I wrote in a previous post about fulfilling a long-standing wish of my mother’s, to visit the little fishing village of Paternoster, on the Cape West Coast: most of the time was family time, an extended celebration of her 87th birthday, but on the last morning I made sure I had some time for myself.
I rose early, at 05:00, and let myself out before dawn, and headed down to the beach. It had been raining, and the tide was out; the skies were cloudy and grey, and the dawn broke only weakly through. Here is a first series of images – the sweep of the beach, the distant cottages, the light almost monochromatic except where it is suffused with soft yellows and pinks.
The Moorish Keep in Olvera, Andalucia stands on a high promontory across the way from the Iglesia de la Encarnacion. I like the black-and-white images, but the image in colour works best in colour. I hope you enjoy!
Olvera, one of the ‘white towns‘ or pueblos blancos of Andalucia, is dominated, as you will have seen in my earlier post, by a massive church-on-a-hill, the Iglesia de la Encarnacion.
The building itself is in need of some maintenance, but its setting is magnificent, and its brooding presence over the white town below it speaks volumes.
Here are three images, in black-and-white.
We drove up the steep hill into Olvera, one of the ‘white towns‘ or pueblos blancos of Andalucia; parked, climbed higher, to the monumental bulk of the Iglesia de la Encarnacion from where we could look across to the Moorish Keep on a rocky outcrop opposite; looked out over the roofs into the streets below and the olive-clad hills in the distance, and then descended once more into the town, where we came across this group of men, retired one guessed, gossiping in the shade.
The Cathedral and the Keep tomorrow or Sunday; but here is my tableaux of old men, today.
We took the road via Setenil from Ronda before joining up with the A384 en route to Granada. The back roads took us through rugged, heat-seared, spectacular country, dotted with little white towns with Olvera, pictured, offering dramatic views as we approached.
Needless to say, we drove up into the town, parked, and explored. We were on holiday after all.
More images to follow.
My mother turned 87 on Monday. When my dad died, ten years ago, even though she had never been there, she had harboured the thought that she would like to go away, up the Cape West Coast, to what was still the quiet fishing village of Paternoster, to walk on the beach and listen to the waves and the cry of the gulls and think.
So this weekend past, ten years later, Rob and I helped her fulfil her wish. We spent the weekend away, in a cosy AirBnB, and dined out at The Noisy Oyster (fabulous) and had lunch at Gaaitjie, tucked away in a small cove, just above the beach (wonderful) and made a fire in the evening on the patio on Sunday when the weather grew cool.
It was everything, she said, that she had dreamed it would be.
As with the other pueblos blancos we visited, Ronda, with its cobbled narrow streets, its whitewashed walls, its tiled roofs, its plazas and churches, its sun-soaked vistas, lends itself both to colour photography and to black and white.
Partly it’s a matter of taste and preference; more importantly, it’s a choice of expression. These images, for instance, worked just fine in colour, but in black and white have something quite different to say to us – or to me, at least.