School runs are not what they were. A thirty minute drive to a neighbouring town, Velez de Benaudalla, has us snaking around the Lujar, blinded by the rising sun and occasionally avoiding magnificent male ibex as they leap from the mountainside. A previous school run took us past giraffes, living in the same zoo that was home to a couple of ibex. We’re not planning a move that will take in wild giraffes any time soon.
Velez could not be more different to our rather desaliñado (scruffy) Órigiva. A straight through the town, no bends, tree-lined street (calle) with road humps and hardly a hair out of place. The residents of Velez shared a big prize in the Christmas lottery El Gordo a few years ago. We don’t know if the town was as pristine pre-lottery windfall as it is now, but we are convinced the locals polish their cobbles.
Not that we see many locals. The place is strangely quiet. Our little bus club – the half a dozen or so parents waiting for the arrival of the school bus – is, we suspect, the biggest daily gathering in the town that is so proud of itself that it calls itself a city (cuidad).
Velez is also proud of the important literary heritage of this corner of Andalucia. An extract from Madrigal de verano by Federico Garcia Lorca, the liberal and gay poet who was murdered in Granada in 1936 by Franco’s fascist regime, is inscribed on a monument by the school bus stop.
Too little is taught in Spanish schools about the civil war. Velez may or may not tell its young people about the fate of the emblematic member of the Generation of ’27 that it has also named its main road after. But the monument alone has our daughter asking about him and we will try to enlighten her, as we enlighten ourselves.
And here’s the place: