Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

The chillout and catch up time has been an absolute treat. Two years is a long time in anyone's book I suppose, but really, it's as if we've never been apart.

The old man dragged me out excitedly into the countryside the other day for the usual caning out on the golf course. He's a mad keen golfer and has been lapping up the privilege of enjoying a round whenever he fancies it ever since he retired. As for me, it's been years since I've swung a club, which is why it came as a bit of a suprise when I thoroughly thrashed his smug little arse. It's never happened before and quite understandably has hit him quite severely. He hasn't spoken for days..

But it's all good. He's back out of his shell again now and we spent today exploring the local city of Antequera, a charming little market town which has seen more than its fair share of history. It's been inhabited since prehistoric times and has been the stomping ground for generations, including the Romans. It boasts more places of worship than anywhere else in Spain and has a wonderful, 'close-knit-ness' that gives it a timeless and enchanting personality.

We strolled up one of the many winding hills that seem to draw you up to the top with curiosity and purpose, past dozens of tiny little narrow streets lined with immaculate gleaming white houses. It was another world up there, so tidy and so perfect. At the top we found the 'Arco de los Gigantes' (the 'Giant's Arch'), which dates back to the 1500's, as well as the newly discovered Roman City which sits to the west of the 'Royal College Church'. This was magnificent, and had us gawping up into the heavens as we stood like stubborn rocks amid the raging river of screaming local school-kids out on a field trip. It was chainsaw pandemonium but happpened to plant us right in the heart of local daily Antequerian life, a wonderful privilege.

The view from the church square is magnificent: an elongated panorama from church tower to hilltop and right over to 'Lover's Rock', which can be seen for miles around the region. Legend has it that the rock bore witness to a tragic tale of forbidden love, apparently when a couple scrambled atop its giddy heights before throwing themselves off the edge in a loving embrace to the hungry anticipation of their disapproving onlookers. The rock itself resembles the face of an Indian warrior lying down. I've included a couple of merged photos of the panorama to try and explain the view.

Eventually we made it over to an oddly laid out, yet very quaint little square named 'Plaza del Portichuelo' where we sat outside in the street courtesy of 'Bar La Socorrilla'. A good hour passed us by as we sat back taking in the moment and watching the world go about its everyday business. It was like something out of a storybook and dragged us right back in time. Though ridiculously simplistic, I was blown away with it all. It was perfect. And the tapas. Utterly superb and the best so far, which meant smearing another daubing of grease onto the already slippery slope.

We walked some more and talked some more and stopped some more and drank some more and ate more tapas, a whole montage of merriment: albondigas, anchoas, a cortado in place of a con leche, juicy aceitunas and heaps of ensaladilla rusa to accompany another small mountain of patatas bravas. I watched the old fella's eyes roll back into his head with every single mouthful. To see him trying and enjoying something new is a pleasure in itself. And we still have weeks to go..

Tapas count:- 14
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