Andalucia 2002

Montejaque and Salobrena. October 2002

A week in Montejaque, which was a new destination for us, a small mountain village about 8 kilometres from the town of Ronda.
And then our second week, back in Salobrena, where we have holidayed many times before.

We flew from Bournemouth International Airport (sounds good doesn't it), just a mile away from our home in Ferndown, Dorset. The flight was with Palmair, a small airline with just one aircraft, we have flown with them many times. We landed at the busy Malaga airport, we had hired a car in advance, but this time we had to present ourselves at the hire car office in the airport, instead of being mini bused to the office about 1 kilometre from the airport. We queued at the office for 20 to 30 minutes before being given the keys to the car. "The blue one on the right" we were told, "the registration number is on the key fob".
We walked up and down several times, looking for the car, couldn't find it. Back to the office. We were then told to find the lady in the car park who would show us to the car, she did, it was a RED one.
Car found, we now had to find our way out of the car park and on to the main road. As soon as we passed the San Miguel (local beer) building on the side of the road, we knew where we were, and it was full steam ahead southwest along the coast, past Marbella, and then take a right turn to wind our way up into the mountains, eventually passing Ronda. Then a left turn, to take us along country roads to Montejaque.

Montejaque

 

The white village of Montejaque, nestling below the mountains.
We stayed in one of the local  houses towards the top left of the village.

 

 

We had to park our hire car at the bottom of the village, and a porter took our cases on a sack truck up the winding streets, to the house we were staying in. Only he new the route to take, to avoid the many steps.

 

 

The entrance to the house is up the steps to the right, under the street lamp.
The incline at the bottom of the picture, leads to a stable under the house, where a working mule is kept at night after working in the fields during the day.

Back from a day in the fields

 

 

The view from our roof terrace, looking down over Montejaque made up for the tiring journey from Dorset, to one of the fantastic mountain villages of Spain.

 

 

There is a great diversity of countryside, from the vast plains, where cereals are grown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the Cork oak forests. Where the bark is removed from mature trees in a ten year cycle, to make corks for wine bottles. Note that not all the bark is removed. The forests also provide a resting and feeding place for migrating birds, prior to crossing the Straights of Gibraltar, on their way to Africa.

 

We spent many hours walking out from the white villages, signposted tracks are not the norm, although we have seen more in the last couple of years.
Our first attempts at finding the tracks when we came to the area about 6 years ago, met with much frustration. However we soon learnt that on arriving in a mountain village, if you followed the trail of goat droppings, you would either end up at a doorway under a house, that was the resting place for the animals at night. Or the droppings would lead out of the village, to the mountainside, where you would find many tracks that used to be used (and many still are) to travel from one village to another. It is also common to find small Heurta's or garden plots, in the mountains, and also bee hives, a mile or so from the village, tended by the older residents, accompanied by the working mules.

 The end of our week in Montejaque.
 We had arranged with the local property agent, for the porter to come up to the house at 10.00am with his sack truck, to take our cases back down to the village square where our car was parked. By 10.30 he hadn't arrived, so we decided to take the smaller items of luggage to the car and speak to the agent at the office. The office was closed.
Just as well we had taken the trouble during the week, to try and find the route the porter had taken on the day of our arrival, to avoid the steps up to the top of the village. We ended up being pulled down the hill by our cases, which had small wheels on. Cases safely loaded into the car, we then continued our journey to Salobrena, about three hours away.

To continue on the second week of our holiday Click Here