June 19, 2012
Yesterday was spent mostly traveling back to Ceuta. The trip down from the mountain is like fast-forwarding through time. The closer to the coast we get, the more modern the infrastructure, towns and vehicles. After the twisting narrow cobbled lanes of Chefchaouen, straight, paved wide roads seem odd and I think we’re all a little sad to be back in the hustle and bustle. The ferry ride back to Algeciris and the drive to Olvera were uneventful.
Today we did some more exploring around Olvera. First, up to the castle. Then off to the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. Say that 3 times in a row… Short version: the Sanctuary of Remedies. People who need healing come here to light candles and pray. They can purchase little brass arms or legs instead of lighting candles, and there’s a whole board full of tiny body parts (couldn’t get a picture though). In addition, people have brought in dolls, uniforms, even wedding dresses to be blessed. It’s a very beautiful chapel, but a little unsettling.
Finally, to Setenil to see the cave houses! They are built under the overhanging cliffs of the town. Sometimes the visible portion of the house is only a few feet wide, with the rest of the dwelling in a cave or carved into the rock. They’re probably nice & cool in the summertime though!