In the Neighborhood / En el Barrio: Los Pacos

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

THE FUENGIROLA NEIGHBORHOOD CALLED LOS Pacos is about a 10-minute walk from our place here on the beach but, once I get there, it always feels like I’ve left town. It’s north of the road, which you can walk over or under, that leads to the highways. I walked “over” yesterday crossing the roundabout. During “the new normal” I prefer to not walk under because it requires me to pass others on a very narrow path (as I did when I headed home).

Los Pacos has the feeling of a modern village. Sometimes a Finnish village, since this is where a vast majority of the Finnish population live. There are several parks, including a dog park and you have to mostly walk uphill (or downhill) to get around. Sometimes, the climbs are steep and even a bit treacherous, but the views of the sea and surrounding mountains are grand. I only walked about halfway up yesterday, so I have no great vistas to share. I was there late afternoon. The sun was high. The air was hot. And I’m only slightly crazy.

Los Pacos is where I go if I want to take in a bit of the countryside. When you continue north, it becomes very rural with farms and livestock and dirt roads. That’s where I usually head. But yesterday, I wandered the neighborhood, up and down some hills, for more than 2 hours. I came home exhilarated (and physically exhausted).

For me, there’s not much to do in Los Pacos, other than walk. If I lived there, I’m sure I’d be coming back to “civilization” every day. The grass is always greener.

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EL BARRIO DE FUENGIROLA LLAMADO Los Pacos está a unos 10 minutos a pie de nuestro lugar aquí en la playa, pero, una vez que llego allí, siempre parece que me he ido de la ciudad. Está al norte de la carretera, por la que puedes caminar por encima o por debajo, que conduce a las autopistas. Ayer caminé “encima”, cruzando la rotonda. Durante “la nueva normalidad” prefiero no caminar por debajo porque me obliga a pasar a otros por un camino muy estrecho (como lo hice cuando me dirigía a casa).

Los Pacos tiene la sensación de un pueblo moderno. A veces, un pueblo finlandés, ya que aquí es donde vive la gran mayoría de la población finlandesa. Hay varios parques, incluido un parque para perros y, en su mayoría, debes caminar cuesta arriba (o cuesta abajo) para moverte. A veces, las subidas son empinadas e incluso un poco traicioneras, pero las vistas al mar y las montañas circundantes son grandiosas. Ayer solo caminé hasta la mitad, así que no tengo grandes vistas para compartir. Estuve allí al final de la tarde. El sol estaba alto. El aire estaba caliente. Y solo estoy un poco loco.

Los Pacos es a donde voy si quiero disfrutar un poco del campo. Cuando continúas hacia el norte, se vuelve muy rural con granjas, ganado, y caminos de tierra. Ahí es donde generalmente me dirijo. Pero ayer, paseé por el barrio, subiendo y bajando algunas colinas, durante más de 2 horas. Llegué a casa entusiasmado (y físicamente exhausto).

Para mí, no hay mucho que hacer en Los Pacos, aparte de caminar. Si viviera allí, estoy seguro de que volvería a la “civilización” todos los días. La hierba es siempre mas verde.

Central plaza at the corner of Avenida Finlandia (Finland Avenue) and Calle Yunquera (Yunquera Street).
Plaza central en la esquina de Avenida Finlandia y Calle Yunquera.
A Twizy. I’d love to fold myself into one of these and go for a ride (I think).
Un Twizy. Me encantaría meterme en uno de estos y dar un paseo (creo).
A new vertical garden for the overpass. I love the look, but I’ll be curious to see how easy it is to maintain. We’ve had other elegant garden experiments around town. None have stood the test of time.
Un nuevo jardín vertical para el paso elevado. Me encanta el aspecto, pero tendré curiosidad por ver lo fácil que es mantenerlo. Hemos tenido otros experimentos de jardines elegantes en la ciudad. Ninguno ha resistido la prueba del tiempo.

For Times Long Past

Wow, do I ever have a lot of catching up to do. We had a wonderful, too-brief, trip to Sevilla with our friend Judyshannonstreetwhat — click here if you haven’t been keeping up — to visit with some friends and to catch the Three Kings Parade. We had the inspiration to travel computer-less, which had me out of touch with everything.

Tuesday morning, I woke up — in time for the 2-1/2-hour train ride home — with one of my allergy attacks that feels like the flu, in time for the train ride home. (Could I be allergic to something in Sevilla?) So I spent much of Wednesday and Thursday lounging and/or sleeping. And whining. But I’m back with over 400 photos to sort through.

Today’s photos are from the Three Kings Parade (Cabalgata de los Tres Reyes), which occurred the day before “Epiphany” (Three Kings Day). Our friend Miguel met us in front of our hotel for a birds-eye view.

I made a number of new friends during the parade, most under the age of 10. Two girls, Julia and Marta, who had been studying English for a year and were doing exceptionally well. Adorable brothers who just smiled at me… a lot (the first photo). And, Adrian (pronounced ah-dree-AHN), a boy who knows a little English but is shy about using it. We practiced “thank you” and “your welcome” when I caught air-born candies and gave them to him.


(Click any image. You can almost taste the candies.)

EARLIER IN THE DAY… AT PLAZA DE ESPAÑA.
AN APACHE IN FRONT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SEVILLA (AT LEFT).
(NEAR WHERE THE PARADE STARTED.)
LIKE GOING BACK IN TIME… EXCEPT FOR THE SNEAKERS.
MARTA (RIGHT): “I HAVE A PET RABBIT.”
JULIA (LEFT): “I LIKE TO EAT RABBIT.”
A MATCHED SET.
TWO CROWNED TWIZYS LED THE WAY.
JUDY WAS SO EXCITED TO RECEIVE AN OFFICIAL CARAMELO (CANDY) BAG.
MY PAL ADRIAN WHO CHASED VERY AGGRESSIVELY AFTER THE CANDY.
HIS MOTHER HAD TO CONSTANTLY PULL HIM FROM BETWEEN THE FLOATS… AND HORSES.
BLACK-FACE, WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO SIGNIFY THE MOORS.
IT’S ALSO SUPPOSEDLY NOT OFFENSIVE, BUT I HAVE MY DOUBTS.
THE SKY WAS FILLED WITH FLYING CARAMELOS.
COLORFUL…
MIGUEL DISPLAYING HIS SIMULTANEOUS CATCHES.
JUDY (RIGHT) HAD HER MOUTH FILLED WITH CANDY AND MADE ME
PROMISE TO CROP HER OUT OF THE PIC…
BUT, IF I CROPPED HER OUT,
YOU WOULD MISS SEEING MIGUEL’S WHISTLE…
AND IT’S A VERY NICE WHISTLE.
REY #1:  MELCHOR
FORT APACHE?
THE PIRATES OF BETHLEHEM?
NICE UNIFORMS.
IMAGINE THE BOTTOMS OF OUR SHOES.
OK… MAYBE IT WASN’T JUST A BIBLICAL THEME.
LOS CAMELLOS (CAMELS) PLODDING THROUGH THE CARMELOS (CANDIES).
REY #2:  GASPAR
I CAUGHT THIS FOAM RUBBER TOY CITY BUS (FROM THE BUS FLOAT).
I GAVE IT TO ADRIAN AND HE SQUEALED, “YOUR WELCOME!!!”
BEWARE OF GREEKS BEARING GIFTS.
IF ONLY IT WERE FILLED WITH CANDY.
SEVILLA HAS 2 FÚTBOL TEAMS. HERE’S CARLOS MARCHENA FROM “REAL BÉTIS.”
HE SAT BACK-TO-BACK WITH A PLAYER FROM “FÚTBOL CLUB SEVILLA.”
MADRID, WHICH I THINK ONLY USES BLACK-FACE FOR BALTASAR,
RECENTLY RECEIVED A FORMAL PETITION TO STOP THE PRACTICE.
REY #3:  BALTASAR
MORE MESS.
BALTASAR WAS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED BY THE STREET CLEANERS.
INCREDIBLE CLEAN-UP.
AFTER THE PARADE PASSED US BY, I TRIED TO GET ACROSS TOWN TO VISIT A FRIEND.
I CUT THROUGH THE OLD TOWN AND GOT STUCK.  I HAD TO WATCH THE ENTIRE PARADE
ALL OVER AGAIN.  HERE’S BALTASAR… THIS TIME WITH LIGHTS.

And I leave you with the voice of Minnesota’s own, Erin Schwab, San Geraldo’s god-daughter — a singer, actress, radio personality, teacher, and all-round exceptional human being.