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Friday 27 August 2010

A Spanish Holiday - Many happy returns.

One of the things that i like most about the town of Origiva, is that it still manages to retain an authentic Spanish feel. Even though there are plenty of tourists around, you don't feel overwhelmed by them. As you do in some other areas. In fact, they tend to go un-noticed in many instances.

Maybe being inland and not on the coast has a bearing on this?
I do feel that the area around Orgiva attracts a slightly different type of tourist, to that which might visit a seaside resort.
That may sound a little snobbish. But, i do think that many people come here for different reasons. It's not all about the sun, although there is still plenty of that around. It is also about the surroundings and that sense of authenticity that i mentioned earlier.

It is possible that i may view this all slightly differently to some, because i happen to live by the coast? The seaside has become such a traditional holiday destination, whether that be at home, or abroad, that many feel that that is the only place to go. I can understand that. But, i still feel that people visit this area for different reasons.

I mentioned in a previous post that the Alpujarras attract many walkers throughout the year and there are many recognised walking trails and footpaths around. There may not be so many walkers at this time of year though, for obvious heat related reasons?

The Orgiva area is also well known for it's arty and "alternative" way of life. Especially amongst the pretty large ex-pat population. That side attracts many visitors as well and i do often wonder what the locals must make of some of them. Visitors come, for example, to paint or maybe for a yoga retreat. The Orgiva area certainly accomodates those kinds of activities and many others besides.
So, as you can see, this would hardly appeal to the usual "bucket and spade brigade".

Orgiva town centre.
Yesterday, a few things happened that brought home to me that "authentic" feel that i've mentioned.

The first was as i walked back from the town, along the dusty path towards our holiday cottage. Just as i got to the house, two men approached on, what looked to me at least, huge working horses. Both of the guys had a real cowboy look to them and were obviously just going about their everyday business. We've heard horses pass the cottage before. But, i'd not seen them until now.

Later, as i was standing in the garden of the property, i heard the sound of many cowbells. Now, this in itself, is not unusual as we tend to hear them all the time. There are sheep and goats all around. We just don't often see them. But, we do hear them and i actually find it quite a nice sound, relaxing even.
This time though, the sound was a lot louder and was coming from outside the property. As i checked, i saw that a whole herd of goats was being sheperded down the road.

These are just two examples. But, today i experienced some more and in the centre of town too.
Whilst sitting outside our usual town centre cafe, having our usual mid morning coffee and just watching the world go by. A local man brought three of his horses down the main street. He was riding one of them and said a cordial "Hola" to friends of his as he rode by. This all seemed like a very normal occurence.
And to cap it all, this evening, whilst sitting in the same cafe, this time having a nice cold beer, another cowboy styled man rode his horse down main street, saying "Hola" to me as he went by.

Whilst i expect these kind of events are by no means unique to Orgiva. It does tend to show the sort of town that it is and that it does still retain an authentic feel to it. It is, after all, a working town, surrounded by working farms.

As i think i mentioned in an earlier post. When you are in the town centre cafe, you are just as likely to sit next to a local, as you are a tourist. And, as we've discovered, it's not always that easy to tell the two apart.
For me, that really sets this place apart from many others that i have visited in the past.

Maybe, i've just been going to the wrong places?
I do know though, that it is precisely that, that keeps bringing me back time, after time.

A cup with a view.


  1. Yes, the "seaside assumption." We don't live *right at* the seaside, but we're only 20 minutes away. Still, the idea of vacationing someplace way-inland was always a weird concept (with the one possible exception of Las Vegas).

    (NOTE: Okay, Chicago is in-land from any ocean, but Lake Michigan is large enough to qualify Chicago as seaside for most purposes.)

    In the last few years, however, we've begun frequenting the desert area outside of Palm Springs and really enjoying what a different kind of experience it is -- and very relaxing, too.

  2. Ken: As you know, i love the sea and could never imagine moving away from it. But, as you've found, there are places that give you that different kind of experience. This is a very relaxing environment, as you may have noticed from these blogs and is one place that i could consider moving too. It's also within striking distance of the coast.
    I'll let you off with Chicago. Having been there myself, it was rather strange to think that the other side of Lake Michigan was farther away than France is from hastings!