We wake early today and head into a very sleepy Órgiva, walking down empty backstreets, past derelict buildings – some looking 200 years old. Crumbling facades, exposed, worm-ridden wooden lintels and tiles clinging to ‘rooms’ with no floors and ceilings. Next door there could be a pristine house.
The only sign of life are two elderly men sipping coffees in a café opposite the church. A woman at the newspaper hut by the fountain unloads bundles of Spanish and foreign papers, piling them up ready for the day.
A few dogs roam the streets, one jumps in the fountain, but Shaky (as we’ve now named him) – the cute dog with his paw permanently raised – is nowhere to be seen.
It’s a lovely time of the day. Cool air, and the sun rising over the mountains down the valley, casting ink-black shadows on the whitewashed buildings. Purple and red bougainvillea are draped like cloaks over buildings.
The church is bathed in sunshine, its doors shut to the world. Only the swifts circling overhead break the silence. Within half an hour, people begin shuffling down the street and you start to hear ‘hola‘ and ‘buenos días‘ (or as it’s said here, more like ‘buen día‘.)
Then the bells start ringing echoing across the town. An alarm clock you’d certainly not need if you lived within a hundred metres. They ring for a minute of two, slowly dying out to a solitary bell – perhaps from another church. Then they begin again.
Calle Doctor Fleming, we presume
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