Monday, 31 May 2010

Calle Salada y Plaza del Socorro

Just a few pics today of a short but pleasant stroll down Calle Salada, stopping off at the Plaza del Socorro before returning home.
Looking down Salada, one of the steepest streets in Olvera.

The Plaza del Socorro, a very pleasant and peaceful square at the bottom of Salada.

The Iglesia del Socorro nestles in the corner of the plaza.

Looking over the plaza and the view beyond from the peñon (hill)above the plaza.

With temperatures at about 25°C it was extremely tempting to jump on the bus.

Thankfully, halfway up the hill home there's a sheltered spot where we sat for a while taking in the views across to the Sierra de Lijar in the distance.

Looking up to the church and castle.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A hill too far

I woke this morning with the notion of trekking up the Algarín Cliff, the impressive peak that dominates the pueblo of El Gastor, a small village about 15kms south of Olvera. So reasonably early, to avoid the heat of the sun, we headed off.
These pictures of the cliff in the foreground taken from the hang gliding landing site on the A-384 Olvera-Algodonales road.

After a short drive of about 30 minutes, we parked in the pleasantly shaded recreation area of La Ladera just above the village.

Lots of butterflies around here and plenty of birdsong. Pictured here is a Red Admiral.
Leaving the recreation area we walked for a short while until we came to this sign indicating the route to the ancient Dolmen (burial chamber) so we set off uphill on the concreted road.

However, after about 500 metres or so, the road became a dirt track, not really passable for anything other than a four wheel drive vehicle. We continued upwards through the campo but decided after an hour or so, with no dolmen in site and a stiff climb ahead, that it was indeed a hill too far so we turned back towards the rest area.

The misty view of Olvera from the track.

Just outside El Gastor is a mirador offering spectacular views across to Zahara de la Sierra and the reservoir below the village.

And Calcetines came too.

The peaks of the Sierra de Grazalema.
Although we didn't achieve our ultimate goal, it was still a pleasant trip out to an area that we hadn't been too before so not wholly unsuccessful.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Round the back way

Not an area that we've taken many pictures of is the route at the "back of town" but it's one that we, or I should say Anne, often walks in the afternoon with Calcetines.
The walk goes via Calle Pañolillas with its fantastic panoramic views across the Andalucian countryside, passing by the town cemetery, through the car park and past the Telefonica tower onto Calle Noria, the main route out of Olvera to the west.

Here looking down Calle Rosaleda.

This mule was trying to keep cool on another beautiful day with the temperature at about 26°C.

The Inavico chicken processing factory (Matadero de Aves - poultry slaughterhouse) that in these hard economic times Spain is enduring at the moment no doubt provides welcome employment.
Here looking down Calle Bellavista to the left and Calle Lepanto to the right that leads to the Casa de la Cultura and the pleasant seating area overlooking the Jardines de la Victoria.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Balmy evenings

A pleasant warm evening, the temperature at about 25°C and a slight breeze so why not get out for a walk and enjoy the setting sun.
Just a few pics taken at about 8.30pm this evening from the front of the Iglesia looking out over Olvera.

The memorial in the Plaza del Iglesia dedicated to the victims of the the Spanish civil war.

We wandered down and sat for a while in the Plaza overlooking the gardens and play area on Calle Mercado.

Looking north towards Pruna and its castle.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010


On a lovely warm day with temperatures rising to 30°C, we drove the 90 minutes west to the town of Chipiona, about 50kms north of Cadiz on the Atlantic coast.
Going from memory, we drove into the centre of town and then turned off to the left, knowing that the sea was somewhere in that direction and parked the car near to the Sanctuario de Regla on the seafront.

We last came here over a year ago and thought it was a lovely place to visit. It has a faded charm about it. By that I mean that there are many old villas and houses lining the beach area, a lot of them available for rent or sale, that could do with a coat of paint and a little tender loving care. Thankfully though, it's unspoilt by blocks of high rise apartments or hotels.
The beach area is fantastic and stretches for around seven miles. Here looking onto a near deserted Playa de Regla.

The Sanctuario de Nuestra Señora de la Regla, once a fortress, now an active Franciscan monastery.

Understandable though slightly disappointing was the ban on dogs on the beach unlike nearby Sanlucar where dogs are allowed out of season. So no dip for Calcetines or us today.

The "Paseo Maritimo" stretches the length of the seafront with plenty of shaded areas to sit and rest those weary feet. Lots of cafes and restaurants too.

El Faro. The lighthouse is the tallest in Spain and the third tallest in Europe. It is possible to climb the 365 steps to the top but entry tickets have to be obtained from the tourist office that we later found was close by.
Just a round the corner from the lighthouse are "Los Corrales de Pesca", a series of small man made lagoons dating back to Roman times, that with the ebb and flow of the tides over and through gaps in the walls, deposit fish and other marine life that can be collected when the tide recedes.

The Paseo Maritimo continues on the other side of the lighthouse and leads to the castle, attached to which is the the tourist office.

Its always useful to pick up a map of where we are and even more useful if you have the ability to read it. "Now, I think we're here and we need to go that way" I say. "Are you sure?", says Anne. "Of course I am. Haven't you noticed my jungle trekker guides hat?".

After visiting the tourist office, we headed into the town before returning to the car, passing by some lovely plazas. Here the Plaza Andalucia.
There is clearly much more to Chipiona than we saw on this brief visit but it's a lovely town with a sleepy, old world charm. Well worth another that we have the map !.