WASHING PLACES AND RAIN

DAY 3 Monday 3 September 2018

 One of the many washing places in the town. This one dates from 1953 on the site of the Arrabal spring.

One of the many washing places in the town. This one dates from 1953 on the site of the Arrabal spring.

I start setting out the studio. Ben and Helma kindly lend me a lithography stone. I will start mañana!

 I wake to find that the light has transformed the glass of water on my bedside table.

I wake to find that the light has transformed the glass of water on my bedside table.

It starts thundering around lunch time and I set out to explore the town once the rain has stopped. The route of the Washing Places (Ruta de los Lavaderos) meanders around the town; I find a few but loose the route at some point and will have to set out again tomorrow.

 The Ruta de los Lavaderos meanders around the town. The washing places are all fed by different springs. The circular marks we’re to hold jars.

The Ruta de los Lavaderos meanders around the town. The washing places are all fed by different springs. The circular marks we’re to hold jars.

They are all very distinctive; some covered and others simple troughs with wash-stones. The common feature is the ringing sound of water as flows into and then out of the white-washed tanks.

 The Arrabal is a maze of whitewashed streets. 

The Arrabal is a maze of whitewashed streets. 

The town has grown over centuries to accommodate as a series of populations; Arab, Moors, Jews and Christians. The Arab and Jewish areas have steep, narrow, winding streets with steps and overhanging tiled eaves, creating dramatic silhouettes and covered passageways open onto hidden courtyards; some alleys have blue and white painted paving. The old mosque with its porch still overlooks the square with  fountain, but the building is now is a chapel.

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After a second thunder storm I venture out with an umbrella up to the Plaza Mayor to buy food. Tonight it’s gazpacho followed by chickpea salad with garden herbs and tortilla with a glass of red wine. The sound of Miles Davis overlays the gushing of the waters... work starts tomorrow.

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