We turned our backs on Catalonia and took a short break in the far south west this Easter. And the wind was definitely in from Africa, this wild and beautiful area of Atlantic Andalucia lived up to its reputation as the windiest corner of Spain (the right sort of wind, happy kite surfers!). It was easy to see how the wind influences the landscape, new windmills stretch across every hillside, the pine trees are squat and rounded, the sand blown half way up the hillsides to form Sahara like dunes (as my husband pointed out not unlike Ogmore in Wales where he used to play as a child, just substitute the view of Morocco for Port Talbot steel works and there you go!)
We stayed in Vejer de la Frontera a classic Andalucian hill top village, the sparkling white streets literally swept clean by the wind and the houses closed and secret. The sparse black and white of the architecture was perked up by fragrant orange trees and tiled courtyards filled with plants, spiky or succulent to survive the chilling winds and scorching summer sun. Vejer was recovering from its Easter festivities so was very quiet during the day, just the occasional burst of Flamenco from iron barred windows.
Our home for the week was one of Vejer's most atmospheric houses tucked away under the castle walls in the oldest part of the town. This very special and beautiful house owned by photographer Christina Wilson and journalist and broadcaster Robert Elms is in parts over 1000 years old, a tiny maze of whitewashed rooms, cobbled hallways and ancient steps built around a courtyard, simply furnished with great style and charm and plenty of Spain based reading material, six days was not enough!