimney, others with a familiar looking house front with windows built on the front of an excavated home.

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Andrew ForbesTravel & Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor Web: Twitter : @andrewaforbes Instagram @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »