OF COURSE, in those by-gone years all those in business had visions of the tourists explosion happening quickly so that we’d become rich, and not have to consider working and possibly inherit some of those new fangled gadgets like street lights too, here in Mojacar.
But, it didn’t happen that quickly. In fact, that famous Moorish tortoise, the one that is now a rare, protected and worshipped species spiritually ruled the day and its pace controlled the speed of our actual transition and development.
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This of course gave me plenty of time to consider our ancestral heritage so I visited every watch tower or castle within driving distance.
The one at Velez Blanco got bought up by an American and most of the adornments shipped off to New York City’s Metropolitan museum.
It is a must to visit Almeria’s famous Alcazaba fortress, reputedly never conquered (which is true) unless you consider the fact that they raised the white flag of surrender the moment that Isabel and Ferdinand arrived menacingly at their gates.
Hell, I saw so many castles and watch towers that I could have written a book, had I been able to task together more than two sentences—but I couldn’t. I did theorize that the distinction between what the Moorish built and then later the Christian ones was easily discernable; the Moors built square towers and the Christians usually round. Now, I know that’s a generalization, but it’s a good one that sometimes works too.
Getting anywhere was difficult. First you had to own a car and then you had to get there which always proved to be an experience in itself. The roads (as they were called) were narrow, rutted, pot holed and dangerous on the best of days. If it rained or snowed then you had better quit and stay put where you were at risk a sudden turn of fortune.
Around any bend or elongated curve existed an unforeseen enemy. Either some fool was changing a flat tire right on the road itself and usually on a tightly selected bend in the road to add further danger to your journey; or an army of sheep awaited you with flaxen fleece and in a baying and complaining mood, not to mention their care taker who was often less intelligent than the flock that was leading him.
Any and every journey, even to the next village was filled with more excitement and tensed nerves than a normal person could stand in those quiet by-gone days. How I ever made it through them is but conjecture and of course, that other famous generalization: “God takes care of little children and drunks”.
It made life intolerably exciting even though few cared to travel with me.