Finally, I had the chance to join him for three days in October. Algodonales is a small town located in the province of Cádiz. The nearest towns are Zahara, Olvera and Ronda, which are better known and touristic. From the first moment there, I fell in love in Algodonales. Being one of the Pueblos Blancos (white villages), the town's houses are all white – only the church is built out of ochre-coloured stones.
The town is located on the slope of a mountain with steep, narrow streets. The centre of the town is the church with the long main plaza. On one side there are the bars and restaurants and on the other side some little stores for daily supplies. There is not even one tourist shop.
In the morning the bars are full with paraglider pilots sitting outside eating breakfast and enjoying the sun. Later on, the plaza fills with the "morning parliament" - elderly men, most of them with walking sticks or in wheelchairs.
Some are talking and discussing, some are just sitting and watching.
At noon the plaza becomes totally empty. Nobody is there. The shops close for siesta and some local people have lunch in the bars.
At 5pm life starts again. The bars get crowded, the shops open and slowly, slowly, the evening parliament gathers on the plaza. The men are a bit younger than the morning parliament. With the darkness the paraglider pilots come back hungry and all the restaurants become completely full.
Everything happens in this centre. On Thursday, a funeral procession passed the plaza as it approached the church and everybody in the bars got quieter. On Friday, there was a wedding in the town hall near the church. The car with the bride and groom paraded through the centre while everybody clapped and cheered.
I had a beautiful time in Algodonales. I sat in every bar and on almost every bench in the plaza to sketch. I will definitely come again.
Smadar Raveh-Klemke lives in Hamburg, Germany. She is a graphic designer and illustrator. Her previous guest post was from Hamburg. You can see more of her work on her blog.