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It is a nice, wide drive up the mountain, and the closer we get, the more attractive Mijas looks.
However as we enter, the outer peace and quiet rapidly changes into a touristic nightmare. Cars parked everywhere, people everywhere, horse-drawn carriages in a line, donkey-rides.
We come to an open square with a park, although it is late afternoon, it is very crowded, and surrounded by colourful souvenir-shops. (4),(5).
We find a parking yard, and start walking, determined that you have to ‘experience' everything in life? LOL.
Paul forgot something in the car, I carry on; first I see the donkeys, standing in a row, they look tired, hot and are plagued by flies; I read they are called Mijas taxi… (1),(2),(3)
They are extremely decorated, and lots of people with children stop and give them a pat, which they seem to enjoy.
Moving on I get accosted by all the men sitting outside their shops, they all want to sell me something, a leather jacket, a handbag… it is the last one, perfect for me, and, just for me, a very special price!
I smile (oops, mistake) and try to wave them off, they ask how much will I spend? How many Euros do I have, Paul comes and rescues me, whisks me away… we are still laughing about it, the LAST one… everywhere we went!!!
We pass the horses, and again I notice how decorated and polished everything is, except the horses, they look unhappy. Great for photography though, I do take a few details.(6),(7).
We search for the famous tiles and ceramics in Mijas and find them, take some images, there’s a man roasting chestnuts(8), surrounded by the older locals, all joking and teasing each other, their Spanish is too fast for me to understand, it’s like a machine-gun.
Passing the restaurants and eateries, we are constantly approached and invited in…
The light is becoming interesting, so no thanks. I must say they are tenacious?
As we get further away from the center, into the narrow streets and the white houses, adorned by beautiful ceramics(9), wrought-iron decorations (10),(11),(12), gorgeously crafted wooden doors, at last we discover the real Mijas and love it. (13),(14),(15).
It is the night of Halloween, the children, dressed up, go from door to door, many are open, that gives us a chance to glance inside, we are greeted with “Hola, buenas tardes” (hello, good evening), no, we do not photograph, which would be too invasive.
Surprisingly, there are no fireworks or noise!
The sun disappears, there is a nice afterglow, the lights come on, it's magic.
The horse drawn carriages pass us on their way home, the clippedy-clopping reverberating in the evening, going home, done for the day.(16)
We notice that there are cables crossing the skies, the electricity, as you see in the images, seems to run outside the houses!!!(14), (17)
Unbelievable and unimaginable in England, the people from 'Health and Safety' in the UK would have a heart-attack, on the spot!
Eventually, we track back, have a pizza (?) in a place that looks very Spanish, we’d wanted paella, turns out it is ‘Italian’ and roasted meat orientated, judging from the roaring open fire. We are too hot, tired, thirsty and hungry to take shots.
Well, we do get serenaded by a Spanish guitar-player Bernardo Plaza Torres, (18), (19), a shy man, we do have a chat and he does happily agree to me taking a few impromptu portraits of him, I notice a sadness about him and I also hear it in his music...
All goes well and, as a thank you, we promptly buy his CD, the only one we have for the whole holiday, all our drives and trips… I know it by heart now, and it was often amazing how well it fitted with the ‘landscapes’ we drove through.
We head home, again with a smile and content with our day, knowing that we'll probably see Mijas again, during the week, hopefully a little more quiet?
Already looking forward to tomorrow.