Arriving in Malaga, should you turn right (budget permitting) you will find yourself in glamorous Marbella and Puerto Banus, where simply parking your yacht costs in the region of £1 500 per day and the streets are clogged with Lamborghinis. You will inevitably spot celebs.
Should however, you choose to turn left, within less than an hour, you will spot a sign, pointing up into the mountains, saying Frigiliana.
Frigiliana is a traditonal ‘white’ village , a large cluster of antiquated dwellings clinging to a mountain side. It is very picturesque. Should you visit, walking shoes are essential. There is absolutely no parking within the village itself and the bus drop off point is way out on the outskirts, involving steep cobbled inclines and many, many steps into the village itself.
I have visited Frigiliana on a few occasions, mostly because they hold frequent colourful festivals. Bulls are run. Dances are performed. Saints are wheeled out. It is possible the entire village is made up of expats living off Brit. pensions with the majority of locals relying on tourism. It is quite beyond understanding how so many people can exist in one place without visible means of support. I once spent an hour hunting for a supermarket. Not a damn and rather odd.
All this is actually irrelevant to this post.
One of the things I like most about Spain is that planning activities is pointless. Something is sure to go awry.
The plan for one particular day was that Daughter and swain would collect me and that I would complete some urgently needed sign writing undertaken for a local restaurant.
Ja, well, no, fine. It transpired that a ‘brief’ detour up to Frigiliana was on the agenda. A friend to be tracked down, a message passed on.
We found the friend and the ‘brief’ detour inevitably turned into a street party.
Generally speaking, what passes for a pavement in a Spanish village will barely accommodate a chiwawa . Being of a certain age, which I confess to trading on big time, I can usually commandeer a chair and table of some description – squatting in gutters is undignified at my age.
Due to lack of space, half the party moved to the opposite side of the street. All well and good. Except for the dogs who, along with their owners, were part and parcel of the party. They seem to have no road sense whatsoever, racing backwards and forwards, risking life and limb in the face of screeching delivery vans, assorted speeding guardia civil and clouds of carbon monoxide. It stressed me so much, heart in mouth, dogs and traffic watching, I imbibed copious amounts of Rioja, way over my lunch time limit.
Sufficient to say the dogs survived (a miracle) and so did I.
What I really wanted to say was that I met some amazing people that day A published poet. A potter. An author. A couple of artists from Finland, recently arrived and living on a rented finca (Plotties?) with no electricity, but two burros for transport. They carried their laptops in saddle bags and were heading for an internet cafe when they detoured to join us.
By the time we reached home I was well beyond sign writing. But what fun I had (not counting the dog stress).
I should like very much to live in Frigiliana.