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A description of life in the village of Pruna, nestled in the Andalusian mountains of Seville

Village life in the Andalusian mountains

One week in an Andalusian village
16 July 2016 @ 11:25

On Saturday the public pool opened, a day late. The first day is always free but is surprisingly empty for the first four hours, which is lucky because the pool has not finished filling yet, it is at least a foot of the top. Oh, the bar is closed because the guy who was meant to run it is ill.

Despite this we have a fabulous time, and I see see some people who I only ever see around this rather beautiful pool set in gardens with mature trees.

For drinks we go through the back of Ratones and take them back to the pool. I stay till five pm when the first day hordes of teenagers becomes a bit too noisy.

At ten pm I stroll down to Antonio's Bar, the village 'hot spot' in summer, set off the main road this family run bar puts tables outside of an evening and has roaring trade in their locally famous snails in either salsa or caldo. Their paninis are the best as well. Lovely evening by myself but going from table to table grazing conversations with friends in groups of Spanish and ex pats.

I get back at about 11.30 and it is now cool enough to go through the house opening all the windows and doors that were kept closed from noon to preserve the chill of the house.

I use three plug in mossie repellents, the liquid kind, and they mean that I have no problems with bites (and I am prone to massive reaction to all stings so I avoid them like the plague).

The neighbours are outside in force, all the families on my square are sat on their fronts steps and there is laughter, arguments, children playing football, singing, clapping games, skipping. Do not come to an Andalusian village and expect tranquil nights, it is too hot to be inside here in July and August in the evenings. Come 1am, or even 2am they all at once disappear into their homes and it becomes quiet, just the odd dog barking and the corresponding howls from the hills. Noises that you stop hearing after just a few days.

Sunday I treat myself to breakfast at Campo, in the first square as you enter Pruna, it is a great position to watch the world and say hola and be 'que tal'ed by the villagers, it is rare to see any expats at this time of day.

While having breakfast I have left my house in the capable hands of Izzie, a Spanish woman who cleans houses for extra cash, her main job is a carer for the council, and she is therefore considered to have a very good reputation because the council are careful who they hire to look after vulnerable people. I will return in two hours and Izzie will have transformed my house from BoHo clutter into a sanctuary of minimalist cleanliness. She is a godsend, and I pay her 10 euros an hour, worth every penny.

Pool opens at noon and I am there, the ticket machine does not work so Lidia, a wonderful Spanish lady assures us she will remember us and takes our money.

Now the pool is full, the showers are working, the overflow is filtering the water nicely. I carefully find my 'spot', not too close to where the ex pats will sit, don't want to be in a crowd of them, but close enough that desultory conversation can take place with those few who I count as friends.

I swim twenty lengths with Bea, we compete every year to see who can swim the most, we got up to fifty lengths in an hour and 35 mins last year, but we are starting slowly today. I go back to my sun chair and read, then swim, then listen to an audio book, then swim, then read again. My friend Cathy drags me kicking and screaming to lunch at Ratones, Calamari, Ratones does the best without a doubt. Wimbledon beckons and Cathy leaves, and I have one more swim, the pool has been delightfully empty all day.

Home and then I meet up with Cathy again for dinner at Bodeguitas, this is a restaurant on the edge of the town, with views over and up to the mountains, and there is always a mild breeze which was welcome because this was a sticky humid evening. Fillete and patatas, pork steak grilled with a green pepper sauce, served with a handful of chips, 5 euros, delicious. I rarely ever eat out, and tonight was to do a favour to a friend who dislikes eating out alone, but it was a lovely evening.

I keep an eye on the TV in the restaurant itself, France 5, Iceland 1, this is gutting news because we have an Icelandic friend in the village and wanted to feel triumph by riding on his coat tails. But it was not to be (are England really that crap then?)

I go home but it is still too hot outside to open windows and doors, So I just open the top ones, put the overhead fan on in my bedroom and watch some rubbish Spanish TV, with Spanish subtitles, a great way to learn Spanish, (but I confess it took a couple of years to get anywhere near even comprehending it).

Monday, the village pool is closed, and I have Robert, the builder in, decorating my courtyard, needs doing every couple of years or so and I have family visiting in two days. I go down and buy a bread roll from the indoor market and come back and make him a bacon and egg sandwich, this part of his wages :¬). He leaves at 1pm, and I get my swim bag ready because my friend Elena is driving us to our favourite pool in the area, the salt spa pool at Almargen.

Set on the outskirts of the town of Almargen this is an utterly beautiful pool with landscaped gardens and intensely salty water, locally sourced, and you skin feels amazing afterwards and people come from far and wide to bathe and get health benefits. We just swim up and down chatting, having drinks at the cafe, then swimming again.

Leave at 5.30, dash to Mercadona in Olvera because it has just dawned on me that I have nothing a couple of twenty year olds will want to eat. So, sliced bread, crisps, ice cream, ice cubes, drinks, snacks, fruit, meat. Then back home and unpack.

I only have five minutes before Izzie is back to do two more hours. Yesterday she had gazed in disapproval at my courtyard, and muttered 'muy sucio', very dirty , knowing it was going to look even worse after a decorator had been in I took her up on her unspoken offer of tidying it.

She said it would take two hours, now it is a small courtyard and I could not see what would take two hours, brush up, bag, hose down, thirty minutes Max, but I agreed because I love a tidy house and courtyard, just not enough to actually maintain it tidily.

Everything was scrubbed down, all the tables, chairs, the windows, the metal bars, tiny paint spatters were removed. It took exactly two hours and it was immaculate. Best twenty euros I had spent on the courtyard yet.


I was meant to do the yogo do class at 9.15am but only woke at 9 am, so decided that swimming all day would fulfil my exercise needs. I went into the village to buy onions, and a hair brush, because my one has disappeared, and I have no one to blame but myself when here alone, While in the shop I noticed one of those metal chip holding baskets, didn't really need one, but only two euros and the kids are coming, and they like chips.

On the walk home I saw the brit who had sent me a pornographic selfie, we passed each other haughtily. There are snakes in paradise, be aware of that, (but blocking them on Facebook gives a great deal of satisfaction. I will never have to read their jeering comments again, so, on the positive side it gave me the push I needed to 'break off').

Home and had a very healthy breakfast of yogurt and fruit, then get my swimming stuff together and walk down to pool using a wheely bag thing like an old lady because I take a sun chair as well so as to comfortable for the whole day. Lunch at Ratones, battered cod with salad and a few chips, 2.50 euros. In the bar some some lovely ex pats and some not so lovely ex pats, and a friend, so had fresh orange juice and coffee and chatted before she left to watch Wimbledon and I returned to pool.

If I had wanted to I could have gone to the free film screening in the summer cinema, Zootropolis. Starts at 10.30pm.

Write up today's dramatic events in Pruna, make a coffee, and wait until 8.30 for the bus that will bring my son and daughter in law from Seville, leaves Seville Prado San Sebastien bus station at 7pm, due in at 8.45pm.

Eat at Bodeguitas because it has a cool breeze from the mountains and the best views, and have a final beer and coffee at Antonio's, the tables set out in the street and the locals eating the famous snails they sell every night.

Wednesday, usually I would go to Moron de la Frontera for the market, and indoor swim but it is too hot to do anything like that in July and August, and why swim indoors when the local pools are only open for two months and therefore need to be glutted upon.

So it is breakfast in the courtyard, admire the kittens as they frolic, little do they know they are scheduled to be neutered in seven days time, we cannot take them back to the UK but can ensure they are safe in our garden while they continue to survive by hunting and foraging, and the odd tin of cat food.

Then the pool, some summer visitors have arrived, lovely people, intending to retire here so have an attitude of already belonging here which is delightful to see. (first conversation is always 'why is the pool only open for two months a year? Answer: it is only open for the school holidays)

Bed early with a good book on my kindle,the kids go out and do something to do with catching pokemons on their phones, they are in their mid twenties, they have not asked where the local disco is, or is hash legal, no, they read, swim, and catch pokemons, youth of today, no get up and go.

Thursday. Like the other days, they are beginning to become a blur, I wake early because it is the very best part of the day, cool, breezy, beautiful, and I breakfast in the garden.

A bit of shopping, then I go to the swimming pool leaving the kids to the garden terrace and plunge pool and their books, and probably checking on their pokemons, I overheard some conversation about pokemon eggs, that apparently will hatch, meh.

Home for 6 pm, and make dinner of salad and grilled meats, followed by ice cream. Later, feeling peckish, we go out to eat at Ratones, Serranitos, grilled pork or chicken steak with grilled green pepper and slice of jamon serrano, on a roll, with chips, 2.50 euros. I really do spoil them.

Friday, the most exciting day of the week, market day, I buy three skirts for 3 euros, and a carrier bag of fruit, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, 1 euro.

Churros, long thin hot doughnuts sprinkled with sugar from the churros man, then coffee and churros at either Campo or Ratones.

Home, pack up, go to pool, swim, tapas at Ratones, evening drinks in the dark outside Antonios, Pruna can be heaven.

That is the week in Pruna, The first week in July. If you don't like swimming, and water, and early mornings on balconies it will not be quite as delightful. It is too hot for proper walks, short ones at 7.30am for an hour or so are enough. 

Like 3


lizy said:
23 July 2016 @ 08:35

Great blog Christina, thank you, I have really tasted the flavour of your week in lovely Spain. Can't wait to return in September!

Tina1956 said:
23 July 2016 @ 09:16

A most enjoyable read, filled with so many tips on to best enjoy this lovely Andalucian town.

Santabarbara said:
25 July 2016 @ 13:59

Hi Christina. It brings it all back, my lovely recent time in Pruna, at the pool, at lunch, at dinner, todo. Well done on all of that. Have a great day tomorrow. Barbara X

Randywaiting said:
26 July 2016 @ 18:12

After a long tough 15 years as caregiver am searching southern Spain to retire. Like Motril area for the sub tropical, don't like cold or snow. But have actually settled in Olvera/Pruna. Just want to settle in and disappear for a while then get into the community and surroundings. But, which city do I want. Loved your blog. Like the idea of the festivals and activities, then read there are some 30 banks, sounds too busy.
And can you join/volunteer to help learn Olives and farming, grew up in a farm.
Again, great informative blog.

Brendall said:
24 August 2016 @ 21:23

Thanks for your blog Christina it has been very helpful. I have bought a small house in calle Ronda and the builders have been busy in June and July. I am hoping to "camp" in the house from 13 -17 September and would love to meet up in one of the bars - perhaps on the 18th? What do you think ?

Bernie Strachan said:
24 May 2017 @ 09:16

What a wonderfully informative, chatty, well written blog. I'm bringing two 13 year olds to Pruna in August, and I feel as if I almost know the place through reading your site. Thank you!

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