Time is running out for me here and I wanted to give myself at least one more day out before I leave. Somewhere I haven’t been before – which is difficult after so many years. But the internet and Google Earth came to my rescue. After packing some lunch into the cool-box, I was ready to leave El P by 9. 15. I headed along the A7 in the direction of Malaga. I took exit 251 and within five minutes I’d arrived at La Cueva de Higuerón at Rincón de la Victoria. It’s one of the few marine caves in the world where a mixture of fresh and salt water from the sea, together with the rise and fall of the tide, has created underground caverns. This one is now some distance from the coastline. Over the entrance, the management uses its popular name, the Cave of the Treasure.
The reason for ‘Cave of the Treasure’ is because of the tales told about them. It was said that a royal hoard of gold was deposited here in the 12th Century by an Arab Emperor just before he was killed. Over the years the treasure was forgotten about, and it was not mentioned again until the 17th century when a long lost manuscript was supposedly discovered detailing where the treasure was hidden. During the 19th century, a local archaeologist spent a lot of time during his 38-year career searching for it. In all that time he found six gold Islamic coins, weighing in all, just 4 grams. However, he also discovered a selection of ceramics, some wall paintings, as well as utensils said to date from the Neolithic period.
The caves are extensive, with railed walk-ways leading from one cave to another. At the furthest distance away from the entrance is an alcove where water constantly cascades down forming deep pools below the paths. Some caves also contain hand prints although, with the low level of lighting, I missed them.
Leaving the car park, I rejoined the motorway for a few miles before taking an exit further along. I drove inland, up into the hills and after a few miles, I arrived at Macharaviaya.
The village was built on the ruins of a Moorish settlement and was home to the Gálvez family, members of the Spanish nobility. Three sons all held positions in the 17th C Spanish Court. Bernado, a son of the next generation became the Governor of Louisiana, Captain General of Cuba and Viceroy of Mexico. He aided the Americans in the War of Independence and his forces captured Baton Rouge and Pensacola from the British. The city of Galveston was named after him.
In the village, the family built the Real Fábrica de Naipes – The Royal Playing Card Factory which for many years produced more than 30,000 packs per year giving the factory a monopoly on the sale of playing card throughout the whole of the Spanish Indies. The family installed drinking water fountains in the village streets, had paving laid along the roads, and supervised the reconstruction of the local church which was originally built in 1505. A plaque (in English) fixed to the outside wall of the church tells of his achievements.
At the entrance to the village, there’s a shrine dedicated to the family and a statue in the main square commemorates the life of Bernardo. The family crypt is below the church. Bernado died from typhus whilst he was in the Spanish Colonies at just forty years old.
My last port of call was to a two-hundred-year-old disused sugar factory in Torre del Mar. Unlike the factories at Nerja and Maro, this one at Torre del Mar has been restored and is now used as a cultural centre. It stands on an impressive site, still with one of its chimneys in place.
Recent palm trees have been planted on the forecourt. Exhibitions are displayed within which are changed from time to time. In addition to some of the original machinery, there is a display of ancient laundry and ironing ironmongery. Everything from simple flat irons through to gas and oil powered irons. Not just one or two – simply hundreds of them.
On another floor were some fine examples of modern appliqué needlework in the form of bed quilts. Some of the exhibits were just superb – with such vibrant colours and designs. Along another wall was an exhibit of dressed dolls and appliqué designed cushion covers.
To read this blog with extra pictures see:- https://jondogoescaravanning. com/spain-nov-2018-feb-2019/