Knowing we had plenty of time to kill in this region we decide to trundle back up the highway to Ricote for a few days peace and quiet...
Absolutely not what we ventured in to it has to be said.
Normally a very sleepy beautiful location set in lush lemon groves but for the last week and the next several days, Bedlam...
The Festival of San Sebastion, one of around a million Spanish Saints it seems, is in full swing..as in we were lucky to squeeze through narrow streets of double parked cars just to get on the Aire.
The Guardia waved us through and we entered the aire to find so many cars parked up we couldn't service the van properly for two days...
Anyway we were there (with no chance of leaving even if we wanted to)
100m from the aire these guys are setting up a bit of a show for later
Some of the 'Sparklers' for later
Amusingly there were no barriers or 'No Smoking' signs as you'd be accustomed to in Blighty
There were four other such 'Launch Sites' dotted around the small village which got plenty of use over the next two days...
In the kids playground along with a few other stalls we found this bizarre stand selling ALL things sharp and pointy....
The safe option, G & T and a wedge of homemade crisps
Sat on the street supping a brandy this tourist awaits the 'Procession of the Saint'
The first glimpse of San Sebastion..
Here he is on his steady trip round town carried by the townsfolk all taking their turn
Then its New Years Eve all over again..
Its loud, its long and it follows constant attempts to unseat the church bells from their mountings by vigorous swinging on the bell ropes
The noise (and the procession) makes it way to our end of town
What follows is pretty impressive with a display to be proud of
Next day we were treated to Very Loud mortars going off nearby at around 6.15am and numerous further attempts throughout the next two days to deafen the populous with constant bell ringing
Next morning its 'Show Dog' time actually right on the aire. Quite amusing this as most folk received a trophy for their individual pooches and on looking around I couldn't really see two of any one breed so everyone's a winner then!
The noise, hangover and general melee had us donning boots and heading off down the valley to Ojos via the impressively tarmaced main road.
Tarmac isn't ripped up here and crushed for re use they simply lay over the old road, again and again
We are going here for Spanish Wild Goat or Ibex?
As ever the stunning scenery here leaves its mark on us
We arrive back in town to another procession, this time of floats pulled by 4 x 4s and tractors
There's a generator running full tilt behind those speakers, not that you'd hear it!
The Drummers got our vote for best act..
And these 'Guys' for possessing the 'Minerals' (or perhaps not?)
Even I was shocked!
More fireworks and bell ringing next day sends us off to Mula for a thrash on Max
Lunchtime Tapa eagerly consumed..
An unfeasibly sticky highly calorific chocolatty thingy (melting in the strong sun) accompanies our first (and last) coffee Bom Boms
These are very sweet short coffees with condensed milk we think
We return to Ricote and soon San Sebastion is being reviled in yet another street procession back to back with yes, frantic bell ringing and 5 separate large firework displays around the town
Thankfully all of them were viewable from the van which was kind of pleasing. We were left pondering the cost of the displays and how the many thousands of Euros surely could have been spent elsewhere in the town. I guess when it comes to all things religious or even just Spanish folk continuing their traditions then money seems to be no object really
At around 11.30pm I ventured in to the village to see musicians parting company and wandered up to the church. It was totally rammed with village folk all praising the main guy and I left them to it
No fireworks next morning as its the first day again of normal life but thankfully the weekly market is on. This means lunch today is garlic chicken with herb basted roast potatoes from that lovely guy who runs the rotisserie van
More than enough for two and €8.00 all in..
Quiet, sunny and very peaceful....
A completely different stay for us then this time here in Ricote. Many thanks to the townsfolk and the Ayuntamiento de la ciudad for putting it all on,