Blog: El Paraje de las Alpujarras and Sierra Nevada walks · nature · culture · events · publications · weather
blog by: El Paraje
Berchules, Granada, Spain

23 October 2009

Otoño Cultural 2009 Alpujarra de la Sierra

A few days ago the programme ´Otoño Cultural 2009 Alpujarra de la Sierra´ was published on the website of this municipality that is formed by Mecina Bombarón, Yegen, Golco and Montenegro. There will be a fungi exposition from the 28th of October to the 2nd of November in the salón cultural of Mecina Bombarón. Apart from this, all kinds of interesting activities are organized like a market and tasting of local seasonal products, excursions to collect and taste mushrooms, literary and botanic walks, graphic displays of organic agriculture and of the traditional pig-slaughter. The 6th of December, Yegen celebrates the Fiesta de la Constitución with the planting of trees at the Prado Real, an exposition on the constitutional history of Spain, a photographic excursion and a gastronomic tasting. As you can see on the programme there will also be music, dancing and theatre on different dates, starting with a ´gran castañada´ on the 31st of October in Mecina Bombarón and closing the cultural autumn with christmas carols on the 20th of December in this same village.

18 October 2009

Dutch painter leaves Tímar

When the Dutch painter Pieter Vermeulen visited the Alpujarras for the first time, he was immediately captured by its beauty and tranquillity. On a walk through the area, he saw the former school at the bottom of the village of Tímar and thought that it would be ideal for a studio. He imagined that this could be the place where he would be able to paint without being disturbed and he liked the idea of working with the special Andalusian light. A friend talked with the local authorities and it turned out that he was able to rent it. Since then, Pieter and his wife Truus have been coming to this small village each spring and autumn for twelve years. On the website of the painter, we see at the bottom of his homepage a photograph of him working in the former school building. Many of his paintings are inspired by how he experienced life in the Alpujarras and have Spanish titles. Apart from working here, Pedro and Getrudis – their names on the layout of the village on the website of Tímar - enjoyed walking in the countryside. They felt a great attachment to the village and the area in general. Pieter helped restoring the image of the patron saint and the couple always took great pleasure in socializing with the local people. We need to use the past tense, as the local authorities did not want to renew the contract. They have other plans with the escuela de Tímar. There is already a new sign next to the consultorio, which says ´Antiguas Escuelas: Centro multiservicios, Centro de interpretación de las minas del Mercurio´. This sign might mislead visitors the coming months, because as a matter of fact they still need to start working on this interpretation point on the old mercury mines. Pieter and Truus handed in the key last Friday and are saying goodbye to their beloved Tímar this weekend. ´Azul y rojo´ a painting of Pieter Vermeulen (acryl/linen, 150x70, 2008)

17 October 2009

Autumn 2009

We had a long hot summer this year with a sudden change of the weather the last weekend of September. It rained for a couple of days and the temperatures dropped dramatically quite suddenly. It was the first time that we inaugurated the fireplace in September and we were afraid that we would jump from summer straight into winter. The first weekend of October the temperature began to rise to comfortable summer levels though. This meant that we have been able to serve breakfast outside again for the last two weeks. Yesterday it felt we had to say goodbye to summer with one hour of rainfall during a beautiful foggy evening. Nevertheless, this morning the sky was clear blue again. When we took this picture of a bee collecting pollen from a calendula officinalis or pot marigold, it felt like a spring morning once more. At the same time we are enjoying the sound of falling chestnuts and the sight of the poplars in the valley that are starting to turn yellow. The charms of autumn in the Alpujarras are not easy to put into words.A bee collecting pollen from a pot marigold in October - foto: casa rural El Paraje
related keywords: el tiempo, het weer, le temps, das wetter

15 October 2009

Drying red peppers

One of the evocative images of autumn in the Alpujarras, are strings of red peppers against the whitewashed walls of the village houses. Many people still have their own allotment where they grow all sorts of vegetables. When they do, there´s a great change that they have a row of peppers. They are easy to grow, and they can be eaten fresh and used dried. People string them up when they are ripe and make sure they get as much sun as possible. We took this picture in Tímar where one of the inhabitants tied them up on the window bars. A new sign at the entrance of this village, mentions that ´gachas de pimiento´ or ´pepper porridge´ is typical example of local gastronomy. We found a recipe of this dish on the website of the cultural association of Lobras. After having a look at the other recipes on this website, we can conclude that red peppers play quite an important role in the local gastronomy in general.Strings of red peppers in Tímar - foto: casa rural El Paraje

13 October 2009

Mesón Los Granaos in Lobras

Two of our walking routes pass through Lobras. Apart from the ´bar de pensionistas´ which was hardly ever open, there was no possibility to have a drink or a bite in this pretty village We are therefor pleased with the new initiative of the town hall to open a bar-restaurant. From now on, we will suggest our guests to do one of the Lobras routes in a weekend and have lunch in Mesón ´Los Granaos´. This establishment, which can be found in the former school building, opened a couple of months ago. The word is spreading quickly that Miguel and Ángeles, ´los Granaos´, serve good food at lunchtime on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays. Miguel is in charge of the meat from the grill and they offer a choice of dishes wish fresh fish and tapas. The place is nicely decorated and there is a terrace to enjoy the fabulous views of the Contraviesa. For groups special arrangements can be made on other days as well. For more information Miguel can be contacted on 679-793678. People enjoying the terrace of mesón Los Granaos in Lobras on the Día del Pílar 2009 - foto: casa rural El Paraje

4 October 2009

Día Mundial de las Aves celebrated in the Alpujarra

Yesterday on the International Bird Day, the first bird census in the Alpujarra took place. An English couple, Miranda Ravetto Wood and Trevor, had taken up this initiative. They have been bird watching in the area for over twenty years and had prepared a list of birds to hand out to the participants. The starting point was Alquería de Morayma in Cádiar. Just after leaving the centre to walk the GR-7 towards Lobras, one wildlife specialist spotted a merlin - esmerejón in Spanish and smelleken in Dutch - and was able to point it out to the others. This was quite a special observation as this falco columbarius is a migratory bird that you are not able to see here often. This was the first species that could be added to the list. In total the group has come up with a list of 33 different birds within a radius of six kilometres from the Alquería. All the participants enjoyed the morning very much. It was special to start off at the first light and experience the daybreak. Most birds were spotted during these magic early hours when it was still quite fresh. The originators of this event, are planning to organize a spring and autumn bird count every year. Anyone who wants to receive information on the next bird census or censo de aves in the Alpujarra, can contact the Alquería de Morayma. We will announce the next spring bird count on this blog as soon as we know the date.
More photographs and an enthusiastic account of this unforgettable morning can be found on ´La Otra Mirada´ a weblog of Colin Bertholet, one of the participants.

The first Alpujarran bird census on the third of October 2009 - foto: casa rural El Paraje
Related links:
- Our bird watching check list for the Alpujarras - Sierra Nevada.
- Organized tours with BirdwatchAlpujarras.

related keywords: eventos, evenementen, evénements, veranstaltungen, birds, aves, vogels, oiseaux, Vögel