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    Five Andalucian Summer Treats

    Andalucia is fun all year round but the summer is THE time to go. It’s party month! Every city, town and village has a summer fair ostensibly in the name of the patron saint but actually more in honour of…

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    Mountain paradise rebirth

    Exciting changes are happening in Cartajima! I have long thought that the only way to save remote villages like Cartajima from ghostification was to create sustainable responsible tourism thus providing entrepreneurial opportunities for the few young people who chose to…

  • 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…

  • How to thresh your wheat without a combine harvester

    I am thrilled to be able to share this rare footage from the 60s which tells an agrarian tale of Cartajima at that time. The compilation was made by our town hall for the village feria in 2013 and was…

  • 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 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…