Return to the Rio Genal

Return to the Rio Genal

That sounds like a western film starring John Wayne doesn’t it?

But if you read the previous post you will know that this is the river we wanted to fish in – properly.

Unfortunately the local shops only had a very minimal collection of fishing tackle. The smallest hooks were, I thought, too big but just might be OK with a little luck.

This time it was a boy’s trip. Dani and myself got up early so we could at least have an hour of peaceful fishing before the noisy tourists turned up. We had no fishing rods so I improvised, attaching hooked lines to a couple of long branches I found. We used sweet corn for bait direct form the tin. The thing with sweetcorn is that it stays on the hook even when the small fish try to nibble it. Only the bigger fish take the whole corn – hook and all! I am sure we could catch lots of the larger fish if we use smaller hooks.

Despite the hooks being a little too large we did manage to catch a couple of decent sized fish. For Dani they were huge as they more than filled his hands. The fish were barbel (barbo). Also in the river is the bordallo (a type of chub local to these parts) and boga (straight mouthed nase). The tiny “minnows” I have since discovered are called pejerrey (sand smelt).

All in all I think it was a great first fishing trip. Dani certainly thought so. Just look at his proud face here with one of his fish.

Júzcar – The Blue Village

Another day and another trip. This time to a village two valleys away. Júzcar. In an area dotted with the famous pueblos blancos (white villages) there is one that stands out. The reason is that they have painted the town blue. Literally. All houses and buildings were painted blue back in 2011 when the first Smurfs movie (Pitufos in Spanish) was released. The village was chosen by Sony Pictures for the world premiere of the movie.

Not only that but they built large mushroom (Smurf houses) and adorned the village with large paintings of the characters, souvenir shops and Smurf related play areas. They did a good job too. As a result the village gained some level of fame and became a bit of a tourist trap and the place was marketed as the world’s first Smurf village. Life-size at least.

Then just as tourism was rapidly rising the film company decided to pull the official plug and told the townhall that they could not use the Smurf images. All quite odd as this place is out of the way to say the least and if anything the village should be charging the copyright/trademark holders for using the whole village as one huge advert for their product. It was clearly a win-win situation but the film company decided otherwise. The world really is one odd place. And this village is definitely part of that.

Despite Sony offering to cover the cost of repainting the town white the villagers voted to keep the buildings blue (mainly due to the huge increase in tourists) and all that remains of those halcyon days of Hollywood collaboration is the plaque on the wall of the church (also painted blue of course) plus a couple of large Smurf statues. They still prefer to stand out from the crowd and call themselves the Pueblo Azul (Blue Village). Not quite as good as ‘the Smurf Village’ but still a curious place to visit.

A New Image…

Fortunately, the village is now gaining some attention for its local winemaking. It has recently attracted more attention from Hollywood in the shape of Antonio Banderas and a few of his film industry pals who visited the wine making factory (bodega) which now advertises itself as a Wine, Bed & Breakfast establishment. The site was the former Fábrica de Hojalata (tin factory); the first factory in Spain.

Back to School

Tomorrow is the first day back to school. Dani’s third year of full time school. I have not quite finished writing about his summer holidays. How time flies…

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