Friday, July 20, 2007


Salty Salads

Last Friday I caught a lift from the Valle to the town of Ugijar with two Austrian sisters who live in Granada. I didn't spend long in Ugijar because I saw the bus that heads up into the village of Yegen and so I jumped on that. I wanted to go to Yegen to see where the writer Gerald Brenan lived in the 1920s. Up steep winding roads went the bus: Yegen turned out to be a pretty village, a confusion of narrow alleys and white houses, and I went into a bar and had an interesting conversation with the barman, who claimed that his father was a close friend of Brenan's. I saw Brenan's house, but the experience was dampened somewhat by the fact I've never read any of his books! Surely I will remedy this situation now.

From Yegen I walked back to Yator down the nicest path I've discovered so far. Halfway on the route I found a settlement called Montenegro: a tiny church, a house or two, a homebuilt castle in a sort of Gaudi style and a treehouse. Not dissimilar to the Valle but with better views across the southern Alpujarras! I went back yesterday to watch the sunset over the mountains. There was a girl in the turret of the castle but she didn't need rescuing! I went with Djembe, the farm dog, an ebullient but good natured creature. Djembe lives in uneasy peace with the farm cat, Funky, who seems to exist on an exclusive diet of lizards and cicadas. As if in a variant of the traditional American song, Funky and Djembe aren't lovers.

Animals thrive in the Valle... A small owl hoots all night in a tree above my head, wild boar play in the mud beyond the dam, rats climb up and down the bamboo, colourful birds flap and squawk, and once I saw something that looked like a racoon... I have been watching ants. They are not as intelligent as I had been led to believe. Rahma believes that large ants are 'kind' and small ones 'nasty'. I remain unsure of the precise difference.

I went with Achim for a meal at Ricardo's falling down house. It resembles a shrine on the inside, full of religious pictures and ornaments. I had gazpacho and a massively salted salad. Ricardo drinks wine all day and night. I don't. Two German women turned up at the Valle a few days ago. I am probably going to move on elsewhere soon, maybe on Monday, higher up into the mountains. Then maybe I'll walk to Granada. We'll see.

Shwmae, Rhysaurus. I have tagged you. Sorry. Details at mine.

You gotta move, as the Stones put it so simply... Your blog really sizzles when you're on the road,... or on the mountains among Austrian girls. Do they yodel? The girls, I mean... ;)


PS: Glad to know you'll be back here in Sep./Oct. If the BC doesn't give us a go on the support to your visit, there's always somewhere we can present the book.
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]