Bootleg File #1

It’s another hot Sunday here in the Alpujarra. Cicadas are competing in the willow trees that line the acequia which curves around the house. Sometimes it’s deafening, rising to a heat-pumped crescendo. The dogs are snoozing flat-out in the shade by the back door. Barely an ear flicks as I peer over the lower half of the stable door. Not the best time for mountain walking you might think, but tomorrow I’ll be off to the heights with a couple of intrepid Dutch and an Irish walker keen to stretch their legs and rise above the simmering ƒ“rgiva valley. We’re off to visit the Refugio Poqueira on my favorite route, which will give us great views of the highest peaks, still studded with extensive patches of snow.

Bella on Alpujarra walkThe latest addition to the household, Bella, is growing at an impressive rate. Maybe we should rename her Bluebottle: she’s fallen in the water regularly over the last couple of weeks and demonstrates an impressive doggie-paddle along with a look of mild panic. Boris The-Much-Bigger enjoys cantering along any water-course splashing all and sundry in his careering path. Bella, like the rest of us is learning to dodge….

It’s a question frequently asked of us what we do when we’re not walking. One of the things I’m currently involved in is mounting a photographic exhibition in ƒ“rgiva in September with a friend. I’ve a mountain of possible images stored over the years since my first digital camera landed in my hands, so editing has been a bit of a challenge, but as there are loads of Morocco shots and Dharmo my partner in this enterprise has plenty of South African pictures the joint subject was clear.


Calle Real 48A is a private house down a little covered alley off one of Orgiva’s winding back streets. It’s sandwiched between the rear of the Nemesis Cafe and one of the ubiquitous bakeries. I’m curious to see how many people find us. Standing on the roof terrace and looking around at the dodgy-looking bread oven chimney, all the higgledy-piggledy roof lines and levels, I’m strongly reminded of North African towns where I’ve stayed over the last few years. I feel a surge of elation, a jumpy mixture of excited anticipation and slightly sick nerves, looking forward to sharing my photos.

August 2013