The bus journey from Alicante airport were very comfortable and those mountains …. that was in front of me most of the journey was just breathtaking.
It was my first visit to Southern Spain, the most southern I been before was in Seville. But what I have seen from my friends FB pages I felt I was up for a real treat and as the bus stopped at Parque Comercial Mojácar … it was already love at first sight.
To see Liz and Ian again after all those years was just wonderful and it was like it was yesterday. Liz and I was in New York 2000 over St. Patrick’s Day ( a story to be told in itself) – and she had to fly home alone because I gave up my seat, plane was overbooked … it meant I got a voucher for $500 and only had to wait 1,5 hour for a new flight. Not very nice of me when thinking back. I had a little bad conscience, but that voucher took me to Chicago a couple of month later. We haven’t met again since that afternoon at JFK airport.
Ian and I became colleagues and friends over in UK in 1992 – and the last time I saw Ian was in Belfast in November 2010, just a month after my cancer journey had come to an end. So there was loads of catching up to do.
And it was like yesterday we had spent time together. That is what real friendship is all about. It was so lovely to see them …. and I have got the Jamieson treatment quite a few time during my time in UK . Their hospitality has no limits, the ‘s hosts with the mostest. They haven’t changed a bit through the years that has passed for us.
On arrival it felt like home all ready standing at the bus stop waiting for Ian.
After a fantastic Sangria and some tapas at one of their favourite waterholes … was it time at check in at 2, Residencial el Duende.
Got the presidential suite in the basement: large double bedroom, massive bathroom and my own lounge with TV in a lovely townhouse situated with less than 10 meter from the ocean … with the most fantastic patio with a stunning sea view. The best location in the whole of Mojácar.
Ian has a very passionate soul when it comes to wining and dining … so he are also a very passionate home cook and an excellent one, so the early dinner was a truly feast. Nothing was missing. He had made a fantastic Gazpacho and his garlic prawns, couldn’t had made them better myself.
I don’t understand why I didn’t invited Oscar join us, don’t have one image from that fantastic spread of cold cuts, prawns on all shapes and sizes … salads… dressings and dips … bread … olives.
After dinner Ian suggested that we was going to have a great cup of coffee …. in the next town, Garrucha.
Garrucha is a small town with a population of around 5000 – with a famous fish auction every evening around 5pm – a weekly market and it’s eighteenth-century castle. At the beginning of the twentieth century a considerable trade in lead, silver, copper, iron, esparto grass and fruit, but now the only export from its harbour is gypsum mined in Sorbas, with a million metric tonnes being exported annually. Besides cargo ships, the port is home to a small fishing fleet and they are famous for their red prawns.
Ian parked the car just by the fish market (Lonja de Garrucha) and the auction had started as we arrived. Very interesting to watch. Every buyer has a remote pad for bidding, so no screaming and shouting. Wonderful to see all the fresh fish being showed on a conveyor and everything was automatic – when the highest bid was done a label was automatic printed out and put on the tray with the fish, but the ice was added manual.
The buyers come quietly and very seriously, and there is an atmosphere of great expectation. They sit on concrete blocks opposite groupers, red scorpion fish, snappers, John Dory and, especially, red prawns, which everyone is excited about.
The last sale of the evening was a massive catch of the red prawns, about 20 trays. “Carabineros” are large deep-sea prawn renowned for their jumbo size and striking bright red color. Their distinct red color does not change when cooked. More distinct and robust in flavor than other shrimps or langoustine, they are also coveted for their large size. The sales price for 1 kilo is about $110/€95/£85/1000SEK. So that boat captain/owner and crew must have laughing to bank that evening.
I didn’t try the prawns during my visit in. Liz said that the ones she had tried was a bit soft in the meat. Just now do they hold a 3 days “Carabineros” Fiesta in Garrucha and off course Liz and Ian is there.
They say the Carabineros from Garrucha is the best in the world, but even if I haven’t tried them … I think they are up from fear competition from our fresh prawns from Bohuslän here in Sweden.
After the auction we first walked over the the beautiful statue of the Madonna with child. (Can’t find any details about the statue)???!!!
The evening stared to become a bit chilly so the good cup coffee at a little cafe just opposite the fishing harbour was perfect. Also one of Ian’s & Liz’s favourite waterholes … they have loads. I think they must have tried out about 80% of all place in and along the coastline between Mojácar and Garrucha.
They are just my kind of people. We sat there and watched the evening falling.
On arrival to Mojácar we had the most stunning sunset over the mountains and the old village of Mojácar pueblo and Ian wanted to be helpful …. and thought that the closer we get the better images I would get, but I warned him … so he owe me that sunset!!!!! *laughing
“Every Now have Then ; Every Then have Now !”