There is much rain during the first days of the stay, and we dart amongst the clouds making the most of our opportunities to climb or cycle.
It continues to rain so we take a train to Malaga, walking to the station so early that it is still dark. We enjoy passing through the gorge and the tunnels on the train, small glimpses of the beautiful organ pipe formations through gaps in the tunnels. Arriving at Seville we find it extremely wet, – the fields and orchards we pass on the way are flooded and sodden.
Lunch is at an old couple’s tapas bar where we are served with a mysterious eggy soup and hot prawns sizzling in a sea of olive oil. We look at the magnificent cathedral and go up the tower, round and round and round, peeping out through increasingly narrow slits into the driving rain to admire the dripping gargoyles. Periodically a rainstorm of monsoon dimensions falls on the city and everyone rapidly finds shelter under awnings, shops and bars.
An evening meal is assembled over several hours and drinks by threading a series of tapas together, in old, dark brown ham-hung bars. We find a bed in a small hotel in the centre, in room 101, which is very long and L shaped, with windows opening above the road. To our surprise we only wake at 10.30 in the morning, which is far too late for the things we want to do. Rushing round the Moorish Palace, skipping from shelter to shelter in the renewed torrential rain we have time to admire the filigree wonder of the place, the tessellations and the watery extravaganzas. Jim says the palace is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.
When we get back to El Chorro, as it has stopped raining, we go up to l’Encantada again to climb in a dry period, and later walk out in the wet and dark to eat at the Garganta. It is New Years Eve, and we are given a lucky bag with false noses and horns in, which later can be used for scaring big dogs. We visit the communal lounge at the Finca where there is party and have a quick dance. You can see us here on the Finca la Campana blog.
The Altar in Seville Cathedral