day 4 of our escape to andalucia, december 2002

Torrox — our first ramble

We get up at least an hour earlier than yesterday...

It is overcast and humid. After breakfast, into town to buy bread, then we go on our first walk up the Barranco Planos and down the Camino de la Rávita.

A few hours later we drive up to Competa, and have a quick wander through its pleasant streets. We can appreciate why so many outsiders retreat here.

I have decided that the scenery in this area is too scarred to be attractive. Everywhere cortijos are being hacked into holiday and retirement homes, each one with its new driveway each one leaving wounds on an environment that is slow to heal. Each building project leaves a heap of broken bricks, bits of twisted metal and unused cement. Water tanks sprout everywhere like squat mushrooms, each painted white so that they stand out from the dark grey hillsides. The practice of farming under plastic is not only visually intrusive, but each ugly plot has a miserable fringe of flapping waste plastic sheeting and black polythene. It'll all have recovered in two or three hundred years, but sadly I won't be here to appreciate it!

Just because I want to enjoy somewhere warm doesn't mean that everyone else should!! Just because even the ugliest bit of Andalucia is sunnier, brighter, warmer than some glum German suburb, some chill Swedish city, some dank corner of Birmingham, doesn't mean that I shouldn't have the place to myself!! Ho hum...

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Torrox church from the north

Plants crowd a Torrox alley