Recent Local Snaps

SHADES IN THE SUN

When local author Steve Taylor first visited Cómpeta in the Axarquía, he had no idea that his first novel would be set against the backdrop of the village. The Grapevine caught up with Steve for a chat about his book, ‘Shades in the Sun’.

What made you decide to set your story in Spain?
I first visited Competa some 7 years ago when my wife and I were looking for a house. I fell in love with the village and have never really forgotten the first impressions it made upon me. There is

BAR AMALIA OPENS IN ARCHEZ

Last month Bar Amalia in Archez was opened by Dot Barrett. Dot is by no means a stranger to the community having lived in the village for around 11 years and is married to the local English electrician Mike.

Just before Dot and Mike moved to Spain they ran a Restaurant, Bar and Motel business in the Lincolnshire Wolds near Skegness. Dot was the chef serving both traditional pub food in the busy restaurant and fine dining at the weekends. It wasn’t unusual for Dot to cook for 90 to100 covers over the weekend. The Restaurant was so successful they bought a pub in the next village and ran both places at the same time! It was always Dots dream to have a restaurant as she loves cooking and has gained Diplomas in both professional cooking and ca employed as PA to MD of a large international group and attended corporate events where her love of cooking was well known so she was often invited into the kitchens of large hotels and shown around. Dot was also able to put her love of cooking into actual practice as she regularly entertained Mike’s clients at home. However, as soon as they were in a position to buy their own restaurant and the kids were older they fulfilled their dream of owning their own business and Dot could cook every day!

DESAFIO DX2 HALF IRONMAN TRIATHLON GRANADA 2015

Desafio DX2 Triathlon Granada 2015

Only after signing up were we told that it is considered one of the toughest triathlons in Spain. The race consisted of a 2km swim in a Reservoir in the picturesque village of Güejar Sierra, a 2km run to collect our bikes from the local sports hall (transition 1) An 80k bike ride up to the village of Pradallono, the main ski resort in the Sierra Nevada. And finally into transition 2 where we dumped the bikes and donned our trainers for a 20k run around the ski slopes above Pradollano to the finish line.

First some background information, Jansen Riley and myself (Steve Twiselton) both live in Competa, we competed in our first triathlon in October last year in Malaga. The distance was a lot shorter. It consisted of 750 metres Swim, 20K Bike and a 5k run but none the less it was still a very tough race as it is considered a Sprint event. After that race it's fair to say we both had the bug and signed up for a number of races in Andalucia in the first half of 2015. In all the events the triathletes start off at the same time however beforehand competitors are grouped into various classifications depending on age and sex. My group is the 40-50 male category known as Veteran 1 or Masters. I prefer to call it Masters for obvious reasons but my wife calls it the midlife crisis category!

MAGGIE MAKES IT HOME!

So I made it home from my camino in one piece, having walked for 52 days and 1,390 km's

I met some fabulous people from around the world, although very few from the UK, and passed through some amazing scenery. Springtime is such a beautiful time to walk through Spain and the wild flowers along the way were stunning. I achieved my goal of walking from 'sea to shining sea' after leaving from the Mediterraean at Málaga and continuing through Santiago de Compostela in the north west until I reached the Atlantic and dipped my toes in the ocean at Finisterre.

I was so very lucky with the weather, with only a few wet days and some very cold mornings - but by and large enjoyed glorious temperatures for most of my walk. I sufferred a few blisters around weeks two and three but spent most of the journey entirely pain-free. After three caminos, I know the minimum amount of gear that I am comfortable with and everything performed well this year, although the soles of my boots were paper thin by the time I finished.

But my most impressive piece of equipment is my body. It never ceases to amaze me that my body reacts so efficiently to what is demanded of it. I have built a lot of strength and muscle memory over three caminos and whereas on my first pilgrimage I could be seen doing the 'pilgrim shuffle' every evening (when the legs, ankles and feet are stiff from walking all day). I now recognise and sympathise with newbies who have practically seized up, but I am no longer a 'shuffler', and am happy to walk a few extra kilometres after arrival to discover the delights of the town that I am staying in.

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