La Alberca

La Alberca
This was a journey that went happily wrong because the Spanish have such a liking for switching the road numbers around. We intended to travel via the N630 to Bejar where we would go up into the mountains to see La Alberca in the Smart car. This would be a 50 mile trip down a boring flat autovia.
We got it wrong and did a 90 mile trip on what may or may not have been the N620. This took us into the Gata Mountains with the full rig.
In the event, the journey was not as bad as expected and we arrived at La Alberca to find a whole new carpark complete with motorhome service point and spaces reserved just for motorhomes. The spaces even accommodated our 12 meter length!
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The town is well known to Spanish tourists and can, apparently, get overwhelmed at week ends. We arrived on Tuesday morning and found the town active but not very busy at all.
Its claim to fame is the architecture. Ground floors built from local sandstone with the upper floors in wood and wattle with generous overhanging balconies.
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The one above is now the town hall but was a private house and is typical of the town. This became the town hall after King Alfonso 13th visited the region in 1922 and discovered that the people were so poor that the only milk to be found for his coffee was human! He caused cows to be introduced to the area and they are much in evidence today.
Despite this kick start into dairy, the locals took pigs to heart in a big way and we were sad to have missed, by just 4 days, a very important pig race.
The chaotic appearance of even the most important streets………
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is reflected in the surrounding countryside. It does surprise to find that guns and catapults are on sale in every gift shop. You just know there are stills up in the hills and that the VAT man has a hard time of it. At over 1100 metres altitude, you need to be fit to operate here even without the racing pigs and another local brew – green cannabis tea.
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This is dense woodland – not easy to police especially with the Portuguese border a few steps away…
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Filed under Diary Aug 10 - Aug 11

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