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March 6, 2014 WALKS IN HISTORY: El Paseo de Galeones


ota is a small town in a continuous embrace with the Sea. The Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Bay of Cádiz on the other give Rota its characteristic geography and climate, with two very different coasts and beaches which are enjoyed yearround by all kinds of sports-lovers, fishermen and relaxing tourists. Today we will be visiting the eastern coast, that on the Bay of Cádiz. Historically, it was on this side of town where the harbour has always been, as its deep waters allowed large vessels to approach land, the higher ground offered shelter from strong winds and the predictable sand banks helped ships anchor safely a short row away from the coast.This coast stretched from Rota in the west all the way to the Castillo de Santa Catalina, where today stands the Puerto Sherry marina, and was well known to British sailors whom called it "the Bay of Bulls". British naval and pirate ships alike sheltered occasionally here during their raids on the Spanish coast, which eventually led to a number of batteries being built here to stop that habit. Only the Castillo de Santa Catalina remains, the rest having been erased by Time and Man. It is this history of the "Bay of Bulls" being used as a shelter that gave it its old Spanish name: playa de Galeones, the beach of the galleons.The name today has been retained to refer to the promenade starting in Rota harbour and reaching the fence of the Base. Let's take a walk next to the sea, shall we? We'll start next to the harbour entrance, although many will rather know this place as the pub "Honey, don't cry". Here we find the centre of Rota's nightlife, especially the summer one. Most of the clubs we can find here were dug into the city wall after the modern port was built in the 1990's, that is why roteños refer to this place simply as "la muralla", the wall. As we walk along the small park at the foot of the wall we come across some old bronze cannons, some are replicas, but others are real ones used in the past to defend Rota from naval assault. Eventually the promenade by the beach turns into stairs so that we can climb up to the Plaza de Pio XII, or the Sagrado Corazón, as it is also known because of the image of Christ on a large pillar. This large square was little by little reclaimed back from the sea in the 1950's after the coast was eroded away by storms. During most of the 20th century people got the bad habit of dumping their rubbish into the sea.At first it was to reclaim the lost ground... but it soon it got out of hand and turned the coast into a rubbish dump.This was changed in the 1990's, thankfully a more ecological approach was taken when dealing with garbage, and the beach was cleared of all traces of its dirty past. Eventually, and the building of Rota´s modern harbour, as well as that of the Base, changed the currents in the "Bay of Bulls", meaning that the deep waters came shallow sandbanks with a huge and well protected beach: "la playa del Rompidillo", non-existent as little as forty years ago.

Text by José Antonio Pilares / Photos by Antonio Cordero

The dissapeared arch stood where the lighthouse can be seen

Picobarro at lowtide, beyond is the Base

But lets go on uphill! The higher we go, the thinner the beach gets, and the coast feels wilder. Cliffs begin taking the place of the sand until we get to a very particular spot, el Picobarro. "Picobarro" literally means "Clay point" and it is exactly that, a red and white clay cliff that punches out into the sea.At the low tide one can easily walk around it, having of course great care not to slip of the wet clay that surrounds it. But at the high tide on a stormy day... the sea envelops it, turning it into the bow of an imaginary galley as it is battered by the waves. Erosion created into this cliff over the centuries a curious looking arch on its eastern side. One got a strangely reassuring feeling while swimming under it in summer at high time, being sheltered by the arch from the currents, the wind and the sun. Nature had modelled by itself a master piece of architecture, as the arch itself was as perfect and as pleasing to the eye as one that could be found in a medieval church. However, the sea giveth and the sea taketh, four years ago a powerful storm hit Rota and the clay in the arch became weaker with each drop of water. As the sun for days did not shine on the clay, allowing it to dry, the arch began dissolving and eventually collapsed in on itself. Today one can still bathe near the Picobarro, but the erosion problem has been seriously taken into consideration. People can no longer climb onto the cliff, for their own safety, but also for that of the natural monument. From a geological perspective, el Picobarro is dammed to disappear by erosion, but we Humans can at least help in slowing down the process instead of speeding it up. Not like happened with the rock "la Cuba de Rota". "La Cuba" -"the barrel"was a now long-lost rock that existed somewhere on these cliffs. It had the particularity of housing a long cave that could be flooded by the sea waves during storms.When storms did hit Rota a powerful explosion could be heard for miles around town, supposedly caused by "La Cuba". Some have theorised that the air inside the cave would become so compressed by the flooding waters that after a critical mass was reached the air boomed out of the cave, pushing out the water like an air-gun and creating the explosion-like sound.Today no living records of its whereabouts seem to remain, and few people still know of "la Cuba's" existence. Most probably the rock was quarried away; but a silent reminder of it does exist, the coat of arms. Most towns have their own coats of arms to identify them, just like company logos. Rota's is a turret riding five waves of blue and silver, surrounded by a rosary and topped with a ducal crown. However, an older coat of arms can be seen in some places, most notably on the ceiling of the hall of the Castillo de Luna, where the City Council meets. There the coat of arms is escorted by a Latin engraving: ET VOX TRONVIT IN ROTTA, meaning "And the voice thundered in Rota".The "voice" of La Cuba, the voice of the Sea.

El Picabarro in a winter storm

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March 6, 2014

W h a t i s Carnaval? by A.M. Avila




arnival (or Carnavál in Spanish) is a festive season which, in many places, occurs prior to the beginning of the season of Lent. In Western Christianity, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday, before Easter Sunday. This year, Lent begins on Wednesday, the 5th of March and will continue for 46 days until Saturday, the 19th of April. Carnival typically involves a public celebration or parade combining some elements of a circus, masks, or a public street-party. People often dress up or masquerade during these celebrations. Americans are very familiar with the Mardi Gras celebration that is held every year in New Orleans. Of course, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.There are other celebrations that are equally as interesting, such as the one held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and the Carnival of Venice celebration, in

Italy. Some of the best-known traditions, including carnival parades and masquerade ball festivities, were first recorded as occurring in medieval Italy.The Carnival of Venice was, for a long time, the most famous carnival. From Italy, carnival traditions spread to the Catholic nations of Spain, Portugal, and France.And from France, they spread to the Rhineland of Germany, and to New France in North America. From Spain and Portugal, they spread with the Catholic colonization to the Caribbean and Latin America. The Lenten period of the Catholic Church calendar, being the six weeks directly before Easter, was marked by fasting and other pious or penitential practices.Traditionally, during Lent, no parties or other celebrations were held and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, dairy, fats and sugar. The forty days of Lent, recalling the Gospel accounts of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness, serve to mark an annual time of transformation. In the days before Lent, all rich food and drink had to be disposed of. The consumption of this, in a giant party that involved the whole community, is thought to be the origin of Carnival. While it forms an integral part of the Christian calendar, particularly in Catholic regions, some carnival traditions may actually date back to preChristian times. The ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Bacchanalia may have been absorbed into the Italian carnival. In Spain, especially in our immediate area, there are many Carnavál celebrations that are worthy of note. However, they do not necessarily follow the general rule of ending their celebrations prior to Ash Wednesday. The carnavál celebrations in Chipiona and Cadiz, are wellknown, colorful, and lively. The Cadiz celebration has been designated as a Festival of International Touristic Interest,and the Chipiona celebration has been designated as an Andalusian Festival of Touristic Interest. The celebration in the City of Cadiz began on the 27th of February and will end on the 9th of March, and the celebration in Chipiona began on the 1st of March and ends on the 9th of March. In Rota, the Carnavál celebration will be held between the 1st and 9th of March. In El Puerto, the Carnavál celebration will be held between the 2nd and 9th of March, and in Sanlucar, the Carnavál celebration will be held between the 1st and 6th of March. Thanks to several articles which I found on the www.anda- website, written by Ms. Fiona FloresWatson whose blog is, I was able to re-create the following lists and commentary (with the permission of both Mr. Chris Chaplow, and Ms. Watson) regarding some interesting terms that appear to be common to most Spanish carnavál celebrations. “For example, there are several types of singing groups and songs at Carnavál. They perform both at the theatre in the official competition, and also on the street. All wear fancy dress. TYPES OF GROUPS Chirigotas - humorous groups of around 10 which perform topical satirical pieces. They are largely male, and accompanied by guitars, kazoos (buzzing instruments),cajas (box-drum) and bombos (floor drums). Play on “carruseles” in the street after the competition has finished. This group is one of my all-time personal favorites. Coros - larger groups (around 30) which perform serious and humorous pieces, accompanied by stringed instruments such as guitars and lutes. Tend to be more balanced men to women. After the final, the coros are taken around on carruseles. Comparsas - most serious singers at Carnaval, with critical songs, in groups of around 15. More elaborate musical arrangements.Accompanied by guitar, kazoo,caja (box used as drum) and bombo (floor drum). Cuartetos - perform improvised comic scenes. Can be three, four or five. Accompanied by kazoos, guiros (hollow, ridged gourds played with stick), pitos(reed whistles) and claves (clicking sticks). The last of the four types of groups who enter the contest. Romanceros - Solo acts who perform in street. They carry signs with comic illustrations to explain what they're singing about. Illegales - amateur singing groups (don't compete in the competition) which play in the street, accompanied by guitar, drum and whistles. Usually groups of friends or family. TYPES OF SONGS Presentacion - introductory piece to explain the group's characterisation, or tipo (although their costumes will already have given you an idea). Style of music is free and unstructured.

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Parodia - most important part of cuarteto's performance: conversation between its members. Cuple - sung by the chirigotas, comparsas, coros and cuartetos - short, satirical songs whose chorus is related to the costume and tipo of the group. Pasodoble - longer song without a chorus, and usually serious and topical. Sung by comparsas and chirigotas. Tango, with gaditano rhythm, is sung only by coros, accompanied by their instruments; mostly poetic compositions. Potpourri, sung bwy all groups, changing lyrics of wellknown recent songs or other music, according to the group's tipo. The lyrics of the songs are the key, with their witty references to current events and newsworthy personalities,

and several writers are well-known for consistently producing clever compositions. They include Sevillano Antonio Burgos, Juan Luis Aragon, Juan Manuel Braza Benitez (El Sheriff), and Francisco Jose Fernandez Diaz (Tote). In Cadiz the costumes worn are often related to recent news, such as the bird flu epidemic in 2006, during which many people were disguised as chickens. The feeling of this Carnival is the sharp criticism, the funny play on words and the imagination in the costumes, more than the glamorous dressings. It is traditional to paint the face with lipstick as a humble substitute of a mask. The most famous groups are the chirigotas, choirs and comparsas. The chirigotas are well known witty, satiric popular groups who sing about politics, new times and household topics, wearing the same costume, which they train for the whole year. The Choirs (coros) are wider groups that go on open carts through the streets singing with a little orchestra of guitars and lutes. Their characteristic composition is the "Carnival Tango", and they alternate comical and serious repertory. The comparsas are the serious counterpart of the chirigota in Cádiz, and the poetical lyrics and the criticism are their main ingredients. They have a more elaborated polyphony, being easily recognizable by the typical countertenor voice.”

Gran Teatro Falla (Cádiz) by Afonso Jiménez

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March 6, 2014

¡Viva El Carnaval! This is the big carnival weekend so get out and join in on some of the activities. The parades are always fun to watch and seeing the carnival groups is fun even if you don’t understand the words they are singing. Cádiz is where most of the action is, but all the towns in the area have parades and activities as well without such large crowds. Telerota What are some of the advantages of contracting one of the Canal + packages through Telerota? First of all, they offer lots and lots of movies and series. You can choose the language you want and if you so choose you can have subtitles in a different language. You don’t need to have and ADSL line. You get a receiver of 500 gigabites where you can record whatever you want. The receiver can connect to a server and download movies or entire series that you can view whenever it is convenient for you. Also, you can see Canal + on your iphone, ipad or any smart phone and tablet. For more information, stop by Telerota. The store is located at Avenida de la Marina, 10, just down about a block from the Hands Monument in Rota. 470 About a month ago, three of us went to try the food at 470 in Puerto Sherry. We were pleasantly surprised; everything was very good and very nicely presented. A couple of days ago we returned with three other friends and once again, everything we ordered was excellent. 470 is a place for sharing, rather than a place where you necessarily order a first and second course and then dessert. Personally I love to eat like this since this way you get to taste more things and don’t have to longingly look at what someone else has ordered. These are some of the things we tried that I can recommend: pan de cristal con anchoas (anchovies on crystal bread), ensalada de brotes con queso de cabra(sprout salad with goat cheese), mil hojas de foie (pastry with duck foie), pulpo a la brasa con esparragos (grilled octopus with asparagus), pochas con foie (young beans with duck foie) and a cod dish that was very tasty. My favorite is the pochas con foie. These beans are very popular in northern Spain, but are hard to

find around here and they are delicious. For dessert, I will recommend “cheesecake our way” (tarta de queso a nuestra manera); a bit different and served with ice cream. All in all, at 470 you can enjoy a variety of interesting and tasty dishes while enjoying a great view of the bay. If you haven’t tried it yet, put it on the top of your “To Try” list. Molly Malone

Cod Dish & Grilled Octopus With Asparagus

Molly Malone is already preparing for their biggest party of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. This year, since St. Patrick’s Day falls on Monday, they will be celebrating Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, March 14th through the 17th ! All weekend long there will be Irish dancing, live music, authentic Irish cooking and Molly’s own special barbecue on the terrace starting at 18:00. There will be discounts for groups and lots of fun. Call 956 480834 for reservations. 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.


OFFICIAL2014 CARNIVAL ACTIVITIES Friday, 7 March Fiesta Carnaval Joven 18:00-23:00, On the stage placed in the Colegio Salesianos, calle Padre Capote will be a dance show with sound and lights with a live DJ, for minors (<18), it is needed to have previously picked up an invitation available at the Youth Delegation at the Librairy Rafael Alberti. I Romancerrada 20:00 starts, Organized by the Peña Carnavalesca “Al Compás”, in the C/ Isaac Peral, Playing will be different Romanceros Roteños. Local Bands will Play 21:00 starts, on stage in the Plaza de San Roque Carnaval Callejero (Street Carnival Parade) 22:00 starts, organized by the Association of Local Bands who will play music in the streets Mina and Garcia Sanchez XIII Masquerade Ball 24:00 starts, on the stage installed in the parking lot of the Colegio Salesianos, c. Padre Capote, with live DJ music Saturday, 8 March Women's Day Carnival Parade 13:00, Saturday, 8 March starts on the Calle Cuna, the parade will have ChirigotasLocal bands playing music 21:30 starts, on stage in the Plaza San Roque CAROUSEL sponsored by Local Groups 22:00 starts, on the Calles Mina and Garcia SancheqGrand Fiesta Of Carnival 23:00 starts, on the stage installed in the parking lot of the Colegio Salesianos, c. Padre Capote, with live DJ music Carnival Night In Plaza La Mina 24:00 starts, organized by the Tasca Talavan and the Association La Curvita and the Band Chirigota Today I cant get Up, who won the First Prize COAC 2013 Sunday, 9 March Grand Humor Parade 17:00 Starts from the Renfe parking lot, presided by the Siren of Carnival and her Nymphs of Honor as well as by the Children's Siren and her Nymphs of Honor Parade will travel along these streets: C/ San Juan Bosco, C/ Juan S. Elcano, C/ Duque de Ahumada, C/ Rubén Darío, Av.

Príncipes de España,Av. María Auxiliadora, Av. San Fernando, Plaza del Triunfo, C/ Calvario, C/ Veracruz, Plaza de Andalucía where the parade ends. Street Carnival, Saturday, March 8th starting at 13:00 in front of La Calabaza Mecánica on Avenida San Fernando. Watch the local carnival groups perform on the street and enjoy tapas and music outside of the different bars. Concert by Mardi Gras Band at Meteoro Club on Thursday 6th of March. Calle Higuereta 57 Entrance Free. 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.


Carnaval 2014 · Official Contest of the 2014 Carnival Teams 20:00 to 23:00,Thursday (semi finales) and Friday (finales) Teatro Pedro Muñoz Seca | Plaza del Polvorista, 4 Tickets from 4€ to 8€, at the ticket office of the Municipal Theatre Pedro Munoz Seca from 18:00 on


Jerez's Flamenco Festival Teatro Villamarta until March 8th 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 Photo by María Higuero

CView March 6 2014  

Insert for The Coastline Rota Navy base

CView March 6 2014  

Insert for The Coastline Rota Navy base