THE MAGAZINE FOR THE COSTA DE LA LUZ AND Cﾃ．IZ PROVINCE
ISSUE 24 MAY/JUNE 2008
Rawpower Life among the fighting bulls
Getting to grips with the finer points of growing cacti
The Roman mountain town which became a leather centre
Acrobatics takes to the streets and the beach
LALUZ ISSUE 24 MAY/JUNE 08
Staff Director Chris Mercer Managing Director Tony Summers email@example.com Tel. (+0034) 687 787 517 Advertising & Sales Kelly Summers firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. (+0034) 655 047 054 Roderick Douglas email@example.com Tel. (+0034) 678 523 239 Editor Jenny Kean firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. (+0034) 655 865 569 Production Tony Jefferies email@example.com Designer Raúl López Cabello firstname.lastname@example.org
laluz magazine is published by La Luz Communications SL Depósito Legal CA 551/2004 CIF B-11784022
Registered address Apdo. de Correos 39 Vejer de la Frontera, 11150 Cádiz, © 2008 laluz Communications Reproduction of this magazine in whole or part without the written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited. The publishers reserve the right to amend any submissions. The views expressed by contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the publishers. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information and the advertisements within the magazine, the publishers cannot accept any liability.
Letters Letter from the publishers
Noticeboard Your chance to get details of your event or association to all the laluz readers out there
Those Were The Days Our trawl through the internet for anniversaries in May and June returns 26
Life Stories High-flying couple who have landed on the Costa del la Luz
Why I love The giant fig trees of Cádiz city have inspired one of our readers
Distributor Discadiz/Javier Bernal Tel. (+0034) 636 017 632 Printer Fotocromía Tel. (+0034) 902 101 105
Cover Photograph by Kirsten Scully
Day in the life The street gymnasts of San Fernando talk about the tricks and acrobatics of Parkour Wild Side Walk Watch your step as we examine all those potentially unfriendly creatures minding their own business out in the wilds
A Town like We turn our attentions to the leather town of Ubrique, with its worldrenowned products and a long, rich history
Gardenning Don’t prick your fingers… cacti in focus as our regular column gears up for summer
Golf News from the courses and a pro’s tip to help improve your game Insight The spotlight falls on the life of those magnificent fighting bulls for which Cádiz province is so well known
Day Tripper erspicax syrtes libere suffragarit pretosius umbraculi, quamquam Pompeii frugaliter miscere gulos
Property Fancy putting your own stamp on an old property? Read on…
How To… Find a house swap, a house sitter or a willing worker
Ask the Experts Advice from those in the know
Eating out From stylish fish dishes to hearty Italian fare, here’s where to find it
Films & Books A classic Spanish movie which introduced Penelope Cruz to the world and a detective novel from the oeuvre of one of Spain’s greats
What’s On Where to go, what to see and when
Advertising Directory Local services, business and classified adverts
A letter from the publishers Just over two years ago, the new team took over at La Luz, determined to make what was already a good and well regarded product even better. We think we’ve more than achieved that goal, with a bright, contemporary look, some great features and outstanding photography packed into every issue. More importantly, feedback from you, the readers, has confirmed our thoughts. You love La Luz and, in fact, you want more of the same. Chris Mercer Director
We’ve responded to your suggestions and married them to our own plans for an exciting future. Part of that is a change of direction. As a bi-monthly magazine, it’s not easy to keep up to date with the latest local news, which is why we’ve decided to turn our attention more closely to the lifestyle issues our readers enjoy so much. From now on there will be even more features on the Costa de la Luz, the people who live and work here and the issues which affect their day to day lives such as our experts columns, property, gardening and restaurant reviews. We’re excited about our new format and hope you will be too. Over the coming months we plan to bring you bigger and better articles about the beautiful Costa de la Luz.
Tony Summers Managing director
La Luz is the only quality English language magazine dedicated to life on the Costa de la Luz. It is a free publication that takes a lot of time, effort and money to produce, therefore we would like to take this opportunity to thank our current and all future advertisers. Without you, there is no La Luz.
Want to be part of the area’s favourite magazine? La Luz Communications are looking for a sales person to join their team. We have spent the last 12 months developing the magazine and new products around it and believe that we have a platform that provides a great opportunity for the right person. We are now looking for someone driven to take on the responsibility of spearheading the advertising sales and take the magazine to the next stage in its development.
Key skills must include: • Fluent business Spanish (confident at selling) and native English • Sales experience • Good communication skills • Highly self motivated • Knowledge of laluz distribution areas • Own transport and prepared to travel • Ability to work as part of a team Also desirable would be previous media sales experience and autonomo status established
If you think you are the right candidate then please forward your up-to-date CV to email@example.com
The package will include a small basic salary to cover the cost of being autónomo, an attractive commission structure, out of pocket expenses and a mobile phone for business related calls.
THE MAGAZINE FOR THE COSTA DE LA LUZ AND CÁDIZ PROVINCE
Starlights shine in Chiclana
The Easter Extravaganza by the Starlights theatre group in Chiclana certainly lived up to its name. It was a traditional fun show which provided a welcome contrast to the digital, fast-moving world we are sadly more accustomed to. The packed house enjoyed the chance to just sit back and be entertained on a brilliant family night out. The room was filled with the sound of laughter and of course plenty of ‘ahhhs’, prompted by the younger members of the cast dressed as sea creatures and munchkins.
The story line was based on Starlights organiser Martin trying to get a job as a comedy script writer at a casting interview, claiming he could prove his talent with a crew of 35 children and 15 adults, plus a backstage crew ready to perform there and then. And so on with the show – a series of hilarious sketches that the cast seemed to enjoy as much as the audience. Just imagine four grown men dressed as women, with Pamela Anderson boobs (well, at least until they got popped!), singing, dancing and generally strutting their stuff. The younger members proved their talent
with some great singing and dancing that, in the finale, had the audience on their feet, clapping along. ______________________________________ If you’re interested in becoming part of Starlights and appearing in their next show (August/September), contact Martin on 697 839 530 or Tracy on 677 314 633. Classes for children 11am–1pm Sunday, adults 7.30-9.30 pm Wednesday. SOFIA LÓPEZ CHAMBERS
Community news in brief > Mari Luz petition In the wake of the tragic abduction and death of five-year-old Mari Luz Cortes in Huelva, a website has been set up where people can sign a petition calling for a change in the law to make a permanent register of paedophiles. Anyone living in Spain with an ID number can add their name. See www.nuevodrom.net Car boot sale A new car boot sale has started up in Cádiz province. It’s organised by Dirponautica and takes place at the Beach & Country Club at the
Embalse Guadalcacín at San José del Valle. Bacon and sausage butties on offer, plus a children’s play area and half price canoe and pedalo hire. The event runs from 10am-2pm every Sunday and sellers should arrive from 8am. You’ll find it on the Arcos to San José del Valle road, km11.5, near Arcos de la Frontera. For further information, see www.dipronautica.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Calendar girls (and boys) Brown’s Bar and The Lemon Tree restaurant in Chiclana are looking for
sponsors for a calendar which is aimed at raising money for cancer charities. The 2009 calendar will feature local British people photographed in Calendar Girls style (all in the best possible taste, we’re assured!). Sponsor ads start at just €20 for an eighth of a page. Contact John at The Lemon Tree on 956 536 607. Ayamonte call Recent Ayamonte arrival Christine Martin is looking for other people to start up a patchwork and quilting group. “We moved to Ayamonte about six months ago and
love it. It was one of the best decisions of our lives and we have made many new friends,” says Christine. “But both my husband and I had hobbies in the UK which we would like to pursue here. I love patchwork and quilting; I don't think that there is a group in the area but I would like to start one. If anyone is interested, novice or experienced, please contact me.” Husband John Martin is interested in bird watching and astronomy and would be keen to meet like minded people. Tel: 618 975 607 or e-mail email@example.com
> If you have any news or information about a club, association or community event in your area, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to La Luz Magazine, Apdo de Correos 39, 11150 Vejer de la Frontera. We need to receive details one month prior to publication of an issue
This summer’s coolest event. To follow on from the success of our Christmas Ball, we’re planning a party for the summer. The laluz Summer Ball will take place on Saturday 21st June 2008 at the magnificent Hacienda el Torilejo near Chiclana. It promises to be a magical evening with the best music, entertainment and of course food and drink – all on a warm summer’s evening in the exotic surroundings of the Torilejo. Tickets for the evening (including gourmet menu and welcome drinks) are €60 for laluz club card holders, or €75 for non-club members.
Book now! Call laluz on 655 047 054 or email email@example.com
To get your discount as a laluz club card holder, turn to p67 and join up now! Sponsored by:
8 THOSE WERE THE DAYS
Suck it and see Lots of lovely lolly, a taste of the erotic, a tale from beyond the grave and a cautionary tale from the manager’s bench are uncovered by Quentin Kean in his celebration of May and June in Spain
Grave news May 9th 1978
May 2nd 1978
Spain’s first sweet-on-a-stick hits the market. Originally they were going to call it Gol (because it’s round like a ball and your mouth is the goal). Then they changed it to Chups. But the kids’ chorus of the promo song (“Chupa, chupa, chupa un Chups” sang the little darlings) caught on so well that Catalan sweet manufacturer Enric Bernat plumped in the end for Chupa Chups.
The Jerez Association of ‘Padres de Familia’ complains to the Civil Governor over the wave of “pornography and eroticism” that it says is flooding cinemas, magazines and billboards. You can see their point. Four months after a law is passed ending the film censorship of the Franco era, it’s Carry On Emmanuelle all the way. A flavour of what’s on at local cinemas in Cádiz and San Fernando this week: Sexual Freedom in Denmark (“first hard-core sequences to hit the Spanish Screen!”), Emmanuelle 2 – the anti-virgin,
With some smart marketing (shopkeepers were told to place the product by the till so kids could reach them) and a little help from his friend Salvador Dali (who took time off from painting soft clocks to design the lolly’s flower logo in 1969), Bernat turned the Chupa Chups into one of the world’s best selling lollipops. Over four billion are currently sold worldwide, with Madonna, Giorgio Armani and the Russian nation amongst the biggest suckers. But seriously, if Jorge Lorenzo won’t be seen on a MotoGP podium without one, then we like them.
and Kamasutra. Good news for Spanish cinema owners, bad news for their counterparts in south-west France. The tens of thousands of Spaniards who used to flock across the border to catch treats like Last Tango in Paris and The Story of O are now watching them at their local cinema.
The British Protestant Cemetery in Cádiz has fallen into such disrepair that it’s to be closed down and turned into a public park, says an announcement from the British vice-consul. Anyone with an interest in any of the graves is advised to get in touch pronto as the human remains are going to be transferred to the town’s municipal cemetery. The cemetery had been there since 1842, when Gibraltar’s first bishop, George Tomlinson, was allowed to consecrate it on the condition that there be “no church or chapel or any symbol of public worship built or set up in the cemetery”. Until then, bodies of deceased protestants had been disposed of by being “thrust perpendicularly into a hole in the shore below high-water mark”, the Church of England Magazine said.
Chain-sucker May 20th 1992 Fifteen months after manager Johan Cruyff has a triple heart bypass, FC Barcelona win their first European Cup final (the last held at Wembley Stadium). Formerly a 20-cigs-a-day man (hence the bypass), Cruyff has turned from chain-smoker to anti-smoking chainsucker. And what’s ‘El Flaco’ (Skinny) got permanently in his mouth? A Chupa Chups, of course. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!
10 LIFE STORIES
Happy landing Carole Cole talks to a couple who have travelled the world but still prefer to make a home on the Costa de la Luz
Retired pilot Guy Hirst and partner Jo Watson divide their time between Britain and their home in Ayamonte
With 58 years’ flying experience between them, it’s fair to say that retired pilot Guy Hirst and his partner, former cabin crew Jo Watson, are welltravelled by anyone’s standards. They’ve seen the world and all its continents during their successful careers working long-haul routes for British Airways. And yet, when it came to planning their very active retirement, they looked close to home rather than to a far-flung destination for their parttime overseas base. “We previously owned an apartment in Costa Almería, so were familiar with the Spanish way of life,” explains Guy, 57. “Once we decided we wanted to spend more time in Spain, we realised the Almería area was probably not ideal for the travel links and climate. So, on the advice of my brother we looked at the Costa de La Luz.” From that moment, there was no going back. “It had all that we desired – it was greener, quieter, better served by scheduled airlines and had the right ‘feel’. Also, the Atlantic Ocean has always appealed more than the Med. Better beaches, more tidal, cleaner, better fish.” Guy and Jo first bought a house on a golf course in Nuevo Portil in Huelva province. Close to beautiful beaches and with plenty of ex-pat neighbours, the property was an ideal holiday hideaway. But after a couple of years and with their planned early retirement looming, the pair had a rethink. “Our intention was to come here all year round, so we felt being ‘marooned’ on a golf complex was not ideal,” explains Guy.
“By this stage my son and his partner, James and Liz, were living in Ayamonte and he found the ideal place where we now live. A wonderful, threebedroom apartment overlooking the Guadiana River, with a stunning roof terrace and some excellent neighbours.” Guy and Jo, 47, have embraced the Spanish lifestyle during their stays on the Costa de la Luz and say they’re now trying to treat them not so much as a long holiday, but more as part of their normal life, divided between Spain and Britain. So how does it contrast to life ‘back home’? “England is busy,” says Guy. “We live 25 miles from Heathrow. That journey can take anything from 35 minutes to 3 hours 35 minutes. The Ayamonte apartment is 60km from Faro airport and it always takes 45 minutes. Obviously, too, the weather is more reliable and the pace of life is more tranquil.” It’s certainly a far cry from their hectic days jumping time zones, dealing with mid-air dramas and handling the responsibility of the hundreds of passengers in their care. The chances are, if you’re a seasoned traveller, you may have been flown by Guy or with Jo – or perhaps both. Guy launched his career at the College of Air Training in 1970 and flew for 34 years with as a pilot with British Airways until his retirement in 2006. Jo, meanwhile, flew as a member of BA cabin crew for 24 years, working her way up to cabin service director in charge of up to 16 staff on Boeing 747 and long-haul routes.
Their paths crossed in 1990 while on a trip in Africa. They sold their individual homes, moved in together seven years later and, in 2007, shifted to a ‘lock and go’ low-maintenance house in Guildford, Surrey. Their split UK/Spanish lifestyle allows Guy to keep his hand in as a consultant human factors specialist, working with surgeons and other professionals in health care to reduce preventable medical error. Jo is working on a consultancy basis for Guy’s company as a customer service training specialist. So, it’s hardly feet up, glass in hand for this pair. Indeed, even while ‘relaxing’ Costa de la Luz-style, they manage to pack in plenty of activities. “We have a couple of fold-up bikes which help us to keep fit and are great for cycling to the beach,” says Guy. And then there’s their boat, a 20ft wooden cruiser which they moor in the Ayamonte marina. Back on terra firma, they love exploring the area to come up with excursions for visiting friends and family. “All the beaches are fabulous, in Spain and just across the river in Portugal. We like the traditional Spanish restaurants in Ayamonte and the beach restaurants in Portugal, particularly at Praia Verde. Ayamonte itself is ideal for all times of the year. It’s a buzzing town centre but the motorway is just five minutes away.” Surely, there must have been some pitfalls, the odd anxious moment, just a touch of frustration during the buying process? Or was it really all a
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 11
turbulence-free ride for the couple who’ve regularly weathered the storm at 36,000 feet? “It actually hasn’t been too bad,” insists Jo. “Of course it is different buying abroad and all I would suggest is that those interested talk to people who have gone through the process. Nothing happens quickly and, also, do not expect the hype of the developers and property agents to come to
fruition. Be realistic. Check everything out properly and be patient when dealing with the authorities. Nothing happens in a rush.” Guy and Jo are selling up in Nuevo Portil, having realised that Ayamonte suits them better. They still spend 70 per cent of their time in Britain but, as Guy says: “If wine gets too expensive, those ratios may alter.”
12 READER’S RECOMMENDATION
Why I love…
the ficus trees of Cádiz Ricardo Luz takes us on a stroll round the city to see some outsized reminders of a trip to the East Every time I go to Cádiz I like to spend some time walking around, especially through the narrow little streets of the old part of the city. I enjoy getting lost in this labyrinth of lights and shades, pausing from time to time to have a drink and a tapa. But perhaps my favourite stroll is outside the tight grid of streets: I start in the Paseo Carlos III in the Alameda Apodaca, on the north side. Just before the Baluarte de la Candelaria there are two magnificent samples of ficus macrophyll. These two ficus trees are simply huge with a perimeter of 9.3 metres and 12.4 metres, and have been here for 105 and 110 years respectively, which makes them silent witnesses to the history of the city. They have an extremely irregular trunk and robust and long branches which seem to wander off the balustrade trying to get to the sea. Both of them stand on the ground firmly gripped with endless powerful roots making amazing, swirling patterns. It is always shady and cool under their enormous copa (the top part of the tree), full of green big leaves. I am always amazed that these are the same type of tree you can buy in a pot at any vivero. The walk continues through the Parque Genovés, a beautiful botanic garden full of plants and trees from all over the world. At the end of the park, where the playground is, there is another very old living creature, a very tall dracanaea drago, 130 years old and with a perimeter of 4.7 metres. Watch your neck when looking up! (If you want to see a 250-year-old sample, go off Plaza Mina, on Calle Tinte and look in the patio of the Arts and Crafts School). Leaving the park, pass the Parador Hotel and keep on walking until you reach the Caleta beach. Just on your left in front of the old Hospital de Mora’s door you will see another pair of huge ficus trees, also 105 and 110 years old, with trunks measuring 9.8 metres and 10.5 metres round. When you look at them from la Caleta it looks like a huge single tree, and it is only when you get close you can make out the two huge trunks with their endless, mingling roots. It is great to walk through them and touch and feel the huge hanging branches and there are always a few kids around, jumping up and down the like monkeys in the jungle. The reason I like these huge ficus is because they remind me of other big trees I saw while travelling through India and Cambodia. If you have been in India, I am pretty sure you will had encountered one of those huge Banyan trees with endless hanging branches, where as usual you can see under its cool shade a few people waiting for the never arriving bus. In the Cambodian architectural complex of Angkor Wat (aprox 200 km) some temples, like Ta Prhom have been left at the mercy of nature creating an amazing fight of branches and stones.
Main image: Ficus at Alameda Podaca; Clockwise from left: The tallest drago in Genoveses; Huge ficus in la Caleta; Ta Phrom roots and ruins
Hacienda el Torilejo offers luxury rooms and suites and a range of eating areas. Dine in style at the à la carte restaurant or the more informal Tetería, with its oriental ambience, is open for drinks, tapas and cakes all day and during the evening ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Hacienda el Torilejo can be found at Ctra. N-340 km14, between Club de Golf Meliá and Campano Club de Golf Tel: 635 424 564 or 609 210 212. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A question of choice
...................... Pro’s Tip
Thomas IJland, of the EGCS, takes a look at the local golfing scene
The Costa de la Luz is becoming better known for its superb golfing facilities and is promoted in northern Europe and indeed worldwide as a golfing holiday destination. But as a golfer living in this area all year round, where does that leave you? I have come across people who think that some of our golf courses here are only open to hotel guests or club members. In fact, this is not true; all golf courses in the province are open to the public. As a golfer living here, you have three different options to choose from. You can either pay the full
public price, become a club member of one of the golf courses or become a member of a golf society, giving you the opportunity to play more than just one course. The variety of courses in this province is greater every year and there are new projects to be started in Prado del Rey, and Benalup (Casas Viejas). These projects are a great example of the type of golf available on the Costa de la Luz. Here we benefit from a different approach to construction and infrastructure compared to the Costa del Sol or Costa Brava, for instance. Only a few of the golf courses are built in urbanisations and so you will rarely find yourself teeing up alongside houses on every hole you play. Also, most of the courses are built in fantastic surroundings with great views, so that we can appreciate the natural environment both on and off the golf course. To enable you to enjoy the full richness and diversity of the different types of golf courses, there’s no substitute for joining a golf society. But whether it’s as a green fee player, a club or a society member, get out there and experience what’s on offer.
____________________________________________ > EGSC NEWS > EGSC NEWS > EGSC NEWS We’ve had a lot of positive feedback and give a warm welcome to the new members who subscribed recently. But I’ve noticed that 90 per cent of our members are men. The European Golf Society of Cádiz would like to get a ladies section set up as soon as possible, so please contact us all
you female golfers. Also, how about introducing your sons or daughters to the game? We would welcome enquiries to further this part of our society. Don’t forget to sign up for the first LaLuz tournament, in conjunction with the EGSC, on May 30th at Arcos Gardens. See opposite page for details.
Enjoy special offers and discounts by joining the European Golf Society of Cádiz. For more information call 618 917 260 or visit enjoycadizgolf.com. Or go to p.46 to qualify for your 15% joining discount as a laluz club card holder.
Francisco Gómez Aguilar of Golf Melia Sancti Petri gives some important advice on the short game The chip and run should be the most used shot of your short game. This is the most reliable shot around the green when you can't putt. I would estimate that at least 95 per cent of my short game shots (from within 20 yards of the edge of the green) are played with a chip and run technique, and the other five per cent is made up of putts from off the green, pitches, and bunker shots. Getting the ball on the ground and rolling as soon as possible greatly increases the chances of the ball's behaviour being predictable. That is not to say that a chip and run is always very low to the ground; just as low as possible. A chip and run style shot can be played with the most lofted wedge in your bag, in which case some people might refer to the shot as a ‘pitch and run’. In many cases where the average golfer tries to pitch the ball up in the air, the ‘risk versus reward’ and the uncontrollable nature of a pitch (especially from a marginal lie) make it a poor choice. Short Game General Rules: • Putt whenever possible (ie if the ball will roll rather than bounce) • Chip and run when you can't putt. • Pitch only when you have no choice
____________________________________________ Chiclana Golf Resort The Chiclana Golf Resort – the biggest such resort in Europe – has launched its first Open Golf Tournament. The resort boasts a total of 99 holes on five different golf courses (Novo Sancti Petri, Campano Golf, Golf Meliá, Las Lomas and Practee Golf ) and tournament participants will be able to play in five competitions with a grand final at Novo Sancti Petri on September 20th (check our calendar for other tournament dates).
(Being a member of the Spanish Golf Federation gives you the right to play in all competitions and tournaments)
May 3rd 17th 23rd 30th 31st 31st June 7th 12th 14th 21st 21st 22nd 28th-29th
Golf course El Puerto Sta María Sherry Golf Jerez Arcos Gardens G&CC Arcos Gardens G&CC Benalup G&CC Golf Melia Golf course Montecastillo G&CC Montecastillo G&CC Golf Melia Sancti Petri Benalup G&CC Las Lomas Golf El Puerto de Sta María Arcos Gardens G&CC
Tournament Torneo Promotour Chrysler Trophy II Trofeo La Ser Iberdrola La Luz and EGSC Tournament II Torneo Piel Golf Chiclana Golf Resort Tournament Tournament IV Torneo Benéfico Manos Unidas Torneo Spanish Senior Golf Association Call & Play Tournament II Torneo Gastronomico Chiclana Golf Resort Tournament Liguilla (monthly medal) Audi Classic Open
ARCOS GARDENS/STEVE UZELL
at Arcos Gardens
LALUZ MAGAZINE ARE DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE OUR FIRST EVER GOLFING COMPETITION The event will be run in conjunction with our laluz Club card partner, the European Golf Society of Cadiz (EGSC), and will be held at the exclusive Arcos Gardens Golf and Country Club, a venue that laluz is proud to have as partners of our club. The date will be Friday 30th May 2008.
Shotgun start at 10am. The competition will be a categorised individual stableford and will include all the usual longest drive and nearest the pin prizes. In addition to the prize giving ceremony the price will include: • Welcome coffee, Green fee, Buggy and Buffet lunch.
Prices: €60 for members of laluz Club and EGSC €75 for non members. There is also the possibility (subject to interest) of arranging a return coach to depart from the Chiclana area at an extra cost of €8.
Those interested in the event call 618 917 260 or 655 047 054 or email email@example.com Sponsored by:
16 INSIGHT | A BULL’S LIFE
None but the
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 17
brave Jenny Kean takes an indepth look at the toro bravo and all that it means to Spain and her people
ALL IMAGES: KIRSTEN SCULLY
18 INSIGHT | A BULL’S LIFE
‘Once upon a time in Spain there was a little bull and his name was Ferdinand.’ So begins the well-known children’s story, with its delightful account of the young bull who didn’t want to fight like the other bulls, but preferred to just sit under a cork tree smelling the flowers. For Ferdinand, the 1936 story by Munro Leaf ends happily. It’s a fact that not all toros bravos enjoy the same happy fate, but for the length of their lives, they certainly revel in a similar lifestyle, one that is as close to idyllic as is possible. And it’s perhaps a measure of the power of the bull as a symbol in Spain that this simple children’s story – released at the start of the Civil War – was seen by rightwing supporters here as a pacifist book and ended up being banned in several countries. Spanish culture is certainly steeped in the tradition of the bull – and not just bull fighting. For centuries, artists as diverse as Goya and Picasso have been fascinated by the animal, as have musicians, writers and film makers from Federico García Lorca and Mario Vargas Llosa to Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles. The intricate steps of Jerez’s famous dancing horses have their origins in the campo working the bulls, whilst even the flamboyant moves of the flamenco dancer echo the bullfight. In many towns, bulls are run through the streets in local festivals – in some instances, like Arcos, a somehow rather pagan rite that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. And of course there’s that great black shadow that dominates hillsides all across Spain, the majestic silhouette that started life as an advert for a brandy but came to represent a whole country. There’s even a special word – tauromaquia – which covers not just bullfighting but anything related to it, from the breeding of the brave bulls, to the design and making of the costumes and posters for bullfights. It is defined as an art in the dictionary of the Real Academia Española. So what is it about bulls and Spain – a country which honours deeply the brave spirit of the bull, but where the matador mostly wins in a form of ritualised killing that is seen as an art? It’s a difficult concept for animal-loving British people to understand, so I asked long-time aficionado Antonio Valdivieso Lorenzo to try to explain it. Born in Jerez, he founded a peña taurina there for one of today’s most famous bullfighters, Jesulín de Ubrique. Antonio was brought up going to bullfights, his father and grandfather before him were keen followers and his young son too is continuing the family tradition. He believes the answer lies simply in the fact that Spain and the bull are inextricably bound up. “The bull forms part of the history of Spain. In fact, it is our history. Whether you like it or not, there it is. But it’s not just history. It’s something that’s still alive in all our traditions today.”
Above: The bravery of the young bulls is tested during the tentadero. Top left and below: In the tienta, female cows are put through their paces to see which will breed the best toros bravos. Top right: The Domecq family ranch opens its doors to show visitors how they rear fighting bulls
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 19
Details Open Countryside (A Campo Abierto) See the cows and brave bulls of the Domecq ranch at close hand, together with mares and their foals plus displays of classical and Andaluz dressage. Shows every Weds, Fri and Sun from March until October at 11am. Tickets €15 weekdays, €18 weekends (children half price). Tel: 956 314 065 or 956 304 168; www.acampoabierto.com;
La Ruta del Toro Explore the countryside which is the birthplace of the toro bravo and home to some of Spain’s most famous ganaderías or bull ranches. The route takes you from Jerez to Tarifa via a number of towns including Medina, Alcalá de los Gazules, Benalup and Castellar de la Frontera. It’s a particularly scenic tour in April and May when the wild flowers are out. Contact local tourist offices for details.
ALL IMAGES: KIRSTEN SCULLY
Bullfighting museums (museo taurino) afford a glimpse into the world of the toreo for those who prefer not to attend a bullfight. Chiclana’s Museo Taurino Paquiro has some stunning matador costumes and also some drawings by Picasso. Calle San Agustin, 3. Tel: 956 405 151. Open Mon-Sat 11am1pm; Mon-Fri 6-8pm. Jerez Museo Taurino, Pozo del Olivar, 6. Tel: 956 319 000. Mon-Sat 10am-2pm. Closed Sundays.
20 INSIGHT | A BULL’S LIFE
“People think we train them to be aggressive,” explains Isabel Domecq, “but in fact they only fight once in their lives and that’s in the ring. One bull that was meant to be going to perform in Seville was killed by another bull in the fields the other day. We want to keep their natural aggressive instinct, but not to damage one another. For the four years of their lives, they live quietly in freedom and in open land.” The only exception to this are the trials which take place to test the bravery of the bulls. Two-year-old cows are put through their paces in a tienta in a country bullring to see if they have the qualities necessary to breed brave bulls. And
But it was in the 17th and 18th centuries that the origins of modern-day bullfighting were born. The early bullfights were enacted on horseback, with the nobility using the event as a display of power and distinction before the ordinary people. Gradually more and more contests would be held on foot, allowing more stylised exhibitions of bravery using the cape for the first time as well. Today rejoneo (bullfighting from horseback) has made something of a comeback, thanks mainly to the efforts of Álvaro Domecq, who died in 2005. It’s a contest that highlights the all-important connection between rider, horse and bull. That connection is one that exists throughout the life of a brave bull, as can be seen at the Domecqs’ Alburejos ranch near Medina Sidonia, run by Álvaro’s grandchildren. Here a new show for the first time provides an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the rearing of a toro bravo. Seated in a tiered ring, the audience watches as a group of bulls are driven in by horses and riders – at first a distant cloud of dust against the Medina hills, later forming into individual animals, some of the baby black bulls as young as three days old. The show tells the story of the life of a brave bull, from birth to branding and the all important testing of the animals to see whether they will be picked for the bullring. The bulls spend the first four years of their lives here before they go to the bullring. They grow up in a family of ordinary herding cattle and are kept in groups to avoid too much in-fighting.
the young bulls themselves go through a tentadero process, when they are run for several hundred metres before being tossed by riders with lances to see how they will react. “What we’re looking for is a bull that is aggressive but at the same time noble and strong,” explains Isabel. “One that is focused, that prepares to attack, rather than looking around for a way out.” This is big business; a top quality animal can fetch as much as €18,000. Back in the arena, the men working the animals on horseback use the long lances to control them. Without the blood and sweat of a full-blown bullfight, there is still a sense of excitement in the ring – the horses snorting, the bulls shifting and sometimes just a lone horse and its rider facing up to the impressive bulk (and horns) of a fully grown black bull, teasing it back into the group with a few subtle movements. “To work with bulls, you need the horses,” explains Luis Domecq, himself a one-time rejoneador. “The horses are specially bred for this work.” It was Luis’ uncle, Alvarito, who first started the exhibitions of horsemanship which have now become famous at the Real Escuela in Jerez. And it is here, on a real working farm, that the roots of these ‘dancing horses’ become clear; the high picking hooves were originally a movement for the horses to navigate the rocks in the rough countryside, whilst the side-stepping comes into its own for rounding up a wayward bull attempting to stray. The art of doma vaquera really does belong with the cowboys.
ALL IMAGES: KIRSTEN SCULLY
Today’s toro bravo is descended from the stock of Egyptian bulls and the European Urus, now extinct, making it a unique breed only found in the Iberian peninsula, in southern France and in parts of south America. Pictures of bulls can be found in prehistoric cave paintings, and there is evidence that fighting bulls in the Bronze Age was a sort of rite of passage proving the bravery of boys as they became men. Goya’s etchings show bulls being hunted in the Spanish countryside in earlier centuries, using the same lances that are carried by the rejoneadores or horseback riders in the bullring today.
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 21
“People go and see bullfights and horse spectacles in the big smart arenas,” explains Luis, “but we wanted to show them what happens behind the scenes here on a ranch, all out in the open in a natural environment. It’s a question of man, horse and bull all working together.” And so, in the end, the brave bulls leave Los Alburejos and generations of breeding come to a climax in a bullring. Where some see the scenes there as little short of brutal torture, Antonio Valdivieso Lorenzo sees it as something akin to art and beauty, something that is simply part of Spain. And bullfights, far from becoming less popular, are increasing every year. “What I want is to see a really good brave bull and a good fighter who understands the behaviour of the bull. It’s about the torero as an artist – creating beauty like a painting.” “Look at this picture,” he enthuses, pulling out a photograph of a bull making a pass in the ring. “Look at the line of the man’s head, his shoulders back, his feet slightly apart, the angle of the cape – it is beautiful. Like a flamenco dancer performing the Bulería, pulling the skirt across the body, the head inclined in the same way.” A good brave bull inspires respect and can even win him a reprieve with a life-long retirement back on the ranch. Antonio believes that at the moment of struggle, we see in the bull something of the best of ourselves. “The poet Miguel Hernández put it thus: ‘Como el toro bravo me crezco ante el castigo’ (‘Like the brave bull, I grow stronger with punishment’). “Remember that the first time the bull meets the picador he has no idea what is going to happen. But the second time, he knows. And the third, and so on. And yet he keeps fighting. It’s the kind of spirit we admire in our own heroes.”
The Osborne Bull
The familiar black bull – still made in El Puerto de Santa María – was originally created as an advert for Osborne brandy. Designed by Manolo Prieto in 1956, it has grown in 50 years from a mere advertising symbol into one of the world’s bestknown icons, representative of Spain herself.
Young toros bravos at the Domecq ranch near Medina Sidonia, where they will spend the first four years of their lives before going to fight in the ring (left). Below: The Osborne bull is a familiar landmark across Spain and is renowned worldwide
In 1988, the bull came under threat from new laws banning advertising near roads. Hoping to get round the problem, Osborne painted out the brand name which until then had adorned the silhouettes. But it wasn’t enough and the company was ordered to remove the bulls. A huge public campaign followed, ending in a landmark judgment by the Spanish Supreme Court ruling that the bull had gone beyond its initial advertising purpose “and has become a part of the landscape and Spain’s national heritage”. Today there are at least 90 bulls around Spain. Their life hasn’t remained uneventful however; they have been painted pink, made into cows with udders, one was even castrated. Penelope Cruz famously makes love under one of them in the film Jamón jamón (see our film review, p50) and many daring youngsters have scaled their dizzy heights. The bull is a feat of engineering by the Tejada family business in El Puerto which makes and builds them. It’s 14 metres high and is a massive jigsaw puzzle made up of 70 panels. It takes four scaffolding-like turrets to support the 4,000 kilo bulk, and 1,000 bolts hold it all together. The final touch is the black paint – 20 gallons of it. The image of the silhouetted bull remains the copyright of Osborne. A book, El Toro de Osborne by Eduardo Marqués, is available from the Osborne bodegas shop in El Puerto de Santa María
22 DAY TRIPPER
ALL PICTURES: ANGELA CLARENCE
days out Shop & Fly Jerez de la Frontera The Costa de la Luz is blessed with endless kilometres of wide, sandy beaches and seeing them from 300 metres up in the air confirms their great beauty. It’s not something you might think of doing every day, but for little more than the cost of a good lunch you could be viewing your home area from a completely different perspective. Fly-in-Spain offers trips out of Jerez airport in a fixed wing light aircraft at €200 an hour for up to three people. Whether you simply follow the coast line from Cádiz to Trafalgar and back (which takes about an hour) or fly further afield up to Portugal; across to Morocco; or inland to Granada, these scenic flights make for very special outings. Away from the coast, the Cádiz landscape looks as soft as a pillow, dotted with ordered olive groves, umbrella pine forests, chalky hills, toy tractors tilling farms, villas with pools and the golf courses and hotels at Novo Sancti Petri. The extraordinary sight of Cádiz itself, which appears to be floating precariously on the edge of the world, is a heady experience. My favourite trip lasts almost two hours and includes a flight over Cádiz, down the coast to Trafalgar, through the Straits of Gibraltar and back via the hills and valleys of the Alcornocales
Natural Park. You can also make the trip in a shiny yellow helicopter though the costs are considerably higher. If flying gets into your blood and you long to take the controls yourself, wannabe-pilots can also buy a one-off trial lesson from Flyin-Spain, which is the only venue in Europe offering certified pilot training in English. Whether it’s as a pilot or a passenger, however, don’t miss the opportunity of observing our world from on high. You are bound to be hungry after the flight and right across the road from the flying base you can sample tapas and a €7.50 menú del día at the Venta Parada. Having circled Jerez from the air, circumnavigate straight round the western side of the city with the new A4 extension from Jerez airport. You could take the opportunity of visiting the recently opened Área Sur shopping mall at exit 639. There’s a good selection of restaurants and bars including a Chinese buffet, two Italian restaurants, a cerveceria and tapas bar as well as traditional Spanish, sandwich, burger and doner kebab venues. As far as shops go, you can browse through (among others) Benetton, C&A, Etam, H&M, Mango, Primark, Nike and Zara. And if you’ve any energy left after shopping, you can go bowling while the children fling themselves around in a bouncy castle.
A private flight out of Jerez airport affords a bird’s eye view of coast stretches like this one at Sancti Petri
You could also choose to see a film at one of the 11 screens – and the cinema has plans to show original versions at selected times. ANGELA CLARENCE _________________________________ How to get there: After the little bridge on the approach road to the airport turn right to the double green gates. Press the button on the speaker and say Fly-in-Spain. At the roundabout turn left and their offices are on the right a little before the T-junction. See www.fly-inspain.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 699 775 501 or 696 967 630. The Área Sur shopping mall is off exit 639 (Trebujena) on the A-4. See www.yelmocineplex.es and click on Área Sur for details of films
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 23
Itálica Santiponce For a small town, Santiponce has some pretty big monuments to boast of. To start with, there’s the monastery of San Isidoro del Campo – founded in 1301 and a treasure trove of sacred art. But even this magnificent, half ruined edifice pales beside the remains of Italica. When nearby Seville hadn’t even been thought of, Italica was a thriving Roman city – home to thousands of citizens and a 25,000-seat amphitheatre and birthplace of two (possibly three) Roman emperors. A couple of thousand years later, you can wander at will among some of the finest Roman ruins and exposed mosaics in the Iberian peninsula, even though only a small part of the original city has been uncovered. The fact that it’s there at all is due to the Guadalquivir (or as it was then known, Baetica) river silting up. As the river changed its course Italica was left high and dry and lost its importance as a port. The city of Hispalis (Seville) grew up and Italica was gradually abandoned,
its stones and columns being used for some of Seville’s great Moorish monuments and others being nabbed by local farmers and peasants. A programme of excavation only started in the 1950s and archaeologists have estimated that the task of uncovering the city is so great it will never be completed (quite apart from the fact that half of it now lies under the houses and shops of Santiponce). What you can see is well worth the effort of getting there. Walk through the gates and the amphitheatre rises in front of you. Not quite the Colosseum, perhaps, but impressive even so. Besides the seating areas, much of the underground area is extant so that you can wander into the rooms where gladiators prepared to meet their fate or the holding area where starving lions were
Itálica near Seville is one of the finest Roman sites on the Iberian peninsula
taunted before being let loose on humans – armed and unarmed. The amphitheatre is surrounded by green and shady planted areas, in contrast to the main area of the city to the south, where the grid of original cobbled roads has been uncovered. Not much other than weeds, a small grove of olive trees and the odd cypress tree grow here. Two of Rome’s greatest emperors, Trajan and his successor Hadrian, were born here, more than 250 years after Scipio Africanus founded the city for veterans of the successful Second Punic War against the Carthaginians in 206BC. Some of the excavated houses would certainly have been grand enough for imperial relatives and those with exposed mosaics such as the House of Birds and The Planetarium House are witness to the cost of keeping up with your neighbour’s villa. There are other, public buildings partly excavated including two bath complexes. There’s also a cool lake tucked in behind the amphitheatre on the north-western edge of this massive site. Back in the town of Santiponce you can find the ruins of the theatre, in the middle of the older section of Italica. By the time of fourth century emperor Theodosius (who may have been born here or may have been born in Segovia), Italica’s great glory had passed. It’s our good fortune that nature covered up much of the city until the recent past. TONY JEFFERIES _________________________________ Italica (April-Sept: 8.30am8.30pm Tue-Sat, 9am-3pm Sun & holidays. Oct-Mar: 9-5.30 Tue-Sat, 10am-4pm Sun & holidays. Tel: 955 996 583; juntadeandalucia.es/cultura/italica) is 9km north west of Seville, at the northern end of the town of Santiponce. From Seville, follow the N-630 towards Mérida then signs for the monument. Entrance is free to EU residents
24 A DAY IN THE LIFE
s k c i r Tof the trade
Urban Speed (right) are (clockwise from top) Pixu, Parodi, Argy and Aimar
Visit any local town and you’ll probably see teenagers launching themselves off sand dunes, running up walls, back flipping from parapets, then speeding off to the next street stunt. Parkour and Tricking (freestyle street
gymnastics) are big in Cádiz province. La Luz spent a Saturday afternoon on some waste ground outside San Fernando with the Urban Speed crew as they practised moves like the mortal palante, the invertío and the U
How often do you do it? Pretty much every day. On weekdays we come down here for an hour or so after school. At the weekends we pack a sandwich in the morning, get the train to Cádiz, head for the Playa de la Victoria and stay there till it gets dark. In summer we’ll be practising all day on the beach and in parks, either here, in Conil or in Cádiz. We can’t get enough.
with our mobiles, edit it on Moviemaker and then post the results on websites like dailymotion and youtube. You get to learn new stuff, get feedback on your tricks and your videos, and make friends with people from all over the country. It makes you proud to have your best stuff up there.
even do them in the water when you get too hot.
Can you always find somewhere to practise? We make do with what there is. It would be great though to have a proper course that we could use or a gym where we could go and practice. In the summer, it’s not a problem. The beach is where we would be anyway and it’s the perfect place to do tricks. You can
_____________________________ To see Urban Speed’s latest stunts go to http://www.dailymotion.com and type in Aimar Trailer.
Don’t your parents worry? They do a bit, but we’re pretty careful. We always warm up well before we start, we don’t try anything daft and we keep an eye out for each other. Having said that, you can’t do it if you’re afraid.
It’s all about knowing what you’re doing and having self-confidence and cojones. You do get injured occasionally, but less than playing football. Is it competitive? They’ve got competitions in France, where Parkour started years ago, but not here. The spirit’s not about rivalry in any case, it’s about everyone helping each other to keep on improving. How do you get to learn new stuff? Either from people we know – there are probably around 100 people doing it here in San Fernando alone – or on the internet. Like loads of other groups, we film ourselves
What’s the best thing about it? It’s a cool way to hang out with your friends, it keeps you super fit, it’s a lot of fun, you don’t need any special kit or clothes…and it impresses the girls!
As one of the comments says: ‘dio k wena pablo se nota k as mejorao tela pixa!! por este peaso d vidio te as ganao las 5* y preferios’
On the 12th of September Carteya Motors started their venture as a BMW official dealers and offered BMW and Mini service in the area that surrounds Gibraltar. Carteya Motor belongs to the CATSA group. Since 1946 they have centered their efforts on quality service for customers as a guarantee for the future. Carteya Motor has a 5,600m2 installation that provides all the technical innovations for
sales and repairs of BMW’s. Their qualified and motivated team offer good customer service, and are experienced BMW professionals. If you need a new car, or are looking for a quality used car with warranty we are at your disposal. You can visit us on the Ctra. Cádiz-Málaga Km. 608,7 Urb. Los Pinos 11205 Algeciras. Tlf. 956.651.700 Fax.956.651.696
26 WILD SIDE WALK
great and small
Stephen Daly takes a look at some of the less cuddly animals and insects to be found in Spain Moving to another country or even travelling abroad often raises questions about the possibility of encountering dangerous wildlife. The chances of coming across a poisonous animal in Andalucía are in fact very small, unless you are looking for them. Common sense, preventative measures and a greater understanding of wildlife always play a big part in how safe we make our lives, whatever the danger. Often false myths are perpetuated about what can be harmful or dangerous. Accurate information on dangerous wildlife is often confusing or difficult to find, and here I want to highlight some of the more common types of hazardous creatures, should you or your family happen across some of them.
Let’s talk about larger mammals first. Wolves were persecuted for centuries and are almost extinct in Andalucía with only a few packs consisting of no more than around 50 animals in the Sierra Morena area. Bears do not occur here and the few remaining northern Spanish bears are under extreme pressure from hunters. Both wolves and bears have had protected status under Spanish and EU legislation since 1986. There are 13 species of snake in Spain with only five that are venomous. These are the Montpellier’s snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) (pictured), which is the largest, growing to over two metres in length and can easily travel faster than a running human. Also the asp viper
(Vipera aspis), Seoane’s viper (Vipera seoanei), the snub-nosed or Lataste’s viper (Viborade lataste – grey, short with a triangular head and a zigzag pattern on its back) and the false smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus). Some of the more common ‘garden’ snakes that one comes across are the ladder snake (pictured opposite bottom) or the horseshoe whip snake, which takes its name from the horseshoe pattern along its body. They’ll be looking for rats, mice, geckos and often take fledglings from bird’s nests in spring. All snakes like to climb trees and of course they love warm walls to sun themselves and will usually have a bolt-hole very close by. Normally snakes will avoid people and they usually detect the vibrations
from footsteps well before you come to their area. The best advice is not to panic but walk slowly backwards away from the snake. All snake bites should be treated as quickly as possible at a medical centre or hospital. There are more than 1,650 different species of spider on the peninsula alone. Let’s have a look at some that you might find. The most dangerous is the black widow spider (Latrodectus tredecimguttatus, pictured top right). Their name comes from the practice of the female devouring the male after mating, thus making them ‘widows’. Most female spiders are larger than the males and the bite of the black widow is very painful and you should seek medical attention. Black widows are most common in Andalucía and on the Costa Blanca. Wolf spiders (Lycosa tarantula) can also give a stinging bite that can give swelling in the immediate area around the bite. They often occur in gardens and in spring can be fairly aggressive if you happen to disturb them. After writing about the negative aspects of spiders, I should point out that these are remarkable creatures. The first thing to realise is that spiders are not insects. They belong to a group of their own. Spiders have two main body parts, eight walking legs, simple eyes and piercing jaws (fangs), abdominal silk spinning organs which produce, size for size, silk stronger than high-tensile steel. They have anterior abdominal genital opening. Insects are very different with three main body parts with six walking legs, compound eyes, antennae, chewing jaws (mandibles – often secondarily modified) and posterior abdominal genital opening. Spiders can’t fly, as many insects can, but may allow themselves to float on the wind, travelling vast distances and heights to populate new areas. You will probably have seen floating web strands in the air from travelling spiders at
various times of the year. One of the most common and beautiful is the orb spider (pictured second right). On to Scorpions. The most common species is the Mediterranean or Spanish scorpion (Buthus occitanus, pictured left). They are normally nocturnal hunters but can be found during daylight. They have turned up in our garden before and you have to be aware that their sting (not a bite), can be quite painful although not life-threatening. When out walking on drier slopes it may be advisable to wear boots should you disturb a sleeping scorpion. Oh yes, in all the films you see people checking their boots in the morning before putting them on – well, I always do this if they have been left outside. Centipedes can also sting and the one with the biggest ‘kick’ is certainly the Megarian Banded Centipede (Scolopendra cingulata – escolopendra). This beauty is quite long at about 9cms and is dark yellow and black. Best to leave it alone. It is not considered lifethreatening but now I really respect them! Pine processionary caterpillars are well known around this area. These fascinating social moth caterpillars are active during the cooler periods and are normally only found in umbrella or stone pine forests as these are their host trees. During the caterpillar period, they form head-to-tail lines moving on to find new food supplies from tree to tree. They feed on the pine needles and have incredibly strong mandibles. Once in the trees they communally spin silk and create a type of nest that you can often spot in the forest pines. It’s during their processionary movement when people and animals can encounter their highly irritating toxin from their hairs. Do not touch them and warn children about them. Contact can cause temporary blindness and choking in animals if they are swallowed. The moths begin to emerge during August from the soil beneath the trees and so begins the cycle once more.
All in all, there are lots of other insects I could write about, their activities and habits. I have deliberately left out all the obvious ones like hornets, horseflies, mosquitoes as well as other reptiles and amphibians. There are of course lots of informative websites out there along with wonderful photos and descriptions. Every animal and insect has its part to play in the fantastic, intricate world we share. It’s good to remind ourselves that we are just a small and often vulnerable part of this beautiful and varied life on Earth. ________________ Stephen Daly runs Andalucían Guides, the birding and wildlife tour company, and runs day tours in Cádiz province. He once tried to out-run a Montpellier’s snake and lost. If you’d like to find out more, he can be contacted through andalucianguides.com or by phone on 956 432 316 or 647 713 641 Editor’s note: With thanks to reader Karl Bickerton from Paterna, who suggested this article
LY STEPHEN DA
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 27
28 A TOWN LIKE | UBRIQUE
World of leather Juliet Eyre takes a wander around the ancient mountain town of Ubrique, an internationally-renowned centre for tanning and leather craftwork Cal is what puts the ‘white’ into the pueblos blancos. And for Ubrique, it’s that same lime that has helped make it famous throughout the world – not for the quality of its whiteness, but for its centuries-old tradition of leather making. The area has water and lime in abundance – two of the elements necessary for the tanning process. The Romans were quick to spot the potential, and when the Moors later conquered this mountainous area, they brought with them their intricate leather working skills. But the modern-day industry owes more to the 19th century when different designs and colours began to be used, helping to set Ubrique on the path to becoming the artisan centre that it is today. The town has much more to offer than just leather souvenirs, however – even if they are of a superb quality. Ubrique nestles in a valley between the Sierra de Grazalema and Los Alcornocales, making it the perfect base for exploring two of the region’s most beautiful natural parks.
The area’s early history will come alive when you visit the original Roman town of Ocuri or walk the same road that the Roman occupiers trod nearly two thousand years ago. This Calzada Romana is in fact part of the GR7, a route that links Tarifa with Athens, and runs for 11km from Ubrique to Benaocaz through breathtaking scenery. Unlike Arcos, Olvera and Grazalema – which dominate the surrounding countryside from their dramatic cliff-top positions – Ubrique lies in a basin at 340 metres above sea level. A sheer cliff overshadows the town and the mountains around rise steeply to more than 1,000 metres. The three huge crosses that are lit up on the craggy horizon at night have become a landmark; local legend has it that they have protected the town ever since the famous earthquake of 1755 which devastated so much of Portugal and southwest Spain. It was to these same mountains that the people of Ubrique fled when Napoleon’s invading army arrived in 1810. But if the French
thought they were in for an easy victory, the residents of this mountain pueblo had other ideas. Using rocks and any other weapons they could lay their hands on, they rained down fire and missiles on the would-be invaders, who were forced to retreat several times. The houses and streets of the casco antiguo are partly built into this rock face. Ubrique’s early settlers clearly hugged the base of the cliff for protection so that even today, the narrow white alleyways are punctuated by big pieces of bare rock as well as colourful flowers. And dominating the area, the elegant façade of the Church of San Antonio has become the symbol of the town. Ubrique’s prosperity has been closely bound up with its leather trade. Early products focused on tobacco pouches (petacas) and production was stepped up with the arrival from Italy in the late 18th century of leather worker Angel Vecina de Malta. But Emilio Santamaría, who arrived in the town in 1916, is regarded as the pioneer of today’s industry. He built his workshop in the ABC building
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 29
Left and below left: Ubrique lies in a basin overshadowed by a sheer cliff. Below: the elegant façade of the San Antonio church has become the town’s symbol. Below left: Abundant supplies of water and lime helped make Ubrique a world-famous centre for leather goods
which is beautifully decorated with tiles and remains a draw for visitors today. The growth of the leather industry gave rise to the elegant 19th and 20th century buildings that in turn grew out from the old casco antiguo. The Avenida del Dr Solís Pascual, lined with trees, runs through the centre of more modern Ubrique and is where the leather workshops can be found. But the hub of life in Ubrique today is in the pedestrianised Avenida España, where the people of the town go to shop, stroll, have a coffee and catch up on the latest gossip. It feels vibrant, a working town which combines tradition with modern-day industry and business. The bullfighter, Jesulín de Ubrique, may well be the town’s most famous son today, but it’s the leather industry that is crucial to the
economy of this pueblo blanco and its 17,000 inhabitants. The remains of the original tanneries can still be seen near the river, but today’s hides are brought in from other areas of Spain. However the traditional techniques and craftsmanship are still used to produce the handbags, wallets and belts that are exported around the world. It’s all a long way from the tobacco pouches of those early days, but the town’s centuries-old craft has been badly affected by cheap imports from Asia that are sold at a fraction of the price of Ubrique leather. The local leather industry is fighting back, though, concentrating more on high-quality, designer goods rather than cheaper souvenirs.
What to do & see Leather workshops Many offer guided tours. Contact the tourist office in Avenida Moreno de Mora, 19. Tel: 956 464 900 Cruces de Mayo (May 3rd) Songs, food and everyone makes a wish to the sound of loud bangs caused by exploding gamones, a kind of reed which is heated up in wood fires and then explodes when struck by a stone
Subida de Ubrique An annual event, usually held in April, when rally cars race along the twisting road from Ubrique to Benaocaz Roman town of Ocuri The remains of this Roman settlement can be found 2km outside Ubrique at Salto de la Mora, dominating the pass to Benaocaz
Aiming for the top end of the market, the Ubrique name is still holding its own. Like their ancestors who fought the French so hard two hundred years ago, the people of Ubrique aren’t beaten yet.
€1 From 60 on ,0 ly 00
Casa Flores – Jerez City Centre
Tucked away in the heart of “old Jerez” or the Casco Historico, Casa Flores is set amongst the world famous Sherry bodegas, belonging to the Domecq and Gonzalez Byass dynasties, on rising ground close to the baroque Cathedral and Moorish Alcazar.
• Rooftop swimming pool • Pre-installation for air-
2 one bedroom, 13 two bedroom and 2 amazing penthouse apartments.
or s tf r ea to Gr es
Casa Flores is an old bodega that on completion will be transformed into 17 top quality apartments.
The rooftop swimming pool really does set this project apart from most other projects in Jerez and will be a clear winner with potential renters
conditioning • Fully fitted kitchen • White goods included • Porcelanosa ceramic
All of the properties are situated around a central patio. All properties come with fully fitted kitchens, top quality ceramic tiles, wooden floors in bedrooms
floor tiles • Double glazed windows • Built in shutters • City centre location
Spanish Property Specialists On display is just a small section of our extensive portfolio in Costa de la Luz. For further information please contact us on one of the following numbers. We look forward to being of service to you.
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00 €100o,a0stal on c prices
El Ejido – Lebrija ly on 00 m ,0 Fro 50 €1
El Ejido is situated on the edge of the town yet only 5 mins walk from the nearest shops. El Ejido is a residential development, made up of townhouse style properties. All of which have 3 bedrooms and various patios. The architects have kept the traditional Andalucian Pueblo style, which is prevalent in this corner of the province of Seville. The developer Falconvi SL is a family building company with over 20 years of experience building residential and commercial properties in the province of Seville. In which time they have built up an excellent reputation.
To complement the townhouses there will be a private communal swimming pool and childrens pool, plus garden area and toilets
Special Features • 3 generous bedrooms • Family bathroom • Shower room • Large lounge/diner • Kitchen • Front garden • Parking areas • Rear patios • Pre-installation of air conditioning
Jerez: Calle Porvera, 31. Jerez de la Frontera. 1403 Cadiz Tel: +34 956 329572 Email: email@example.com Vejer: C/Pintor Morrillo Ferrada. Local 5, Urb La Noria. Vejer de la Frontera. 11150 Cadiz Tel: +34 956 455075 Email:
Our passion is property
gardening Thorny issue Cacti are intriguing plants that are ideally suited to life under the harsh Andalusian sun. They are native solely to the Americas, but euphorbias (with milky-white sap) are global, spreading from frosty England to tropical Africa. Succulents include the aloe vera and the prickly pear, and are found throughout the world. All have evolved with the common need to conserve water and have developed different methods to do so. Cacti have done away altogether with leaves, and instead have weird and wonderful ribbed trunks and branches, and white hairs or spines that insulate the plant from heat and cold and also protect it from harmful solar radiation. Flowers, although glorious, are ephermeral, and only the night-flowering cacti are scented. The trunks are used as water reserves as succulents use their leaves, and in severe drought the plant reduces and withers as it uses up its resources.
It is the myriad of leaf patterns and colours that attract the gardener to succulents and cacti. Used in the garden they are most effective when planted in groups, and a minimalistic planting is more striking especially when using fine gravel to keep down the weeds. Planting like with like enables you to treat each plant individually – for example plant fleshy leaved plants together, such as a mixture of agaves and carpobrotus (ice plant). Or mix bush forming euphorbia characias, growing wild in this area, as a backdrop for the giant euphorbia candelabrum. Pretty kalanchoe looks great in front row borders framed behind by rosette
Stewart Pitcher trained in agriculture and was a farm manager by profession before starting up his gardening business here several years ago. He lives near Vejer
forming aeonium, keeping the spinier specimens further from passers-by. Although these plants typically grow in arid areas with poor soil, the sand is often rich in minerals. When preparing your garden for cacti, provide a gritty, porous soil or the plant may rot. Remember, not all cacti want full sun all day. Choose your plants carefully and use the shadow created by bigger cacti to protect smaller, more delicate plants. In nature, cacti and succulents have a dormant period of the year when they need no water at all. In the growing period (dependent on species) feed them occasionally with ordinary slow-release fertilizer, and the only maintenance they need is the occasional clean-up and trim. Ideal for beginners, most are easily propagated: break off a piece, let the cut dry for a couple of hours then poke it into some sandy soil and water sparingly until roots develop, and the plant starts to grow.
Pick of the bunch
Sydney golden wattle Acacia longifolia
This fast growing tree related to the mimosa has naturalised itself perfectly to this climate, and is seen adorning gardens, stabilising motorway embankments and being used as a screen for salty winds on the coast. It is from a large family of more than 1,200 species from Australia – normally without spikes – and from Africa, characterised by vicious thorns. In gardens, they are fast growing but short-lived, and die back in ugly patches as they get old. The hard seeds remain viable for 30 years, some species needing fire or soaking to germinate. Here, they are very easily grown from seed and will make a tree within five years.
Bridal veil broom
A unique, indigenous plant, the Spanish Broom is a deciduous, almost leafless shrub which has masses of large, golden-yellow peatype flowers blossoming from the shoot tips and perfuming the air through spring into early summer. It grows to three metres as a bushy shrub, and loves full sun and good drainage, making it popular for use on central reservations, mixed with oleander which flowers when the broom has lost its glory. It is drought tolerant and loses its leaves in summer. Pruning after flowering will maintain compact growth in gardens, and a little mulching in winter will encourage better flowering in spring.
Another widely seen indigenous shrub, this is ideally suited to a sunny life in sand dunes and rocky or sandy soil with little water. It too grows to three metres and consists of many wispy fronds sprouting from and around the trunk which wave elegantly in the wind, and subtle white bell-shaped flowers which fill the plant from winter into early spring. It is used in gardens as a windbreak, planted in clumps, or can be planted and pruned as a hedge. Bridal veil broom is not commonly found in garden centres, so try taking cuttings in summer or collecting the seeds and planting them in spring.
gardening GRAND DESIGN:
gardening in small places
Readers are invited to share their gardening and design problems or ideas by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org or Apdo de Correos 39, 11150 Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz
May The months of late spring are often the most beautiful in the garden with many plants in full flower. Deadhead roses, margueritas, chrysanthemums and lobelias for repeat flowering, and give a liquid feed to your pot plants. Keep on top of the weeds by regular maintenance, and use a broadleaf herbicide on the lawn to kill groundhugging weeds that the mower doesn’t reach. This is a good month for taking tip cuttings from shrubs and climbers (see issue 18 for tips on successful Propagation). In the huerto, plant cabbage, caulis and leeks for winter, a couple of rows of French beans and also some melon seedlings.
As society changes and evolves so do its demands; social and financial pressures dictate where we live and the free time available to us. In many circumstances it is not practical to have a big, sprawling garden, or the house you buy on an urbanización may only have a small plot of land. It may not be suitable for a cypress hedge, a palm tree or a prickly pear, and you can turn limited space to your advantage by creating intimacy. Classic friends of small spaces are raised beds, sunken gardens, ponds, fountains and statues, and of course pot plants, window boxes and hanging baskets. Plants need to be specially chosen for their complementary growth habits avoiding large, vigorous growers and unsuitable trees. Planting a dense hedge on the perimeter cuts out valuable light, so choose something that filters it and reflects it such as the glossy leaved transparente (mioporum laetum) or the New Zealand Christmas Tree (metrosideros), which has silver-backed leaves and scarlet blooms in summer. Or train vines and climbers into the fence, and plant several strategic trees to break up the uniformity in height such as a cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree) which grows slowly to five metres and fills with pink flowers in spring before the heart-shaped leaves appear. Tall, narrow cypresses (try C. Sempervirens ‘Stricta’) look great in small gardens, giving a point of reference in the skyline whilst taking up little space on the ground or not creating too much shade. Trees to
avoid are rubber trees, pines, willows and figs – their roots are invasive and will cause damage over time. Plan the garden with a view from the kitchen window in mind and think of the focal points. Planting in raised beds brings the flowers closer to eye level and creates a wall which plants can crawl down. When making a flower bed concentrate on mixing heights to create interest, for example planting larger plants at the front of a display and smaller ones at the back creates a false perspective. Stay with one or two themes when planting, and avoid cluttering the garden – remember, Mother Nature willing, everything will grow. There are many shrubs with slow, compact growth that are ideal for small spaces. Try roses and hibiscus, macrocarpus and juniper, lantana sellowayi and creeping rosemary, or the indigenous lentisco and Spanish Gorse (genista lydia). If you prefer flowers, plant forget-me-nots, gazanias, argyranthemums (marguerites), allysium (sweet alice), gladioli and other bulbs and tubers. Fill dull corners with pots, brightening them with aptemia,sedum and kalanchoe (succulents); geraniums and pelargoniums, bitter oranges and olives, a specimen cactus or the giant-leaved Alocacia (Elephant’s ear). Limited space clearly does not mean limited choice. There is a plant for every occasion.
June As the days and evenings grow longer, we have more time outside to enjoy the fruits of a hard year’s gardening. Everything is at its best, and time can be spent in the garden pottering, watering, dead-heading, and looking out for bugs on the roses and caterpillars in the vegetable patch. When watering, avoid the hottest parts of the day to prevent scorching the leaves and water loss through unnecessary evaporation, and ensure new plants are watered deeply so that the roots develop properly. Planting in the vegetable patch is similar to May; make sure everything is well watered and protected from the summer levante.
property The creative urge
Tony Jefferies looks at some of the ways old and new are being blended to good effect
Top: This stunning lakeside property near Zahara de la Sierra is on sale with Olvera Properties. Above: Loft living is stylish in Jerez. Mercers are selling an outstanding twobed apartment in this development
New builds aside, it isn’t often a British buyer walks into his recently acquired home, looks around and thinks ‘I can live here without doing anything to the place’. That’s just in Britain. When we buy in Spain, the creative urge is positively breaking down the door without waiting for the key to turn in the lock. As we all know, British and Spanish tastes in interior design don’t often coincide. Neither one is better than the other, they’re just different and, spurred on by a decade or more of DIY, design and property renovations filling the television schedules, we all like to think we have a little imagination and flair inside us. Almost any property on sale in the province which wasn’t built in the last five years is fair game when it comes to
reshaping, redefining, reinvigorating or any other form of alteration. The challenge of taking an old property especially and transforming the interior into something unexpected, modern, functional and attractive is just too good to resist. Towns like Arcos, Medina Sidonia and Olvera are full of good-sized old houses which have either been split into apartments or were filled with tiny rooms from the outset. All it takes is some thought, a good builder and, perhaps, an architect and or designer and you can create your own urban palace, no matter how small. Of course, finding a good builder is a task in itself. Again, that conflict of ideas between the locals and the expats rears its head. It’s an understandable divergence of minds:
we’ve been encouraged to blend new with old, having gone through our ‘Sixties and Seventies’ phase where everything modern was good and everything else should be swept away. For the Spanish, especially in rural areas, the last few years have been a revelation. At last they’ve been able to find – and afford – modern goods. So out with the old it is. “Persuading builders to think ‘our’ way is one of the most difficult aspects of property sales and redevelopment,” says Zoe Males, of Olvera Properties. “They want to rip out old doors and windows and replace them with aluminium because it’s practical. And, of course, they don’t worry if they damage an old fireplace while restoring it because they can charge €1,000 upwards for a new one,” she says.
Top: Interiors at Olvera Properties’ Zahara cottage. Above: Mercers are selling modern apartments in historic buildings in the centre of Jerez
“Slowly, we are bringing them round to our way of thinking. They’ve had a lot of practice with all the British people living in and around Olvera but you’ve still got to keep a careful eye on what they’re doing. It’s not that they’re dishonest. They’re not – it’s just that they can’t see why we want to use all the old stuff.” The word is obviously getting out, given some of the sympathetic conversions on Olvera Properties’ books. There’s good use of existing wooden and plaster features and some tasteful kitchens and bathrooms being installed up in the Sierra de Cádiz. In Medina Sidonia, one current project illustrates just what can be done – as long as you have the funds and the vision. “We have a client who is converting a huge townhouse into four luxury flats in the middle of the town,” says Peter Linnane, of Andaluz Homes. “It’s a really high class redevelopment, with a roof pool, whirlpool baths, underfloor heating all that you’d expect of a really modern home. What’s great is that the original pillars, patio and other features have all been incorporated. This is a very sympathetic renovation.”
Not that finding that sort of property in Medina is easy – most have been snapped up by Brits and other foreigners. Gary and Kirsty Biston opened their guest house, Casa Medina, four years ago after using architect and designer Michele Rondelli to gut and then redevelop their grand old house. The result is stylish and modern but the feel of the house is very much that of ancient Medina. Rondelli has repeated the trick elsewhere in the town and along the Costa de la Luz, but he is only one of a wave of designers and architects now working in the province. As Peter Linnane says: “It takes guts to take on a project like this. There are all the associated complications of dealing with planning and the local council but it isd rewarding in the sense of achievement and financial return. “Medina does lend itself to this sort of project because a lot of the properties are big, double-fronted houses with plenty of space. And, of course, for the buyer it’s a chance to create something just as they want it. To be able to walk through the door and say ‘this is the house as I wanted it to look’.” Jerez might be the last place you would think of as a hotbed of modern interiors secreted in old buildings. This is, after all, a city built on tradition and a strict social hierarchy. But Spain in 2008 is a fluid place and the city-dwellers here are catching on to the idea that historic buildings can provide the perfect setting for radical ideas.
You only have to walk through the doors of the smart and stylish Hotel Palacio Garvey, for example, to see what might be achieved. And when it comes to private dwellings, Mercers are proving a magnet for designconscious locals looking to sell their properties – especially those with northern European buyers in mind. Loft living has come to town and in one particularly classy ex-bodega, the public spaces and pool terrace are matched by sleek interiors with state of the art kitchens and sympathetic living areas. Mercers have other modern redevelopments hidden in old shells, including an excellently finished twobed apartment in a vast 19th century palacio in the centre of the city. “The interior has been fitted and decorated with a very modern eye,” says office manager Nicole Gandy. “The kitchen has stainless steel work surfaces and accessories throughout, the look is clean and simple and the minimalist staircase to the master bedroom is made of solid oak planks that just seem to be floating in thin air. “There are lots of ways modern lifestyles and design are being incorporated into vintage architecture without being disrespectful. In fact, some might say it is the ultimate compliment.”
40 HOW TO…
Find a House Sitter, House Exchange or Willing Worker
In our series of practical guides to living in Spain, Angela Clarence considers the options available when you’re away or offer work to temporary visitors House sitting enables home owners to enjoy worry free holidays or longer sabbaticals, while the house sitter benefits from a low cost vacation or a period of rent-free living. Having someone to stay in your house while you are away offers so many benefits including increased security; contented pets cared for at home instead of in catteries or kennels; plants watered and tended; a post box emptied regularly; your home kept warm and aired as well as the handling of unexpected emergencies such as leaks or power cuts. Professional house sitters also provide this service for a fee, generally arranged through an agency. House swapping is another win-win arrangement which enables two sets of home owners to eliminate rental fees and hotel bills for major trips, short breaks or even long weekends. From Europe to the Americas, Australia and the Pacific Rim the possibilities are limitless and often include fringe benefits such as use of a car and even a boat. Work exchange is another beneficial system in which young travellers receive free board and lodging from home owners in exchange for work on their house, garden or farm. The travellers usually work four hours a day, six days a week or three days on and three days off. Step 1: Surf the internet for dedicated house sitting, home exchange or work exchange websites and browse descriptions of available houses, sitters and workers. Choose and register with one or more of these sites,
posting your details and photographs. Some sites are free, some charge a subscription fee. Step 2: Match up with possible holiday houses and sitters based on the location of your choice, mutually convenient dates and by studying biographies and references. Step 3: Exchange e-mails with potential owners, sitters or workers, eliminating those you feel would not be suitable. Once you have narrowed your choice, talk to them on the phone, which should help clinch your decision. If the potential sitter is already travelling in your area you could also meet in person. Common sense and intuition are the best aids in selecting someone to care for your home but checking references is an essential precaution. Step 4: Home owners should draw up a list of guidelines for care of the home such as: whether smoking is permitted; if guests are allowed; if the linen can be used; if groceries are to be used up; if the use of gas and electric is free; provide codes for access to wi-fi; indicate if the phone should be answered and others. Sitters usually use mobile phones or all purpose phone cards for use with land lines and for longer stays the sitter can be asked to pay utility bills. Step 5a: Owners must provide a list of duties with clear instructions such as how often to water the garden and explaining how the system works; how often to feed the pets and with what ingredients; any quirks in the house such as how to start the boiler or open the
garage door, or how to stop the toilet running. If duties include more intensive work such as grooming horses or mowing large lawns, you may need to offer a fee. Step 5b: Owners should also supply a list of emergency numbers with details of local police, ambulance service, vet, trusted handyman, plumber and electrician, as well as your own itinerary with contact details. Step 6: Most sites offer an all purpose contract which provides protection to both parties and can include asking the sitter for a returnable deposit against breakages or damage, which provides the owners with a further safeguard. Step 7: Arrange time with your sitter before leaving on your trip to familiarise them with how everything works. In the case of home exchanges one party may be able to receive the other, but quite often you are both travelling to each other’s homes at the same time, so you must pre-arrange where keys and instructions can be found. _______________________________________ CONTACTS: House Sitting: www.housecarers.com Professional Sitters: PADS-Pet and Domestic Security based on the Costa de la Luz also offering decorating and maintenance services email@example.com House Swapping: www.HomeForExchange.com Work Exchange: www.wwoof.com.au and www.workaway.info hosted locally on the Costa de la Luz
ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE 41
We all need tax planning Most expatriates think their dealings with officialdom are at an end when they pick up the keys to that new property in Spain. After all, the fees and taxes have been paid, so what else would the authorities want with them? Well, the answer is, quite a lot. Because whether you’re resident or non-resident, you have fiscal obligations here. Non-residents, for example, are required by law to file a tax return every year in relation to their Spanish property. Residents are exempt from this requirement, but the chances are there are other tax obligations: For example, if you are earning through work in Spain or abroad; if you are in receipt of a pension or investment income, or if you have capital. Apart from individuals, businesses operating in Spain have a clear need to file returns to the tax authorities. The process is difficult and time-consuming enough in your first language, but when you’re dealing with an unfamiliar system, in a language which you may not understand completely, the potential for misunderstandings and errors is magnified tenfold. Help is at hand in the shape of Konsilia, the locally-based tax, accounting and legal advisors. Konsilia is a young firm, ideally suited to the requirements of the multi-national society of southern Spain. All the staff are multi-lingual – fluent in English – and all are experts in their field. Fernando del Canto, a partner and internationally renowned tax expert, is qualified as both a Spanish lawyer and a barrister in England and Wales. He also has tax qualifications for Spain and Britain. “Our tax accounting advisory schemes are aimed at helping not just the individual but also people with existing
companies and those who are setting up businesses or restructuring,” says Fernando. “Another important part of our work concerns inheritance tax planning. The rules are different in Spain from those in Britain, and it’s important that people plan accordingly. We are able to draft wills complying with both legal systems and deal with trusts and the distribution of assets – all the things which need to be put in place. “While basic fiscal plans can be set up to deal with taxation issues, the inheritance question can be a thorny one, and our experience means we can help those who might not otherwise be able to protect their estates. For example, civil partnerships are recognised in law here in Spain whereas they are not in Britain, and that’s something we can use to the parties’ advantage.” Konsilia also offers legal services, particularly in relation to planning matters and conveyancing. Here in Andalucía, planning law affects a great many people and Konsilia is expert in disputes, offering advice on legalising property and correct procedures. Other areas, such as family law, are also in Konsilia’s remit and, again, knowledge of two legal systems is invaluable, especially if disputes arise between couples where one party is based in Spain and the other in Britain. The UK connection doesn’t end there as Konsilia has an association with highly experienced British law firm Lawdit, so that the very best contemporary advice on the UK legal system is always at hand. The combination of expertise, enthusiasm and openness is what makes Konsilia different – and what is attracting more and more of the expat community to put their affairs in the company’s safe hands.
Spreading the word on the net: www.taxprecision.com Tax Precision is the blog set up and moderated by Fernando del Canto to discuss all matters relating to international tax issues. Fernando’s standing as the only tax lawyer
qualified both in the UK (England and Wales) as a barrister and in Spain as an abogado, along with his tax advisory qualifications draws experts from across the world to the blog.
Questions such as domicile and residence in Spain and elsewhere, double tax treaties and financial and legacy planning are dealt with in depth.
“I am keen to engage people in discussion about these matters through the blog,” he says. “They affect all of us and often, because of the perceived complications of tax issues, people
tend to ignore them. But Tax Precision exists to throw some light on these matters and to discuss events throughout the world which might affect taxation issues.”
Advice is limited to general statements on finance, property and legal matters. Always check with your financial adviser or abogado if you need specific advice on these matters
tax FERNANDO DEL CANTO
A founding partner in the firm Konsilia, Fernando has worked as a tax adviser in Britain for Deloitte and previously KPMG. He is qualified both as a Spanish abogado and an English barrister and publishes a blog on international tax matters at www.taxprecision.com. Tel: 902 555 045: e-mail: Fernando@konsilia.es; konsilia.es
ROBERT BARCLAY AND JON CLARKE
We are considering buying a home in the Ayamonte area in order to retire there and wonder whether following the victory of José Luis Zapatero and PSOE in the recent elections, there are likely to be any impending tax changes affecting residents or non-residents in Spain? George Workman, Chester > Your question raises another one – whether the property market can be influenced by a wise tax policy? I believe so. During Zapatero's campaign there was a commitment to abolish some taxes such as wealth and inheritance taxes which may have historically prevented people relocating to Spain. There were many press releases about tax breaks and incentives for developers, buy to let allowances etc. In fact some regions have already started reducing Inheritance tax – Andalucía is not yet one of them. The south coast of Spain during recent decades has seen the influx of hundreds of thousand British and Irish property buyers. Some came to retire, some to invest. Now, in 2008, the market is very different. There has been a natural correction of the frenetic rhythm of construction of the last decades. In our professional practice at Konsilia we are observing a clear trend in the last year, which involves international executives in their Forties and Fifties moving to Spain with their families, primarily for lifestyle reasons. These clients want to be genuine residents in Spain. As a tax advisor I like to think that there are some tax-related factors behind this: • The new Spanish expatriate regime allows international executives to move to Spain with a 24 per cent flat tax rate, excluding international income and wealth from been taxed in Spain during the five years following the move. • The beneficial Spanish tax treatment of investment income – including interest, dividends and capital gains at 18 per cent rate – makes Spain very attractive • The Spanish government is promising to abolish wealth tax and possibly inheritance tax – or at least to reduce the pressure of this last one for residents • The UK has changed its non-domicile rules, making it more attractive for some British tax non-domiciles to make a move to warmer lands We at Konsilia believe that the stabilisation of the residential market all along the south coast represents a mild correction in a sector now reaching maturity. The future of both the Costa de la Luz and the Costa del Sol – contrary to what is said by many tabloids – is still bright and we are confident that the Spanish government can influence it positively with some tax reforms like the ones mentioned above.
Robert and Jon are partners in Andalucía Exclusive, the only sustainable project management, investment and location company in the region. The company provides a service spanning all aspects of the restoration of authentic, historic buildings in southern Spain. Tel: 665 787 191 or 650 795 416. www.andalucia-exclusive.co.uk; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are going through the process of buying a finca near Villamartín in the sierra. It's quite run down and is going to need a lot of renovation, but we would like to try where possible to use old-style materials and retain the character of the farmhouse building. We were horrified by one builder, for example, who said it would be easier to knock it down and start again. Any advice, please? Mrs Christine Booth, e-mail > First of all, congratulations, but remember that nowadays in the countryside you have to do everything by the rules. You say you have not yet completed the purchase. Before you do, it is essential that you do all the proper checks, with as much extra scrutinizing as possible. Be especially careful with land classification (find out exactly what is and what isn’t accepted on your land) and always use a lawyer that you trust. Having an architect with a good relationship with the town hall also pays dividends. The key to restoring old buildings is, above all, understanding them. And sadly, these days, too many builders and architects favour the simple knock-down-and-rebuild approach. They say it is easier, and they are right. It is also cheaper and normally quicker, but that is not the point. We know from experience! But, if you have a strong will and make use of an expert company, you should be able to conserve most of the property’s best features. Shop around for the most sensitive builder you can find and ensure he understands your vision. Get a number of quotes. And, above all, remember to keep a close eye on him at all times. After all, he won’t be as upset as you if an ancient chimney collapses when building a new one costs more than €1,000. It is also important to remember that with old buildings there are usually nasty surprises. The key is to try and second guess them before you sign a contract with a builder – and always sign on a closed quote with a finishing date. Of the structure, the main thing to keep is the exterior walls as their bulk will be the best form of insulation against the heat of summer and cold of winter. They were built this thick for a reason. Don’t forget to hold on to all those old rejas and roof tiles. They can all be re-used, along with doors and windows, if you have a good carpenter. Old barro floor tiles look fabulous and can be recycled if taken up carefully, while beams – even if rotten – can sometimes be saved and are certainly ideal for outdoor structures such as pergolas. The fewer skips you use the more money you will save. Use as much of the footprint as possible. And conserve, conserve, conserve… you’ll end up with the authentic Andalusian farmhouse that everyone dreams of.
Advice is limited to general statements on finance, property and legal matters. Always check with your financial adviser or abogado if you need specific advice on these matters
finance COLIN LANGTON
Chairman of Langton’s Financial Planners at Sotogrande. Colin has worked in the financial sector for 40 years. He has also been a recognized expert witness for the UK Law Society. Langtons (IFA) Spain branch is regulated along with its UK offices. Readers can contact Colin on Freephone 900 700 667; e-mail email@example.com
JOSÉ MANUEL DÍAZ
Like other retired expats in Spain I've seen the value of my UK pension drop by 25 per cent since last summer, just due to falling exchange rates. Where can I invest my savings to make up the difference? Janet Littlewood, e-mail
> This question is one on the lips and minds of most expats living in Spain. Before endeavouring to answer it I must point out a new product just available in Spain from the Manchester Building Society. The latter is a mutual, owned by its customers and it now offers a lifetime mortgage to those living in Spain and over the age of 60. This is a fantastic, no-risk way to top up your capital or income needs. The scheme meets the strict UK rules governing Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP), so there is no risk of losing your property, as can happen with other equity release schemes here. You pay nothing until you die or move property. The interest of 6.75 per cent fixed for life rolls up with the loan and is deducted from your property sale proceeds when you die. As it’s a debt it has the added advantage of potentially reducing Spanish death taxes. Turning to investment, I can seldom remember a time when shares, interest rates and property funds were all so volatile, as is the case currently. Fortunately there are various low-risk or no-risk derivative based investment products on offer, paying up to 10 per cent per annum, fixed income for five years. These are enormously popular both here and in the UK. Alternatively, traded life policies are a different asset class which are still performing well, and it’s possible to get a fixed income of 8 per cent per annum and capital growth potential from some funds which invest in these second hand policies. It is estimated that 26,000 policies will be traded this year and the overall value will reach $125 billion in the next few years. My advice to readers is to ask a regulated IFA with offices in UK and Spain for more advice.
Do you have any questions for our panel of experts? send them to: laluz magazine Apdo de Correos 39 , Vejer de la Frontera, 11150 Cádiz Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
An expert in town planning law, José Manuel is a qualified abogado and head of the legal department for the tax, legal and advisory firm Konsilia. He is based in Jerez. Tel: 902 555 045. www.konsilia.es; e-mail: email@example.com
Several years ago we bought a plot of rural land and had a house built on it. We were not aware at the time that we were contravening any law but later we were fined a large, five-figure sum by our local ayuntamiento for an illegal build. The builder also received a fine. Having paid our fine we received paperwork from the ayuntamiento which led us to think we now have a fully legal house. However I have heard that the Junta has the power to overrule the ayuntamiento’s decision and that we could be forced to demolish our property in the future, which is obviously of great concern. Can you clarify our position? Name and address withheld > If you are purchasing any rural land, the vendor and the notary must outline the authorised uses of the plot in the public deed. But it is highly advisable to get a cedula urbanística from the local ayuntamiento, as they have the plans that will indicate allowed uses according to the area’s location. The general rule according to Spanish law is that outside centres of population, only primary use (agricultural, farm etc) is permitted. The regulations only accept new houses being built if you can demonstrate that they are needed to support such activities. The Junta de Andalucía must authorise those licenses. Moreover, there are some specially protected rural areas in which no development or construction is allowed at all. Building without a licence in certain rural areas can even constitute an offence under penal law. To build a house you must get a design by an architect (validated by the architects’ college) and a licence from the ayuntamiento (and sometimes from the Junta) before starting work. This certifies that you are not breaking town planning regulations, and therefore will not find yourself facing the following consequences: a) Punishment: A fine for not abiding by legal procedures, payment of which does not mean your house is legalised b) Order to legalise (adapt your building to town planning regulations): architect design, licence application, including modifying whatever does not comply with the rules In practice, only when it is a clear case of non-compliance and the building is totally incompatible with the law and town planning standards and regulations, do judges authorise demolition of the property. Even in those cases, it is such a drastic and unpopular measure that, according to statistics, the number of demolitions is low, although criminal sentences are becoming more frequent. In any case it is essential to engage an urban law expert as soon as you receive the notice from the council, as his negotiations with the town planning department may help minimise the consequences.
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Bagan furniture shop, Conil. Tel: 956 443 294, email firstname.lastname@example.org 10% discount on purchases over €90
Laluz Club Card La Alternativa vegetarian restaurant, Jerez Tel: 956 343 961, email email@example.com 10% discount Academia Andaluza, Conil Tel: 956 44 05 52, email firstname.lastname@example.org 10% discount on Spanish classes Andaluchic boutique, Arcos Tel: 956 701 439 10% discount on purchases over €100 Arcos Gardens, Arcos Tel: 956 704 201, email email@example.com 10% discount on green fee
Califa Hotel & Restaurant, Vejer Tel: 956 451 706, website laCasadelCalifa.com 10% discount on hotel rooms outside peak season (1st Jun to 30th Sept and Semana Santa) 1 bottle of house wine with each table reserved at the Califa Restaurant Happy hour for cardholders at the Los Balcones Bar from 6.30pm to 8pm every day except during August. Happy hour - buy one get one free. Applies only to alcoholic drinks. Café Central Tapa Bar, Vejer Tel: 956 450 232 Buy three tapas get one free. The free tapa will be the lowest price of those selected Duendes de Jerez – Bodegas Valdivia, Jerez Tel: 956 328 997, website villadelduque.com 10% discount on tickets for the
guided tour and state of the art multimedia show at the Bodegas Valdivia Estilo Asiatico furniture shop, El Colorado Tel: 956 445 418, email firstname.lastname@example.org 10% discount on all products European Golf Society of Cádiz (EGSC) Tel: 618 917 260, email email@example.com 15% discount on first year of membership fee Hotel Chancilleria, Jerez Tel: 956 301 038, email firstname.lastname@example.org 10% discount on hotel rooms, free bottle of house wine per table reserved in restaurant Hotel Laime, Chipiona Tel: 956 377 332, email email@example.com Happy Hour at the hotel bar from 6pm to 8pm every day. Buy one drink get second one free La Janda language school, Vejer Tel: 956 447 060, email firstname.lastname@example.org 10 % discount on Spanish classes
Pizzeria Il Giardino, El Colorado Tel: 699 300 920 15% discount on meal including drinks. Also available on takeaway subject to minimum order of two pizzas
email@example.com 10% discount on hotel rooms outside peak season (1st Jun to 30th Sept and Semana Santa) 1 bottle of house wine with each table reserved at the restaurant
Pub Lola, Conil Happy Hour for cardholders every night from 10pm to 11pm. Buy one drink get same one free
Spanish Sol-utions, Jerez Tel: 956 336 614, email firstname.lastname@example.org 10% discount on Property Management packages within Cadiz province and 5% discount on Translations and Relocation packages
Simon Brown, Photographer, Barbate Tel: 956 430 429, email email@example.com 10% discount on modern portraits, 10% on publicity, 15% on photography workshops, and a free poster for wedding photography Silos Arte y Relax restaurant and art gallery, Tarifa Tel: 956 684 685, email firstname.lastname@example.org Hotel: 10% discount on rooms with a bottle of “extra brut” Pere Guilera cava. Restaurant: One glass of Mons Urium Pedro Jimenez sweet wine per person with dinner Sindhura Hotel & Restaurant, La Muela Tel: 956 448 568, email
Laluz Club Card Registration Form Cardholder Surname Name Telephone
Second Cardholder (Optional) Surname Name Payment terms: Price of Card: €40 per annum (Spain) or £35 sterling (UK) Direct Debit – Bank name: (Spanish a/c only) Account Nº: Spanish cheque. Please make cheques payable to La Luz Communications S.L. Send application form and cheque to La Luz Communications SL, Apdo de Correos 39, 11150 Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz Uk Sterling cheque. Payable to Tony Summers. Send application form and cheque to La Luz magazine: c/o 3 Thakeham Close, Lawrie Park Gardens, Sydenham, London SE26 6HN
La Tapería, Chiclana Tel: 956 407 921 Buy three tapas get one free. The free tapa will be the lowest price of those selected. Happy Hour for cardholders from 8pm to 9pm Hacienda del Torilejo, Chiclana Tel: 635 424 564, email email@example.com 15% discount on hotel rooms outside peak season (1stJun to 30th Sept) 1 bottle of house wine with each table reserved at the restaurant ___________________________ Watch out for more offers in coming issues and also on our website www.laluzmag.com
48 EATING OUT
In Barbate, El Campero’s menu of traditional and Japanese influenced dishes includes Tartar de Atún and Lasaña de Atún
New looks, new places and new ideas El Campero Barbate Don’t be put off by the location of this great restaurant, as a less salubrious setting would be hard to find. My female companion and I, bags clutched nonchalantly, strolled confidently past the laconic street youths in the graffiticlad park. But beyond, the dazzling-bright Broadway facade of El Campero beckoned us towards a night of great food and drink. El Campero is a Barbate institution; founded as a small local tapas bar in the 1960s it has grown to become one of the best restaurants in the province. A recent renovation has added a smart new dinning room, all dark wood and
chrome portholes. However my favourite will always be the bar-cum-dining room which stays true to the restaurant’s roots – tapas and television included. The joviality of the bar spills over into the slightly more classy dining zone with its crisplinen-coated tables and attentive service. Tapas prices, however, are left behind but the consistently well prepared, quality food from this serious kitchen never falters. The menu is extensive and being in the famous port of Barbate, the fish and seafood is second to none. One of the great things about El Campero’s menu of traditional and Japanese influenced dishes, is that you can come back time and again and always have a new eating experience. We finally decided on
two starters to share, asking for two pieces of each rather than the menu-stated four, and were charged accordingly. The Lasaña Fria was a sublime pairing of a type of hearty tuna pâté in an escabeche dulce – a sweet pickling process that caramelises the tuna – and then layered with Wonton, Asian rice-made pasta. Light and delicious but a little too heavy on the mayonnaise topping for our tastes. This was quickly followed by Brochetitas de Atun, mini skewers of peppers, onions, aubergine and chunks of fresh tuna kept beautifully moist by the light Japanese tempura batter. On the waiter’s recommendation we went for the catch of the day, Urta a la Plancha. A half fish for two was plenty. The firm but flaky fish arrived at the table juicy and succulent as grilled fish should be. The flavour was enhanced by the warm side dressing of crispy fried garlic infused in oil with vinegar & chilli. However be warned, a little enhances and a lot overwhelms. To finish we decided on something light. My companion went for Higos Secos y Crema de Yogurt y Helado de Caramelo, a multilayed confection that blended caramel icecream and natural yoghurt atop a fig confit base. Keeping it simple I had cinnamon ice cream, which came with a base of tiny cut pear in its juice – a refreshing, delicate and delicious finale. COLETTE BARDELL ________________________________________ El Campero is in Avenida de la Constitución, Local 5C. Driving from Los Caños, go past the port and at the first roundabout turn left. Or from the other end, drive to the end of the main shopping street and turn right at the roundabout. Tel: 956 432 300, arrive promptly for lunch at 2pm as it gets very busy. A meal for two was €69.55
MAY/JUNE 08 LALUZ 49
Mama Ttina Arcos de la Frontera Arcos de la Frontera has never been known as a hotspot of international cuisine, although it does have a good range of restaurants, ventas and tapas bars serving some great Spanish food. So when owner Toni opened his excellent Italian restaurant Mama Ttina (named after his mother) in the old town, it brought a welcome new option for diners in and around the town. Mama Ttina has been an instant success and is very popular in the evenings when people have been known to wait up to an hour for a table. The reason is simple; Mama Ttina serves some of the best Italian food in the area. The traditional décor inside the small dining room makes you feel you could be in any quaint little trattoria in Rome. The varied menu includes homemade pasta dishes, meat and fish – and of course pizzas, with plenty of choice to get the taste buds excited. For starters, I opted for crepes di mozzarella (savoury pancakes stuffed with mozzarella and ham covered in creamy tomato sauce) and my wife chose provolone (oven baked cheese and tomato). Both dishes were delicious and the pizza-base garlic bread helped soak up the tangy tomato juices. Other options included the bocconccini (aubergine stuffed with mozzarella in sauce).
For our main courses we decided on tagliatelli pesto di gamberetti (tagliatelli with prawns in a green pesto sauce) and the rollo de pollo (slices of chicken breast rolled with ham, mushrooms and spinach in a cheese sauce). The pesto sauce was light but with a good kick that showed it was freshly made. On offer for pudding were old favourites such as profiteroles, tiramisu and a range of sweet crepes – but after two large courses we left these to the children to enjoy. If you order a glass or bottle of wine make sure you browse the wine book. I say ‘book’ because rather than a simple wine list, it’s a stylish 60-page volume explaining the history, style, taste and production of all of the wines. HUGO JAMES _______________________________________ Mama Ttina is in Calle Dean Espinosa, 10, behind the Santa Maria Church in Arcos. Tel: 956 703 937. Open weekends for lunch and every evening for dinner. Call ahead to check times. A two course meal including drinks for two adults and two children came to €60
Ruta del Atún Conil de la Frontera February to June is the season for the area’s famed blue fin tuna, caught using the ancient almadraba methods. Many of the Costa de la
Luz ports fish for this delicacy which is prized the world over. Conil is one of them and organises an annual Ruta del Atún, which this year takes place from June 9th-22nd. This gastro festival involves many of the area’s bars and restaurants which try to outdo each other with their inventiveness, and for two weeks you can eat your way round Conil sampling a variety of dishes that show off the skills of the town’s kitchens. Last year’s offerings included traditional dishes such as Atún en Manteca (tuna in lard), the internationally inspired Ensalda de Rúcula y Atún con Sesamo y Vinagreta de Pato (salad of rocket, tuna, sesame seeds and duck vinaigrette), and even the Asian influenced Brochetas de Atún en tempura (Tempura tuna chunks). As well as preparing these tuna delicacies for the public, the restaurants and bars also battle for supremacy in the Concurso Gastronómico ‘Ruta del Atún’– a cooking competition which takes place on June 17th in the town’s catering school. Judged by VIPs of the local gastro scene, including well known chefs and food critics, the participants are asked to prepare two tuna dishes – one in the traditional cooking style of the area and one where they can show tuna in a new, innovative way. Last year’s winners were the Restaurant La Fontanilla which picked up the prize for innovation (pictured left) and the kitchen of Hotel Husa Conil Park which scooped the traditional dish trophy. As a prelude to the competition, once again this year, local company Petaca Chico will supply a freshly caught tuna and demonstrate the finely tuned cutting skills needed to portion the fish into its relevant cuts such as ventresca (the underbelly) and solomillo (loin). If you really want to get to know your mojama from your morrillo and taste the best ways to eat this jewel of the sea, this is a great way to start. COLETTE BARDELL ________________________________________ For maps of the route and details on which establishments are taking part visit the Conil tourist office in Calle Carretera, 1. Tel: 956 440 501; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
50 FILM & BOOKS
A meaty subject among you, repeating “jamón, jamón” is a children’s language game since it sounds like “monja, monja, monja” (“nun, nun, nun”). The film has great charm and energy and there are lots of references to food, as you’d expect in a film about a ham delivery man. It’s at its best with the absurd erotic moments, when the dialogue – even with subtitles – is laugh-out-loud funny. It may not be a classic, but it’s a great date movie. Just make sure it’s not the first date. Other films Huevos de oro, Golden balls, (1993) Son de mar, Sound of the sea, (2001) Yo soy la Juani, I am Juan (2006) DAVID MACGOWAN
_________________ Off the bookshelf Southern Seas
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
At the movies Jamón, Jamón Bigas Luna (1992) Described variously as a Grade B art film and a farce about passion and food, Jamón Jamón was a huge international success and put its young stars, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem firmly on the international film stage. And look where they are now: Cruz is an A-list Hollywood star, Bardem has picked up the only Spanish acting Oscar for his part as the killer in the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men and the two have rekindled their on-screen fire to become the hottest of items. You have to suspend disbelief to deal with the plotlines in this film, but it’s great fun along the way. In the age-old tale of forbidden boundaries and lovers, Silvia (Cruz) and José Luis (Jordi Molla) are madly in love and plan to marry. Silvia is the daughter of the local whore Carmen (Anna Galiena – so good in The
Hairdresser’s Wife) while José is heir to a fortune: his dad runs an underwear business (motto: ‘You’ve got a Samson inside’). José’s venomous mother Conchita (the superbly comic Stefania Sandrelli) is determined to destroy the proposed union. She hires the ludicrously well-hung (he has auditioned for an underpants advert) ham delivery man Raul (Bardem) to seduce Silvia and get her son off the hook. The ensuing story, which involves runaway pigs, cloves of garlic, nude moonlit bullfighting and lots of sex (sometimes under one of the giant Osborne bulls that decorate the Spanish countryside), rolls along at a headlong pace. Everyone looks good, especially Cruz and her screen mother, and this somehow makes up for the occasional acting lapse. The surprisingly shocking climax, which includes some graphic violence, was inspired by Goya’s famous painting Club Fight. And for those movie-buffs
Britain has its Morse, Italy its Aurelio Zen and Spain has Pepe Carvalho, a scuffed at the edges private detective whose knowledge of and devotion to Barcelona echoes that of his creator, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán. Carvalho first appeared in 1972, when Spain was still a dictatorship and Vázquez Montalbán gave voice to his left wing views through a 50-yearold gastronome incapable of maintaining a longterm relationship but with enough warmth and heart to gather around him a collection of needy characters. Southern Seas appeared in 1979, by which time Carvalho’s love of
food was well known throughout Spain. In all, he appeared in 20 books – the last published after the author’s death in 2003. Carvalho was only part of Vázquez Montalbán’s oeuvre – he was an accomplished novelist, essayist and poet – but he brought his creator world wide fame and gave his audience an authoritative and intimate portrait of Barcelona in the Seventies and Eighties. The plot of Southern Seas concerns the death of a powerful businessman and romantic dreamer, and Carvalho’s attempt to unmask the killer leads him from the cream of Catalan society to the depths of urban slums. Carvalho is a likeable character: his weaknesses for good food and wine, an attractive woman and a lost cause make him seem all too human. He handles himself in a street fight as well as he does in an exclusive restaurant and perhaps the author’s great skill lies in making this unusual protagonist come to life so easily. Serpent’s Tail has published six of the Carvalho novels in English, including Offside, set around Barcelona Football Club and the excellent Murder in the Central Committee. TONY JEFFERIES
52 WHAT’S ON
laluz guide towhat’son Compiled by Sofía López Chalmers
Holidays/Fiestas Ferias/Romerías Check locally for ferias and fiestas when services could be curtailed
MAY 1st Labour day (national holiday). It falls on a Thursday, so some schools and businesses may take a long weekend and close on Friday 2nd as well
1st The whole of Alcalá del Valle – whether on foot, horseback or in carriages – follows the Virgin at the town’s romería in the Cádiz sierra
1st Punta Umbría (Huelva) also celebrates its romería
7th Vejer joins in the romería season with their pilgrimage to the sanctuary of patron saint, Our Lady of the Olives
7th–14th El Rocío pilgrimage. Hundreds of thousands of people take on this nationally famous annual pilgrimage. Starting in towns and villages all over Andalucía the pilgrims walk or ride a route that includes crossing the river at Sanlúcar de Barrameda before reaching the tiny hamlet of El Rocío, south of Almonte in Huelva
9th–11th Alcalá de los Gazules celebrates its traditional farm fair, granted to the community by king Fernando VII in 1830
Annual feria in Jimena (Cádiz)
Bornos (near Arcos) holds its annual bicycle day
A weekend of romería in Lepe (Huelva)
• Algodonales recreates the resistance against the French troops in the Peninsular War with realistic street battles and gunfights (see issue 23 Day Tripper) • Double whammy in Castellar de la Frontera with the Santisimo Cristo de la Almoraima fair and romería
3rd Flowers and loud bangs in Ubrique for its unique festival, Crujia de Gamones. Crosses are decorated with flowers and at the base the bulbous roots of the gámon (a kind of reed) are placed. These are then burnt and beaten on stone producing crackling and popping sounds, accompanied by plenty of music and delicious food.
3rd–4th The Festival of the May Crosses is celebrated in the towns across the coast, in Conil on the 3rd, and Arcos and Benalup–Casas Viejas on the 3rd & 4th
13th Barbate’s turn for a romería in honour of the Virgin Fatima
El Rocío pilgrimage’
• The Corpus Christi festival in El Gastor (Cádiz) dates back to 1747. This white village today turns into a sea of green, with streets and balconies covered in branches while the procession takes place • Zahara de la Sierra boasts an even older Corpus Christi procession, dating back to around 1500. The streets become a carpet of green for the procession and flowers adorn the walls 28th–1st June
16th – 18th Cádiz province is still going romería crazy with the San Isidro event in Setenil, and in Espera and Prado del Rey (17th-18th)
20th–26th If you enjoy dry sherry or are just plain fed up of romería, the manzanilla fair in Sanlúcar de Barrameda could be just what you’re looking for
San José del Valle (Cádiz) parties at its annual feria
5th-8th Three days of celebrations and displays of local products as the people of Conil get their spring celebrations in a bit late in El Colorado pine woods
7th Aracena honours the divine shepherdess with a pilgrimage
7th-8th If you love seafood, visit Punta Umbría for the annual gastronomic feria
21st–29th 29th– 1st Fireworks, bull running and lots more at Paterna’s spring fair (Cádiz)
The big annual bash in Algeciras with music, parades, noisy tents, top class bullfighting and plenty of fair attractions
23rd–24th JUNE 1st Romería in Benaocaz and Benamahoma (Cádiz)
Maria Auxiliadora feria in Barrio Bajo, the lower district of Arcos de la Frontera
Cattle and horses and a lot more are on display at Medina Sidonia’s biggest and oldest traditional feria
• A beautiful romería in Algodonales in the heart of the Sierra de Cádiz
No time to put away your flamenco dresses as it’s Puerto Real’s spring fair
It’s the feast of San Juan and that means traditional celebrations on what is supposed to be a night with magical powers. There are bonfires, lots of noise food and drink. On the 23rd in Conil, San Roque, Castellar, Vejer, Trebujena, and on the 24th in Alcalá de los Gazules, La Linea, Chiclana and Puerto Real
26th–29th The Andalucía gay pride fiesta takes place in Sanlúcar this year
JM Medina Tamayo
The Soloists of London
Please confirm all events with venues or local tourist offices before setting out
Falla’s very own camera play pieces from Mozart and Tomás de Iriarte. 9pm. Tickets from €4
Piano concert by Emilio González at La Velada in La Linea. 8.30pm
Band reveal a whole different side to the Beatles music with their rich original covers, brimming with funky Latin rhythms. Alcalde Felipe Benitez theatre in Rota. (.30pm. Tickets €5.
The Soloists of London is a group of 11 musicians formed from some of the most famous orchestras in the world. Catch them for €5 at the Alcalde Felipe Benitez theatre in Rota. 9.30pm
Christian Zacharias, one of the great German pianists, performs at Jerez’s Teatro Villamarta. 9pm.Tickets €10-€21
XXVI international Manuel de Falla festival, and all shows listed below take place where else but in the Manuel de Falla theatre, Cádiz:
If you fancy watching a real pro at flamenco, David Palomar is the one to go and see. Singing at Sala Central Lechera in Cádiz at 9pm. Tickets €10 or €12 on the day
22nd The Kronos Quartet play one of only three concerts in Spain. 9pm. Tickets €15-€6
23rd Baritone Juha Kotilainen accompanied by pianist Ilmo Ranta performs Strauss, Ravel, Sibelius, Merikanto y Juhani Kyllönen. 9pm Tickets from €4
24th Camerata strings ensemble play Mozart, Donizetti, Sibelius, Smetana, Dvorak and Grieg. 9pm. Tickets from €4
JUNE 13th Argentina is a new, beautiful voice on the flamenco scene. Catch her at Gran Teatro Falla, (Cádiz) at 9pm.Tickets €16-€6
Pop/Rock/Hip-hop MAY 1st-4th
Camara Uusinta Ensemble play Mozart, Lauri Toivio, Olli Koskelin, Timi Juhani Kyllönen and Matthew Whittall. 9pm
Folk/Rock group Garret Wall at Blues, Chiclana (1st, 11.30pm); The Fox Tavern, Bahía Sur in San Fernando (2nd, 11.30pm); La Fonda de Utopía, Benalup (3rd); Cortijo El Cartero, El Palmar (4th, 7pm)
Yllana group present Paganini. The outstanding violinist Ara Malikian together with a string trio create both humour and wonderful music. Pieces include Falla, Chopin, Mozart, U2 and Pagagnini. 9pm. Tickets: €15-€6
Spanish hip-hop artist Elphomega at Sala Central Lechera, Cádiz at 9pm.Tickets €10, €12 on the door
30th The Philharmonic orchestra of Pilsen interpret pieces by Verdi, Mozart and Beethoven. 9pm
24th Three-piece Indy rock group Green Manalishi at the concert in the Sala Central La Lechera, Cádiz. Tickets €8, €10 on the night. 9pm
30th The Pecos Beck & Tito Poyatos
Sergio Contreras brings a fusion of hip hop, rap and reggaetón as he takes to the stage at the Villamarta theatre in Jerez
1st May-29th Jun Vibrant, witty, figurative paintings and digital prints by gaditano artist, José Manuel Medina Tamayo at the Balcones del Califa tetería-bar-gallery in Vejer. 5pmmidnight weekdays, noon-midnight weekends. Closed Weds
4th-25th Discover film and photographs from or about Africa at Tarifa’s annual African film festival
Biella Nui have stirred up the folk music world with their album Sol d’ibernum (winter sun). They play at Café Dadá, Rota on 16th at 11.30pm; at La Fonda de Utopía. In Benalup on 17th at 11.30pm; or catch them on 18th at the earlier time of 7pm at Cortijo El Cartero in El Palmar
24th Olga María Ramos is known for being the best cuplé singer in Spain. And if you’re wondering what a cuplé is, it is basically like a poem that tells a story – often satirical – and is sung by women. El Teatro Moderno, Chiclana.Tickets t €5. 9pm
JUNE 7th A range of different sounds to enjoy at the Ethnic Music festival in Chiclana, Plaza las Bodegas. 10pm
Art/Exhibitions MAY Until 19th Marbella artist Paco Sanguino’s richly coloured, textured landscapes at Galería La Rampa, Vejer de la Frontera. 11am-2pm daily, 6pm-9pm Fri, Sat, Sun. Closed Tues. Tel: 956 45 13 94; e-mail email@example.com
Oil paintings by Juan Carlos Bustil at Centro Cultural La Victoria in Sanlúcar de Barrameda
10th May-24th Jun Russian art comes to Cádiz with an exhibition of more than a hundred works spanning eight decades. Castillo de Santa Catalina, Cádiz
24th May-23rd Jun An exhibition of figurative paintings by Cádiz artist, Inma Naranjo. Serene urban narratives of everyday people with their plants, their books and thoughts. Galería La Rampa, Vejer de la Frontera. 11am- 2pm daily, 6pm9pm Fri, Sat and Sun. Closed Tues
27th May-19th Jun Chiclana painter Agu Ariza shows his works at the Casa de la Cultura with colourful, mesmerising pictures of the human figure
Others Dipronautica Car Boot sale every Sunday at the Beach & Country Club, Embalse Guadalcacín, San José del Valle, Ctr Arcos - San José del Valle 11.5km (near Arcos de la Frontera). Open 10am-2pm. Children’s play area. Sellers arrive from 8am (€5 per car), buyers from 10am (entry free before 12pm, €1 12-2pm, children free).
directory CLOSING DATE FOR ADVERTS ISSUE 25 (July/August) Monday June 9th 2008. Advertise in laluz. Call 655 047 054
N.S.P. SERVICES FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF YOUR:
HOUSE GARDEN & POOL We even deal with those little emergencies
No job too sm
Tel: 628 931 285 / 956 412 156 firstname.lastname@example.org
Harley Davidson Heritage Classic
Year 2000 only 7,000 miles. Spanish plates. Excellent condition, stage 1 tune, sounds and looks incredible. If you’ve ever fancied a Harley this is the one to go for. A real classic and head turner. Offer around €16,000. Tel: 630212803
Classifieds Adverts CLOSING DATE FOR ADVERTS ISSUE 25 (July/August) Monday June 9th 2008. Advertise in laluz. Call 655 047 054 CHARITY Animal Welfare – Neuter and Castrate Cats and Dogs 16,000 births of unwanted animals from one pair. Cats and Dogs can breed every 6 months. An average of 5 kittens and puppies each time. Stop the immense suffering of neglected, diseased, cruelly treated, abandoned and unloved animals. Cats and dogs can live for 20 or 15 years respectively. www.losanimales.org offers information and facts on how to care for cats and dogs, with a list of local vets and animal hospitals. Need transport! Contact email@example.com Working together for the good of animals. Donations desperately needed for Trap and Neuter Campaigns of street cats and dogs. Volunteers and Drivers needed. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you HEALTH Internationally renowned palmist and healer Philena Bcrue will be available for appointments in Conil Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3 June call 956 44 16 72 or 606 146 359 for an appointment.
Massage & Reflexology Aromatherapy massage, Sports massage/Injuries, Hot Stone massage, Lymphatic Drainage massage, Reflexology and Reiki. Treating the Mind, Body & Spirit. Also Bemer Bio-electro magnetic Energy Regulation. Treats many conditions. Arcos and Home/Hotel visits. All Areas covered. Over 10 years experience. For more information or to book an appointment please call Carol Stone (ITEC) on 956 704 965 / 653 139 558 or visit www.holisticstone.com PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Colourvision Your local installer for all your satellite requirements. Full sky systems including sky plus fully installed. Freeview systems fully installed from only 369 euros. Viewing cards supplied and activated. New Pace digibox only 289 euros. Sky plus box 345 euros.Dish kits supplied and fitted. Tel. 956494415 670892890 Creative Writing Workshop Are you the next Chris Stewart? Short
Story Writing competition. Win a free creative writing holiday. See www.inthewritelight.com for more details or call Natasha on 616 712 534 Get to grips with basic Spanish speaking and listening skills in 2-3 weeks. We offer 5-hour courses that cover all the Spanish required to get by on a daily basis. No nasty grammar; no abstract theory. Material to meet individual needs. For a free trial lesson call Nicholas Sharman at Trafalgar Language Centre, Vejer. Tel: 655 671 380 Independent Deliveries from Ikea Seville. You shop and we meet you at the store or we shop and deliver to your property. Assembly service also available. Phone or email for a quotation. Tel: 00 34 954 931214 Mob: 00 34 656 631001 Email: email@example.com www.doncampo.co.uk Oil Painting Retreats with Master Instruction All inclusive weeklong courses in
2008 and 2009 at Arcos de la Frontera. ww.BravuraAcademy.com Rehabilitate your child’s english. 1 month course in July or August. Designed for English children living in Spain, the course concentrates on reading, writing, punctuation and spelling. Level 1: 7-10 yr olds, level 2: 11 - 15 yr olds. €75. Qualified and experienced teacher. Limited places. Tel: 600334156. Translator Half Spanish with BA Honours in Spanish and Spanish Translation can translate Spanish to English and English to Spanish. Rates vary depending on complexity of text. Call Cristina on 671 890 473. SPORTS Costaluz Tennis Club Come and join us! Sunday mornings in Nova Sancti Petri (11am - 1pm) Ladies, men’s and mixed doubles - all levels and visitors welcome. (Club closed July and August) For further information contact: Suzanne 956 437414 or Kevin 956 451066 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pick up points Cádiz Alcalá de los Gazules Antigua Fonda B/B Calle Sánchez Flores 4 Arcos de la Frontera Tourist Office Plaza del Cabildo, s/n email@example.com Tel: 956 702 264 Café Ole Cerro de la Reina s/n Mesón de la Molinera Urbanización El Santiscal Barbate Tourist Office Avda José Antonio 23; Tel: 956 433 962 Bar La Galería Paseo Marítimo Hotel El Palomar de la Breña San Ambrosio km 4.5; BarbateLos Caños de Meca Benalup-Casas Viejas Tourist Office C/ Paterna 4; Tel: 956 424 009 firstname.lastname@example.org Cádiz Junta de Andalucía Tourist Office Avda Ramón de Carranza; Tel: 956 258 646; email@example.com
You will continue to find us in hotels, restaurants, bars and shops across Cádiz and Huelva, but the following places are designated pick-up points so there should always be plenty of copies
Tourist Office Paseo de Canalejas s/n; Tel: 956 241 001; firstname.lastname@example.org Active Language Plaza Libertad 4, 1st floor Chiclana de la Frontera Tourist Office Constitución s/n; Tel: 956 400 101; email@example.com Mail Boxes Etc Ctra. de La Barrosa; C.C. Miramar, local 22 Nuevo Look Fashion La Vid, Edif. El Espinel, local 2 Costa Luz Homes Eroski Centre Lemon Tree restaurant Ctra de la Barrosa, Urb Soto del Aguila Monopoly Apartaclub la Barrosa; Ctra. de la Barrosa, Los Gallos Conil Tourist Office C/ Carretera 1; Tel: 956 440 501; firstname.lastname@example.org Andaluz Homes C/ Flor, 25 Grazalema Tourist Office Plaza de España 11; Tel: 956 132 225
Jerez de la Frontera Tourist Office Alameda Cristina Tel: 956 341 711/956 338 874 email@example.com Mercers estate agents Calle Porvera 31; Tel: +34 956 329572 Medina Sidonia Tourist Office Plaza de la Iglesia Mayor, s/n; Tel: 956 412 404 Andaluz Homes C/Hercules 2 Chelsea Academia Pza carretita s/n Olvera Tourist Office Plaza de la Iglesia s/n; Tel: 956 120 816 Olvera Properties Calle Maestro Amado 2 Bar Pepe Reyes/Tartan Bar Pza del Ayuntamiento 9 El Puerto de Santa María Chiropractor Centre Crta de Sanlúcar 6; Edificio Jardines de Sanlúcar 1 Rota Tourist Office C/ Cuna, 2. Palacio Municipal Castillo de Luna. Tel: 956 846 345 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanlúcar de Barrameda Tourist Office C/ Calzada del Ejército s/n; Tel: 956 366 110; email@example.com
Hotel El Califa Plaza de España La Patría restaurant Patria 48, La Muela The English Bookshop C/ Juan Rellinque 45
Sotogrande C-International Abogados CN 340 s/n, Salida 130; CC Sotomarket
Zahara de la Sierra Tourist Office Plaza Zahara 3
Tarifa Tourist Office Paseo de la Alameda s/n; Tel: 956 680 993 firstname.lastname@example.org DN-Law C/ San Trinidad 1 Bossa Cafe Puerta de Jerez Circus Bar C/ San Sebastian 8
You can find laluz in all golf clubs and tourist information offices throughout Huelva province and the eastern Algarve. Some of the other main drop-off points include:
Vejer de la Frontera Tourist Office Avda de los Remedios 2; email@example.com Tel: 956 451 736 De La Luz Properties SL Los Remedios S/N Mercers estate agents C/ Pintor Morillo Ferrada, Urb La Noria
Isla Canela The Outback Inn Centro Comercial, Marina Isla Canela, Ayamonte Ayamonte Euro Supplies Calle Médico Rey García (opposite theatre) Villablanca Pizzería Madera Huelva City The English Bookshop Calle Cristóbal Colón 10