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Exodus from paradise: ‘Empty’ villages’ cry for help
02 April 2019 @ 15:28

WHILST Spain’s coasts and its major cities are densely-packed, cosmopolitan and – mostly – modern and well-connected, with the number of nationalities living like neighbours and equal members of the community running into three figures, five or six languages being heard in conversation on the average 10-minute walk, a short journey inland from the beach or out of the suburbs tells a different story: vast swathes of open, unoccupied countryside, villages made up of just two or three families, hamlets tucked into the mountains whose populations can be counted on fingers and toes.

These beautiful, tranquil areas are a paradise for anyone seeking peace, clean air and nature, and to see elements of life that have remained unchanged for centuries: working donkeys, hand-ploughed fields, close-knit communities whose members are known by third-generation nicknames, mail addressed to the local bar instead of houses, no need to email your mayor because you’ll probably be chatting to him over a beer or a coffee in said bar at some point that day anyway.

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