• The Pharmacist and the Mushrooms

    This is a strange tale of knowledge lost and found. Country people everywhere gather food from the wild and, given the desperate times Spain and Andalucia suffered during and after the Civil War, it is not surprising that the villagers…

  • Shawarma in Farajan

    An exciting new restaurant – well, really just a bar with food but none the less thrilling for all that – has opened in Farajan, two villages along from Cartajima in the Alto Genal. We try to keep up with…

  • The Eden in my backyard

    We are fortunate to have an EDEN in our backyard! Just a few kilometres down the road from Cartajima is the Sierra de las Nieves, the snowy peaks, which has been named a European Destination of Excellence. 100,000 hectares of…

  • 1492 and all that

    1492 is just another number but also a year redolent of change, not just in Spain but globally. In this year, in the small Andalucian town of Santa Fe, near Granada, occurred two momentous historical moments. You will pass by…

  • The black bulls of Spain

    The Spanish stereotype once embodied the fearsome Duke of Alva, the grotesque Franco, the horrendous Inquisition. But times change and Spain is now all about flamenco and flounces, Carmen and castanets, bravado and bulls. Both the bravado and the bulls…

  • A picnic with Jesus

    The Andalucians specialise in combining the sacred with the secular.  A quintessential example of this phenomenon is Cartajima’s annual romeria, a picnic with Jesus, which was celebrated yesterday. The original inference of romeria was a pilgrimage to Rome which was,…

  • Gachas – Famine Food

    Mari, my expert on Cartajima food traditions, mentioned gachas the other day. Never heard of it, said I. What is it? I enquired.  Salivating, she described a porridge of wheat flour and water which didn’t sound exactly appetising. But, it…

  • The Battle of Teba

    After arriving at Malaga airport, you have a choice of two routes to the Alto Genal valley – and the jewel in its crown, Los Castanos! One goes along the Costa del Sol freeway (toll road) and then up a…

  • Spanish barred windows

    Different cultures have dreamed up imaginative ways to limit women’s mobility, to control and oppress them. Now then, chaps, don’t stop reading! This won’t be hard and you know it’s true! Islam throws a black shroud over their women; the…

  • Cartajima History Oddity

    On the road to Cartajima from Parauta, just at the side of the road, is a circular pit about four metres diameter and about the same depth although it is hard to tell how deep it could have been due…