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March 20, 2014 WALKS IN HISTORY: Sailing to Cádiz Story & photos by J.A. Pilares


Rota as seen from Cádiz


or most of Human history, the easiest way to travel and to trade large amounts of goods was by sea. Ships helped people move swiftly and cheaply across distances that horses, oxen or other beasts of burden could not match in speed. Rota, having a natural harbour, is no exception. During the Middle Ages sailors from Rota where a common sight in the waters from the Cape of Saint Vincent in Portugal to Gibraltar, and even on the African coast as far south as Casablanca.These seamen dedicated themselves to fishing and trading, exporting Rota's agricultural products; although it was not uncommon for these vessels to prey on other shipping as either pirates or privateers.There are even records of a Rota mayor organising a private campaign to raid Morocco's coast in the XV century, in search of loot, slaves and to free enslaved Christians. However, today we are not going to tell tales of pirates and slave-ships. Rather we will be discovering the unsung stories of the vessels that linked Rota and Cádiz before roads, trucks and cars eased communications across the Bay. The earliest record we have of vessels trading between Rota and Cádiz can be found in the Church archives, which point out that the 30th of August, 1741 a ship of a certain Juan Laínez put out to sea at daybreak loaded with agricultural products and thirty-four passengers... sadly, she went down because of the unpredictable winds and only twelve people made in back to port. However, most of the elders in Rota remember from their youth another, luckier, vessel “el barco de la hora”, that is: the hour-ship. “El barco de a hora” was a “falucho”, a miniature galley with a single lateen sail displacing about 100 metric tones and able to carry about sixty people. Faluchos were widely used in most of Spain's coastline for most civilian tasks imaginable and even as coast guards.These sturdy and reliable ships could sail the six nautical miles to Cádiz in

Entrance to the Naval Base

Putting into Cádiz

about an hour, hence the name; although this time would depend on the weather and the tides. The falucho would ship out at about nine in the morning, and the fare for passengers in the 1940's was of 5 pesetas. In today's money that is just €0'03, but consider that the daily wages at the time were usually under 15 pesetas! There was also a cargo ship, aptly named “barco de la carga”; that one usually put out at midday and could hold about sixty tonnes of cargo. Many faluchos served as “barco de la hora” or “de la carga” over the years, and many names are remembered by those that sailed to Cádiz for business or pleasure:“Isabel”, “Abanico”, “Sapo”, “Margarita”... During the 1940's the Government dedicated itself to building modern roads, which made overland travel easier and faster than sailing for the first time in Rota's history. The cargo ship went out of use in the early 50's, and the “barco de la hora” followed suit, making the 21th of September, 1957, its final voyage. From then on, it would be roads and railways that would link Rota and Cádiz. It was not until 1989 that someone tried to put a remedy to this situation with a modern ship, a Hovercraft. The ship's maiden voyage to Cádiz was the 22 of November, full of politicians. One of these politicians had had the brilliant idea of getting an old and worn out ship, which meant that the return trip from Cádiz would also be its last. The hovercraft was left to rot in El Rompidillo beach for a few years until it became clear that it was useful only as scrap. In the late 90's a new attempt was made to establish a passenger line with the hydrofoil Astaroth. I remember going to and from Cádiz as a child on it the summer of 1996... but winter came, tourists stopped using it and the company stopped operations. In 2006 the public sector stepped in. Rota's sea com-


munications with Cádiz were considered a must-have and so the “Consorcio de Tranportes Bahía de Cádiz”, the same public company that manages the coaches linking up all the towns on the Bay, began operating a catamaran for passengers for four daily trips.Tickets cost €5'10, although with the travel card the price is reduced to €3'80, the trip takes under 40 minutes. Just last Tuesday I took the “cat” to Cádiz to visit a museum and spend the morning there, and I can swear it is worthwhile. It is worthwhile because Cádiz is one of those cities that seem to be designed to be sailed into, not driven into. Just like Lisbon, Venice, Rio de Janeiro or New York, Cádiz is a city that is unremarkable when one drives there overland, but that welcomes sailors with open arms. The shoals surrounding the island-city force ships to sail around the city walls at a short distance from land, instead of taking the fastest route to the harbour; which gives you more time to contemplate the parks by the sea, the castles and batteries defending the walls, the churches and their bell towers where monks and laymen would thank God for every ship arriving safely to port... And once inside the harbour, Cádiz' three most significant monuments -the Cathedral, the City Hall and the monument to the Constitution of 1812- face the traveller as his little catamaran struggles to find docking space amongst the cargo ships and the massive ocean liners. There is no need to trouble one's head finding parking space. No time to waste trying to find your way. The catamaran just leaves you at Plaza de Sevilla, across the street from the City Hall where you can simply let the flow take you effortlessly to the Cathedral and allow yourself to get lost in the oldest city of the West. But one is never truly lost for long in Cádiz, the sea surrounds the city with a loving embrace, so if you can't find your way simply walk in a strait line and the sea will guide you back wherever you wish. As the poet from El Puerto de Santamaría, Rafael Alberti, put it in his book “Marinero en tierra” -Sailor on shore-: “El mar, La mar. El mar ¡Sólo la mar! ¿Porqué me trajiste, padre, a la ciudad? ¿Porqué me desterraste del mar? En sueños, la marejada me tira del corazón. Me lo quisiera llevar. Padre ¿porqué me trajiste acá? -Rafael Alberti





Válido en el restaurante Burger King de Avda. de la Libertad (Rota) hasta el 31/05/2014. TM & © 2014 Burger King Corporation. Todos los derechos reservados.

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March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014

Tintilla de Rota I

belong to a group called the “Ateneo del Vino” in El Puerto de Santa Maria which, roughly translated, is a group of Wine enthusiasts. Recently, we had the great fortune of traveling to the neighboring town of Rota in order to visit the only Bodega in Rota, and one of only four in the entire province of Cadiz, that focuses on the production of a wine called “Tintilla de Rota.” (pronounced Teen-tee-yah). The Bodega is located on Avenida San Fernando, (just down the street from the roundabout with the silver-colored, Hands Statue), and it is called Bodegas El Gato . “El Gato” (the cat) is a nickname that Juan Martinez Martín-Niño has had for all of his life. He told me that he inherited it from his father who inherited it from his grandfather. Unfortunately, the story behind the nickname has been lost to the passage of time. On our tour of the bodega, we were accompanied by El Gato´s granddaughter, Laura Lopez, who was the perfect host. She first provided us with a tour of a part of the bodega which is located in an industrial park within the town of Rota and, then, we returned to the main site located on Avenidae San Fernando which is the place where the original bodega was founded in 1957. Tintilla de Rota is the name given to the wine that is produced by this Bodega, but it is also the name of the variety of grape from which it is derived. Many wine enthusiasts believe that it is the same as the Graciano grape variety. The Tintilla variety of grape is produced in the Rota area because of the unique characteristics of the surrounding climate and because of the abundance of sandy soil. In the Rota

area, the wine that has been traditionally produced from this grape variety is a sweet wine. It contains Tintilla de Rota grapes, wine spirit (additional alcohol), and “arrope.” Arrope is a reduction created by the heating of the tintilla grape juice, thereby resulting in a very sweet, syrup-like liquid. Throughout history, this wine has been well-known and exported to the United Kingdom, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Morrocco, and even to the United States. During the 18th , 19th, and the first half of the 20th century it was utilized as consegration wine in the U.K. In the late 1950´s, there was a marked reduction in the production of Tintilla de Rota and some argue that it was the result of the land lost to what is now the Rota Naval Base. But, from

what El Gato´s son-in-law told us, the loss of production of this local wine actually resulted from the improved employment opportunities that the construction of the Rota Naval Base provided for the former fieldhands that worked in the vineyards, and not because of a loss of vineyards. As the vineyard workers went to work at the Base, the vineyards and the wineries began to disappear. El Gato´s family was one of the few that continued with their vineyards and with the traditional production of this extraordinary wine. In addition to the sweet arrope syrup that is added in the production of Tintilla wine, a máximum amount of sweetness is attained by a process which is also used to créate Moscatel and Pedro Ximenez wines. All of these wines obtain the majority of

their sweetness as a result of a process that includes sun-drying the harvested grapes almost to a point where they become raisins and thereby concentrating the sugars in the grapes which are later pressed to create the basic wine from which Tintilla wine is created. In the glass,Tintilla has an inky jet black color with a brownish-purple hue. It has a moderately intense aroma of licorice, raisins, prunes, figs, and toasted nuts. On the palate, it is sweet and syrupy with hints of raisins, prunes, and toasted nuts Although, it is a perfect companion for any dessert or can be enjoyed as a dessert itself, there are some wineries in the area that are purchasing the harvest yields of the Tintilla grape variety and are creating excellent red wine blends that are not sweet at all. Rather, the wines that are being produced have a very interesting intensity, color, and aroma which may someday rival other Spanish red wines. Given the unique history and quality of the Tintilla wine, it is no doubt worth visiting the Bodega del Gato. The bodega produces other wines which are also worth trying. There is a tasting room located next to the bodega which allows you the opportunity to try them and to also acquire them straight from the barrel. My suggestion is to contact Ms. Laura Lopez, (El Gato´s granddaughter) at 956-810203 and arrange a tour, or drop by the Bodega at Avenida San Fernando, number 40 in Rota. They are open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m, and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Although the Bodega is closed on Sundays, the tasting room is open.

March 20, 2014

Welcome Spring!! Sherry, Sevillanas and Tapas The Feria, is a popular Spring celebration which is held in many of our neighboring towns. They will start soon after Easter. On March 30th, at the Peña Flamenca El Nitri in El Puerto de Santa María, the Discover Sherry group and Dance Sevillanas will host a "hands-on get-ready-for-feria" afternoon. It is especially dedicated to our friends from the U.S. Four basic Sherry Wines will be presented, tasted, and paired with typical Andalusian tapas. If you are learning how to dance Sevillanas, you will get a chance to practice with live music provided by "Las Tomasas" and a flamenco guitarist. Don´t forget to wear your flamenco dress or skirt if you have one!! If not, come as you are. Husbands and children are welcome and are encouraged to attend. The wine presentations will be in English. Tickets: 22€ per person, Kid´s plate: 8€. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information call 673 204 003 or 600 898 066. Automobile Electricity & A/C Antonio Peña Antonio Peña has a small, well established automobile electrical workshop. He does all kinds of repairs and installations and has good prices as well. For example you can have an oil change for 25€ and that includes the Cepsa synthetic oil 10/40w; you can get a pair of windshield wipers and have them installed for 5€ and you can get a headlight H7 and have it installed for 5€. The workshop is located very near

the Rota Gate. Take the first left and then when you get to Reyes Católicos, instead of heading down that street, veer to your left and go down that alley since Antonio Peña is located on the backside of Reyes Católicos and that little alley doesn’t have a name. You will see a sign for Antonio Peña when you see the street. Antonio Peña has a good reputation and goes that extra mile for his clients. Costco Costco arrives in Sevilla! Costco is the creator and World leader in the “Shopping Club” concept. Its business model is based on being a low cost, self-service warehouse that you can shop at only if you pay for a yearly membership. Costco’s mission is to offer its members only top brands at the best possible prices. Costco is now present in eight countries on four continents and on May 15th with the opening of the store in Sevilla, it will be present in nine countries. Costco members have access to the biggest price club in the world with more than 650 stores. Currently Costco has more than 70,000,000 members that year after year show their satisfaction by renewing their membership. If you are already a member, come to Sevilla to continue enjoying the quality, price and service that you already are familiar with. If you are not a member, you can sign up at www.costco. es or by calling 955 426 650 y/o al 900 111 155 or directly in the offices located next to the warehouse at Calle Ganimedes 9,


Ciudad de la Imagen, Sevilla. Remember, in Costco you will only find top brand at the best price in food, fruits, vegetables, wines, liquors, breads, pastries, delicatessen, frozen foods, textiles, appliances, electronics, cleaning supplies, flowers, furniture, health and beauty, decoration, jewelry, gardening, do-it-yourself, office supplies, optical items, pet supplies and services that will be very


I Showing of Handicrafts by Women Artists of Rota until 22 March in the Central Market and Torre de la Merced. Open Friday from 18:00 to 21:00 and Saturday from 11:00 to 14:00 and 18:00 to 21:00. IX Processional Marches Concert by Our Father Jesus of Nazareth Brotherhood Band Auditorio Municipal Alcalde Felipe Benítez; Avda. San Fernando · Processional Marches Concert; Friday, 28 March at 21:00. Entrance 3€ · Dance: Swan Lake and Song of the Sea by theYouth Ballet of Málaga, Saturday, 29 March at 21:00. Entrance 5€ Saturday, March 29th at 20:15 in Our Lady of O Parrish II Saeta Encounter (The Saeta is a song typical of Holy Week); Saturday, 29 March at 21:00 in the Paña Viejo Agujetas on Calle Argüelles, 2. Concert at Meteoro "Murder is Dead". Another perspective of the Smiths. Free entrance. Calle Higuereta, 57, La Costilla. Tour The Bay By Sail Boat This 2 hour trip leaves at midday and sunset Price is 15€ per person with a minimum of 4 persons and a maximum of 5. Information and reservations, Tourism Office, tel 956 846345. Organized by Diverta Sail Flea Market Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Central Market. To get a table, you must sign up previously in the bar in the Central Market.

useful for you and your family. Anything you want us to pass along? Let us hear from you about your favorite places or coming events. We do like hearing from you! Send an e-mail to Karen@ or give a call to 607-564132. Support your paper by supporting the advertisers.


II Half Marathon Toruños-Algaida; Organized by Tri-Puerto Triathlon on 30 March in Los Toruños. Tapa Route `Cucharón y Paso Atrás´ Saturday, 15 March through Sunday, 14 April Many gastronomic eateries of the town, together with the Ayutamiento, have orgainized this route so that we can have a tapa and a drink (beer, fino wine, red wines and soft drinks) for a 2.50€ price. Details will follow. Flamenco Scene: Tomás de Perrate and Amador Bavarri; Tomorrow, 21 March at 21:00 in the Teatro Municipal Pedro Muñoz Seca. Entrance 8.50€ Marnegra Jazz: Friday, 21 March at 23:30 in Milwaukee,Avda. Bajamar, 10. Entrance 5€. Rock Scene: Steve Wynn & Friends (only concert in Spain);Thursday 27 March at 21:00 in the Teatro Municpal Pedro Muñoz Seca. Entrance 8.50€ Sherry, Sevillans & Tapas; Sunday, March 30th at Peña Flamenca El Nitri. The presentation will be in English. Tickets: 22€ per person, Kid´s plate: 8€. Tickets must be purchased in advance. For more information call 673 204 003 or 600 898 066.


Flea Market on Sundays at Alameda Vieja s/n from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Archaeological Museum Plaza del Mercado,W s/n. C.P. 11.408 956 14 95 60

CView March 20 2014  
CView March 20 2014  

Insert for the Coastline, Rota navy base.