(6th) Sense and Sensibility

Almeria Travel Blog

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Capileira BBQ restaurant

It was a wonderful night in Capileira and I made a wise choice to have dinner in a quiet 'restaurant' away from the noisy tourists. I had discovered this quaint place earlier in the day after advice from the friendly Dutch girl running the oficiina de turistica.

With a huge table to myself I sat outside under a giant weeping tree surrounded by sweet jasmine bushes. The friendly cat visited me for a second time that day. Maybe he was actually awaiting tidbits from the huge open clay barbeque which was smoking deliciously with all types of local meats and smallgoods, from my arrival to my departure.

I was feeling reckless so ordered someting called an Alpujarranan Plata (named after the range of mountains Capileira is nestled in).

Almeria fort
It was a wonderful sampling of all local goodies: patatas bravas, a delicious fresh salad and a hearty glass of local red. I slowly savoured every mouthful of the spicy sausages, roasted pimiento, local jamon, rosy chorizo, hefty slice of morcilla (blood sausage), free range egg and organic tomatoes. A luscious end to my short stay in Capileira and the Alpujarras. If I was sensible, I would have stayed here 2 days.

At 5.30am I was up, refreshed and waiting patiently at the bus stop with other weary bus travellers. As usual the bus was late (how does this happen so early in the morning?). It was a pretty drive back down the spiralling mountainside, past the other 'white villages' and on towards the Southern coast of Spain. I managed to connect my 3 buses efficiently and arrive in Almeria around noon.

Almeria fort
Although it had that seaside smell I was disappointed with it visually. I had hoped for glistening white beaches and turquoise sea. Instead, the arrival route was lined with ugly greenhouses for kilometre upon kilometre before finally entering this 'port town'. There was no beach in sight but the oficina de turistica assured me I could take a local bus (30 mins) to the beach and back again! It was not really what I was expecting but I decided to stay for 2 nights anyway.

Pensions were few and far between but I finally settled on one close to the main town and 20mins walk back to the bus station as I had a 6.30am ticket booked to Sevilla in 2 days time. The man at reception was not overly friendly but I put it down to being siesta time, ignoring my 6th sense. I also discovered that Almeria would be on holiday the following day for 'a fiesta' (but no-one seemed to know why there was a fiesta or what it was celebrating).

Almeria is another town boasting Moorish roots and I decided to make the most of my afternoon by walking up the steep hill behind the shopping district to visit the Arab fortress named Alcazaba. As with most Moorish developments, they have fallen into the hands of the Catholics and undergone a little remodelling. In this case the magnificant Moorish shapes and designs have luckily been preserved.

This fortress was originally built to house 20,000 soldiers (to give you a sense of scale) and totally dominates the city from it's height. It was a precarious climb up the approaching pathway - the glassy cobble stones making my journey slow and tedious. The climb was worth it though as the cool breeze at the top was lovely on my sweaty, rosy face and I luxuriated in the cool garden setting before making my way back down. Unfortunately after Granada, all Moorish fortresses are a little 'sad' !

I had hoped to spend a couple of hours at an internet cafe but the young man was a little too cosy for my liking (touching me on the shoulder as I sat down at a free terminal) so I intuitively departed and headed for the library instead. Only 15 minutes internet use was not sufficient for a blog but updated me on news from home.

As I returned to my Pension, an older man on reception gave me a grilling (I have no idea why) and very cool reception so my sixth sense was now on high alert. He asked me for money up-front which I found very strange and was hesitant to return my passport. The entire experience was very un-Spanish and left me with a feeling that all was not well in this little place.

Later, as I popped out for tapas, the man at reception asked me to leave the key behind (now, I am feeling really uncomfortable). I ate nearby, watching some of the Olympics as a treat and wandered around a little while before returning. I pressed the buzzer to gain entry but the door did not budge. After a few minutes, the boy on reception popped his head up and lazily let me in. My intuition was now on volume 10 and I did not feel comforable staying here at all.

Back in my small room, I felt a little vulnerable with the simple door lock so pushed the table against the door and set my automatic alarm for 5.30am. I decided to leave in the morning and head to Sevilla a day early. Enough of Almeria!

Not sleeping well, I woke early, lugged my 18kg pack on my back and hastily made me way to the bus station. I had no problem changing my ticket and was soon on a comfortable bus to the beautiful Sevilla.

Besos, Grace


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Capileira BBQ restaurant
Capileira BBQ restaurant
Almeria fort
Almeria fort
Almeria fort
Almeria fort
photo by: asturjimmy