Greetings from the mountains of Gaucin! It is so green and high up here, it reminds me a little of Bolivia. We are in the middle of nowhere, beautiful little white town, population 1500. Lots of little bars and cafes, hardly any tourists, everyone speaks Spanish; even the hippie expats are charmingly fluent.
Our house has none of the comforts of city life, including central heating. Bloody freezing up here in these mountains. We have logs for the fireplace and one of those scary gas heaters.
If we had come prepared for the cold, it would have been a different matter. We came equipped with bathing suits, beach towels and a ridiculous amount of sun cream. The Spanish phrase for not having checked the weather before we left the UK is gran estupidos.
Aside from the bitter cold, we have postcard skies, seriously steep mountains and the sort of fresh air that’s sold in trendy nightclubs in canisters. Oh and my favourite bit –an 11th century castle where eagles soar.
Gaucin is beautiful. Lot of artists here. You can see them standing on the windy roads off the mountains, not bothered by the 1000 foot drops, painting away without a care in the world. Photographers too, trying their hardest to capture the two violet coloured mountains and the white town nestled between its bosom.
There is a woman in town with frizzy hair that I’ve encountered in different capacities. One day she served us coffee at the tapas bar, another time she was the hostess of the Tablas restaurant and finally the proprietess of the live music bar. It is like one of those strange surreal cartoons, or an Aphex Twin video.
I try to take it in stride that multitasking is the way of the small mountain village, but the frequency and variation of cameo appearances freaks me out a little. I guess with a population of 1500 you are likely to run into everyone at least once.
Near our house, there is a VHS rental place that sells freshly baked bread. An Aladdin shop full of home supplies, tools and fruit. Yesterday in Ronda, we passed an ice cream parlour that also sells ham and pork products, the legs of ham merrily suspended over the pistachio and turron. Not very kosher, but no one seemed bothered. The paradox is well and alive in Southern Spain. I would love to live here and be a paradox too.