Aracena Natural Park/Almonaster de Real

Heading west and south from LLERENA towards the Portugal border, another one of those “prettiest villages”, Almonaster was another lovely find.  Originally built by the Arabs, there is the remnants of the old mosque on the top of the mountain overlooking the whitewashed town which makes for a beautiful setting.

The mosque
The mosque

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Detail of interior pillar
Detail of interior pillar
Interior nave
Interior nave
The washing fountain at the entry
The washing fountain at the entry

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View of Almonaster from the mosque
View of Almonaster from the mosque

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We stayed here for 2 days in a very nice apartment with a fireplace and lots of wood.  A welcome thing as it was cool and raining.

Las Palmeras Apartamentos in Almonaster
Las Palmeras Apartamentos in Almonaster

There are many villages in the area all connected with walking trails.  We had a great hike around the mountain that the mosque sits on and actually met a fellow, Phil, about our age who stopped to talk with us.  An ex-pat Brit who lives on a piece of property nearby and who actually used to live for a period of time on TEXADA ISLAND!  ( a friend of Carol of the Yellow Flying Bread Bowl fame)  What a small world!  Any way, he is very much into alternative and self sufficient lifestyles.  If you want to check out his website….elpocito.wordpress.com…it’s quite interesting.  He also mentioned that it only rains here for 2 weeks a year, (the rest of the time is brilliant sunshine) and we had landed in the middle of it!  It really didn’t matter as it was still warmer than BC…and the rain actually stopped as you can see from the photos!

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