The early years in Mojacar

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THE Mojacar that I discovered when I first set foot here in September, 1969 was totally different than today.

That Mojacar could only have been the village as on the beach were no more than six houses anywhere.

The resident English controlled the village in that they were the only ones that could be seen (sitting on the terrace of the Hotel Indalo drinking).

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There weren’t but a handful of shops and about 20 bars to accommodate the English when they decided to go for a stroll.

All else lived in the ‘campo’ and arrived on the backs of burros or walking.

Non foreigners always dressed in black, head to toe and avoided the colourful foreigners never getting close enough to step on their shadows.

The English that controlled the chairs and table rights to the hotel’s all exclusive patio were varied too. Many upper crust and well to do.

Lots of movie hangers-on that pretended they were stars and middle class English that pretended triple hard to be upper class and spoke with stifled forced accents so phoney and stilted they were easy to spot.

And hippies, unkempt and easily noticeable they fluttered everywhere and didn’t care how loud or rambunctious they became; no one else mattered.

Spanish village folk hid most of the day coming out only on missions of essential purpose. Stray dogs abounded as did cats.

Burros were everywhere and always left their calling cards to remind you to walk with your eyes focused down (a fact of life that hasn’t changed yet due to doggie doo and missing paving stones).

The village was still very much in ruins, ie, all the houses hadn’t been given away. Artists abounded and they liked you to know they were different from the rest.

I rarely ever saw any of them paint or write as they seem obsessed about getting noticed and leaving their mental contributions on the table to save the world.

It was a popular conversation to slag off the Americans concerning Vietnam. Other than that the gab concerned who got pissed the worst and what dastardly deed he might have done to uphold their claim.

Nine times out of 10 it was stealing someone’s burro and taking him on an excursion. But, none of them ever got too far as the burros instantaneously recognised a stranger on board and never wandered far.

Show time was nine in the morning, noon and 6-8 in the evenings unless one of the itinerant local foreigners had gone far a field to Garrucha for unknown reasons and returned, pandemonium would break lose celebrating the prodigal son’s miraculous return from tierra incognita.

Hold it, maybe we haven’t evolved as much as I thought.

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