Tuesday 5th June
Pete collected me at 9.45am to take me to Heathrow airport where I am meeting Jac & flying out to Mojacar for the Christians & Moors Fiesta.
We met up just outside the airport & grabbed a coffee & had a last cigarette before checking in. We wandered around the duty free & I bought some Clinique moisture surge face cream as the sample felt so good.
The flight went well & Lesley met us at Almeria airport to take us to Mojacar. We stopped at La Ermita for a drink with Keith & Margaret before heading up to Casa Justa to check in with Eddy & Genevieve and drop off my suitcase.
We arranged to meet up later on back at La Ermita for a drink & some dinner. Ended up doing our usual tour around the bars ending up at the Sarten where we met Brege, Susan, Archie & Lynn before wandering back to Casa Justa to bed.
Wednesday 6th June
Up relatively early for breakfast & sat at my usual table to eat, drink coffee, read & chat to Genevieve. Unpacked & settled in, then went down to Irene’s Bar for a solo conielo & read there for a while. Wandered around the local shops then went down to Jackie’s place for lunch and a cuddle with the cats Javier & Jasmine.
Spent the afternoon relaxing with Jac & Lesley before going out for the evening. At the Pavana Lesley introduced me to Nigel who was knitting socks as he chatted and his partner Nick.
Thursday 7th June
After breakfast I met up with Jac to walk down to the playa. We sat at the nice little cafe that does the fresh orange juice & recovered from our walk in the heat.
Wandered around a few shops & had some tapas for lunch and some time just relaxing on the beach, before heading for the supermarket as Jac is cooking dinner tomorrow evening for Lesley’s friends Carol & Michelle & I.
Caught the bus back to the village & Lesley was at Pavana so we stopped for a drink with her, then she helped us carry the shopping down to the apartment. Relaxed with the cats on the terrace for a while & just chatted generally.
Later on we went up to the Sarten for dinner & spent the rest of the evening sitting outside chatting to all the usual people and some others that I hadn’t met before who had arrived for the fiesta, including Conny, it was so good to see her up and about again.
Friday 8th June
Breakfast & a chat with Genevieve then just relaxed on the terrace and read for a while. Went to Irene’s where I met Ekehard & Conny and spent an hour or so chatting & catching up.
Went back to try to have a siesta as this fiesta starts tonight and doesn’t stop till 6am in the morning from Friday till Sunday inclusive. I’ve been told there will be no sleep as the music is very loud all night & the bands are around the corner from Casa Justa – maybe I should have stayed somewhere closer to Jac & Lesley’s place which will be quieter!
Late afternoon I made my way back to Jac’s & cuddled the cats & chatted while Jac put finishing touches to the meal. I was introduced to Carol & Michelle & we sat out on the terrace for dinner, which was lovely as Jac’s a great cook.
Around 10pm we could hear the bangs as gunpowder was fired by the Christians and Moors as they set off from the playa on their long walk up to the village. We could hear the noise & see the smoke for a long time before we could see them.
As the Christians came closer I could see that they marched in fours swaying together in time to the music as they climbed the steep hill to the village.
Their costumes were stunning, each small group were dress the same apart from their leader who was much more lavishly adorned. Each group had their own band that marched with them, the drummers making a low rhythmic boom that echoed across the mountains.
The procession went on and on swaying up the hill.
The Moors followed and were even more lavishly attired, swaying in their fours as the Christians had done, and again with their own bands.
The gunpowder bangs became noisier as they drew closer. As the last of the procession walked passed the apartment towards the village square we left to follow them up the hill.
The village was bright with all the huge lights that had been erected over the last few days, like Christmas street lights, but their special fiesta Moors & Christian lights instead.
There were stalls set up from just outside Jac & Lesley’s apartment all the way up the village and surrounding the square, it was a magical sight with the Moors & Christians all in their finery too. We started at La Ermita where most of Jac’s usual friends were and moved on up the village. Only plastic glasses are available throughout the fiesta, so it’s easy to wander around the village seeing how every bar is decorated nursing the same glass of wine. A good thing as we were going to be up till 6am when the music stopped.
The 3 bands were all loud & sounded good, we reached the Sarten through the crowds that were watching and dancing to the music, a few people had the lovely coloured light balloons attached to belts or handbags which swayed above them as they danced.
All the usual people were at Sarten when we arrived & most were dancing to the music of the band in the square just below the bar. I was introduced to Brege Jac’s Irish friend, Sue who owns a house here & her friend Gina who had all come out for the fiesta too and were really nice.
A fabulous evening, I was glad to get to bed after Jac & Brege had walked back to Casa Justa with me at just after 5am. I listened to the music in bed after pouring a couple of glasses of water down my throat, till it stopped then fell asleep.
Saturday 9th June
I didn’t wake up until after 11am, missing my breakfast. I made my coffee a bit stronger than usual and wobbled out to the terrace for a cigarette & thanked heavens that my hangover wasn’t too bad.
Later showered & dressed I went out to have a wander around the stalls in daylight.
A solo conielo & zumo naranja at Irene’s and I was feeling much better than I deserved to.
I looked at some beautiful silver earrings near Jac’s apartment, they are long and beautifully patterned, dithered & left them to see what else was around as I’d noticed that the stalls were also all the way down the other hill towards the huge car park where the market is held. I walked down that way and wandered happily for a while, but didn’t buy anything.
Suddenly exhausted, I made my way back to Casa Justa for a siesta before the madness started all over again this evening.
I walked down to the silver stall before meeting up with Jac at Pavana in the evening, having decided that I really wanted to buy those earrings that I’d first seen, thankfully they were still there. Lesley told me later that the man who makes them is a friend of hers.
We wandered up to the square and met up with a few of the girls at La Ermita, Margaret said that the men were over at another bar together watching football, so we avoided that one.
We ate at Casa Minguito this evening and Geraldine joined us after dinner for a chat.
We had a look around the stalls, then Jac & I wandered around a couple of bars that had been decorated for the fiesta, one had a fake DJ playing music.
We then as usual ended up at the Sarten where Archie was riding Manchester Dave’s unicorn balloon! We had a great evening, dancing and laughing and drinking far too much again.
I spent some time chatting to Sue & Gina & to Lynn Archie’s friend who’d come on holiday with Archie this time. Lesley & Martha were up here this evening too so it was great to spend some time with them too.
Eventually it was time to head back to Casa Justa & try to catch up with some sleep. The main fiesta procession is on tomorrow at around 5pm & Lesley has booked a table at La Ermita for all of us for lunch before it starts.
Sunday 10th June
Oh heavens I am so tired, to music went on for what seemed many hours after I got back, so I’m suffering from a total lack of sleep and a hangover! Getting too old for this up all night lark.
I dragged myself into the shower & made some coffee afterwards which I drank on the terrace before heading back to the room to doze until Jac messaged me that it was time to meet for lunch.
I decided that I’d wear my new earrings for the occasion, so many people commented on how lovely they were & Martha was wearing some almost identical earrings from the same man, but hers had pearls in them.
We shared a table with Lesley, Martha, Val, Carol & Michelle, Lesley had booked it immediately after last years fiesta.
The other tables were mainly occupied by people that I knew too, there was such a friendly festive atmosphere. The sun was blazing & I wished that I’d remembered to put my hat on & bring a fan.
Jac & I shared a seafood platter, which was amazing & absolutely huge, we ended up passing it around the table as we couldn’t finish it.
The procession came down from the square near the Sarten this time, they must have been so hot waiting in the full sun as a lot of them were wearing thick furs.
The Christians started first at about 5.30pm, coming down gradually in their various different groups each with their own bands as on Friday. Many of the groups had people on horses preceding them with the lovely horses doing the Lipizzaner horses marches creating their own shows before leaving the main square to head back down to the playa.
The costumes were so exotic and beautiful, there is so much work that goes into this incredible fiesta. Each group danced to their band in the square, the ladies twirling and showing off their beautiful costumes before swaying down the hill in fours linking arms as they had coming up the hill on Friday. The head men of each group were twirled their swords as they walked.
Afterwards came to Moors in their fabulous furs and headdresses. The same process of their horses and bands accompanied them too. The whole show was utterly fantastic and ended about 8.30pm, I’ve never seen anything like this. The procession goes all the way down to the playa, they never seem to go out of step and must be exhausted by the time they finish at the far end of the beach.
I was exhausted too as the lack of sleep caught up with me, after a last drink at the Sarten I went back to the hotel.
Monday 11th June
This morning I was up in time for a relaxing breakfast on the terrace after a good nights sleep. I had a chat to Genevieve who is exhausted after being fully booked all week.
I sat up on the terrace just reading and relaxing for the morning, then decided that it was time I went for a walk.
Jac messaged me to say she had arranged for us to go to the playa to meet up for lunch with Paul, Vanessa & Ellie who’d arrived yesterday and had watched the fiesta from the beach.
We caught the bus down as it’s really too hot to walk and met them at a little beach bar, it was great to see Paul again after all these years. We had a lovely seafood meal in the restaurant opposite, then went to Alberto’s Gelateria for pudding.
Later on we caught a bus back up to the village & after a couple of drinks at the Pavana it was time for another early night for me.
Tuesday 12th June
My last day in Mojacar already, after breakfast I got most of my packing done, then went down to Irene’s and met up with Conny & Eckhard for a couple of coffees and a chat before I leave. I’ve hardly seen them this visit as Conny doesn’t go out nearly as much as she used to.
I went for a walk afterwards and ensured that I could find the lift down to Cherigan’s where I was meeting Lesley in the morning to go to the airport. The walk down that way is extremely steep especially when you’re pulling a suitcase.
I bumped into Val shortly after that and we decided to have lunch together so went to a little cafe that Val frequents that was new to me and had moules marinière with a glass of wine each. It was so lovely to catch up with Val on her own for a change and we spent a happy couple of hours chatting, she is such a lovely lady.
Went to Jac & Lesley’s place for coffee & a cuddle with Jasmine, Javi is ignoring me this visit although he is normally the cuddly one.
Jac & I went down to the playa later to meet up with Paul, Ellie, Vanessa & her mum for dinner. Paul & his family are going home tomorrow as well.
We ate at Bellavista a restaurant opposite the playa that I’d been to with Andrew a couple of years ago. The food was still great and Paul had ordered a really good bottle of red wine too. We were then invited over to Vanessa’s parents bar where there was going to be live music this evening.
Later on Jac & I caught the bus back to the village and went for a drink at the Sarten & said my farewells to everyone as I’m off early tomorrow.
Wednesday 13th June
Up and sorted out early ready for coffee before I meet up with Lesley for the airport run.
Manoeuvred my large suitcase up the steep hill, then almost lost it on the even steeper downhill, but managed to reach the lift in one piece. Lesley was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill.
Checked in & bought a coffee to drink in the sun outside.
Saw Paul & family briefly as we were queueing to board.
After an uneventful flight I caught the train home to Andrew & my baby cats.
I only have a few days at home with them before Andrew & I fly to Singapore & I’ve missed them too much already. Just time to wash my knickers & pack again as Lesley said…..