We are lucky enough now to have a British Councillor at the town hall who is also on the committee for cultural events and responsible for liaison with the non Spanish population, which means I am able to forward details to guests, so you can take part in or watch local events if you’d like to see more of Andalusian life.
The first Sunday in September we went to see the wonderful carriage competition; “Champion of Champions Trophy, Enganches de Andalucía”, part of the Pedro Romero Ronda Feria and Goyesca bullfight weekend which dates back 230 years. Dates for 2020 look like the weekend of 4th - 6th September.
Carriage owners take great pride in the appearance of their carriages as well as their horses and dress in period traditional costume, suitable for the type of carriage they drive. All the carriages line up in the street and enter the bull ring 3 at a time to be judged. The magnificent grand finale builds up with all the carriages moving together inside the stunning bull ring in concentric circles, my video below shows about 3/4 of the total.
As you can see from this photo below, we positioned ourselves, (rather cleverly I thought) above the bull ring, on the terrace of the Catalonia Hotel, with some lovely cool drinks and tapas in-order to get this wonderful view of the carriages as well as the Sierra beyond.
In Gaucín, The feast in honour of Santo Niño and St. Juan de Diós begins with the Romería to the Adelfilla on the last weekend of August: The Romería is a short distance Roman Catholic pilgrimage on foot and many on horse back, beginning from The Church of San Sebastian in the village processing down the Camino de Gibraltar (old Roman Road) to the Chapel of the Apparition where the Holy Child appeared in 1536 to Juan Ciudad (Later canonised as San Juan de Diós).
The following weekend (5th & 6th September 2020) effigies of both saints are carried on the shoulders of devotees and process through the village accompanied by the band “Villa de Gaucin”.
The last procession starting on Sunday afternoon is a solemn one, where I took these photos of the pilgrims coming down the hill past Bar Portesuelo, Casa Mosaica and on into the crowded village. It’s very moving.
On 23rd November a group of us joined a local protest walk to help draw attention to the decline of the passenger railway service between Algeciras to Ronda (Mr. Henderson’s railway). We took the train from Estación de Gaucín to Estación Cortes de La Frontera and then walked back through the stunning “Gorge of the Vultures" located on the eastern periphery of Los Alcornocales National Park.
The river Guadiaro forms a deep gorge through the limestone rocks of up to 225m high terminating at the so called “Moors Pool” where a deep underground cold spring forms a large pool. We swim here in the summer, walking the other way from El Colmenar. It’s the most stunning walk and a great area for bird watching, you might see Griffin vultures nesting among the walls of the escarpment as well as Bonelli’s eagles, common Kestrel and even Spanish ibex. Photos below by John Duckett.
We followed this wikiloc route in reverse:
Matthew Wolfman: Gaucín to El Colmenar
Easter, the spring, and winter months are fabulous for hiking in the area. We have a Gaucin Walkers Group, walking twice a week and usually 2 groups hiking various distances. Visitors can join for their stay in Gaucín and there are often lunches planned afterwards which you can join too.
There are several books available including a new up-dated book by Patrick Elvin of “50 Walks around Gaucín, Andalucia” available from amazon.es for €12.
There are a couple of exciting local adventures on my bucket list for 2020, in case you are interested too:
Sky Wings Falconry, provides a unique opportunity to interact with birds of prey in their own environment, Scott Mason conceived and developed Parahawking at Algodonales, paragliding with trained birds of prey. By combining ancient falconry methods with the modern techniques of Paragliding, birds of prey are trained to fly and interact with paragliders and their tandem passengers and to guide them to thermals. They also have a super sounding “Birds of Prey Experience”, for those who prefer to stay on the ground!
Hike along the Caminito Del Rey an exhilarating and beautiful path which hugs the side of mountains and crosses incredible gorges, get closer to nature on a 3-hour guided hike. You will need to book in advance.
Very proud to say that Trip Advisor awarded the Casita their Certificate of Excellence for 2019 (“consistently earning great reviews from travellers”) and over the years we have hosted many guests who chose Gaucín as their destination to celebrate honeymoons and anniversaries - read reviews here. As well as adoring Gaucín guests seem to appreciate the convenience of parking right outside Casa Mosaica and the possibility of walking to so many lovely, and good value, restaurants and bars in the village as well as having the supermarket so conveniently close and so many activities to choose from and places to visit nearby.
If you are looking for a peaceful holiday at Casa Mosaica with your extended family or friends I am offering the rental of both the Casa and the Casita together giving accommodation for 6++ - click here to read more details. Contact me early for available dates and prices. If we are not in residence I can add another bedroom and bathroom on the top floor as well as the use of the lovely upstairs terrace (photo below) with more great views. In 2019 two groups of guests rented both properties. This is what one guest wrote about it:
Fabulous!! This was our second time back to Casa Mosaica. We loved it so much!
We rented both the the Casa Apartment and Casita Mosaica for three weeks in August 2019. The accommodation in both are absolutely gorgeous. Attention to detail like no other. A credit to Emma, so talented!
A fabulous private pool, alfresco dining and wonderful garden setting in all areas. Pure Bliss!
Positioned in a fabulous location within walking distance to every thing.
Gaucin is truly a magical place. We joined the Gaucin walking group and walked most mornings.
You will not be disappointed. We will be back!
Deb & Guy - NZ
We are sincerely hoping that Brexit will not cause guests to be worried about booking a holiday in Gaucín for 2020 and I have just found this info from the ABTA website:
If a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. In a no-deal scenario the European Commission has said that UK airlines will still be able to operate flights between the UK and the EU under contingency legislation. The UK Government has offered similar assurances for EU airlines.
Looking forward to welcoming you to Casa Mosaica in 2020, I HAVE KEPT ALL RENTAL PRICES THE SAME AS 2019 AND IN ADDITION I have LOWERED EASTER WEEK PRICE to midseason rate this year rather then high season. It’s a great time to come and enjoy the spring and the Easter week processions in Andalucia as well as see or be part of the traditional Gaucín bull run “Toro de Cuerda” on 12th April 2020.
Meanwhile best wishes and Happy New Year, from Emma, Ruffi, Raffa and of course Kevin & Geoffrey, who seem to like the recently decorated entrance hall!