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We were traveling with a friend on this trip - an established ceramicist who was keen to visit the site of one of the oldest potteries in the area . In the village can be seen an ancient Moorish kiln and, to the left of the First picture, a very old kiln, still in use kiln.This pottery has been run by the same family for generations. As we wandered around an elderly man appeared (nobody else was about).
He was the semi-retired owner of the works which now produces pots on a large commercial scale. He spoke no English but we were able to introduce our friend (who spoke very little Spanish ) and the two were soon communicating about ceramics in a mixture of words, pictures and drawings in the dusty earth.
After a personal conducted tour of the works, including the arabic kiln we were taken to see the new, massive, all electric, stainless steel kiln and then invited to visit the shop over the road run by the wife and daughter of our guide.
There we not only bought several items but we were all presnted with a small additional gift - all of which were beautifully wrapped for safe travel home and small gifts for our grandchildren!
We visited in March when there were no other visitors about so after we left the Pottery we wandered around the village without seeing anybody at all!
Updated Mar 6, 2008
This is the most representative gypsum karst area in the world.The total length of subterranean passages in the caves is more than 50 km.,of which 8 kms.correspond to the Cueva del Agua.This cave includes an underground watercourse.There is a gypsum crystal of more than 2 meters.There are numerous caves (nearly one thousand)and sinkholes concentrated only in 12 square kilometers,forming one of the most important karst in the world.The gypsum karst of Sorbas is a protected natural area which remains hidden and unknown by the majority of people.
Written Oct 5, 2006
We stopped at this place before leaving the main road to drive into Sorbas where we were going to visit the Pottery.
It was what we would call here in the UK a Transport Caff.
Sure enough it was already filling up with local workers and heavy goods drivers when we went in. The arrival of four Brits caused a few to look up in surprise but we were greeted with big smiles all round and invited to take the menu del dia. As everyone else seemed to be having it we fell in with the suggestion. This was certainly a place where our Spanish was not only useful but seemed to give us some Brownie points as well.
A large bowl of salad was followed by lamb chops with vegetables and chips, a litre of unmarked red wine and a litre of water, and two full baskets of bread. Then rice pudding and coffee.
Our first visit here was in 2000, then two years later when it was little changed. In 2005 it had a closed sign - possibly just for the day or week but I am not sure it is still operating as a transport caff! Signs all around the village were of gentrification and lots of newcomers in the village.
Updated Mar 6, 2008
Sunseed Desert Technology is a british charity that aims to develop accesible low-tech methods of living sustainably in a semi-arid envinronment.The purpose of the Andalousian branche of Sunseed is part research,part education.The volunteers and staff members are working to develop solar ovens,terracing techniques,permaculture,etc.The very low cost methods can be applied in areas where people may earn just a few money a year and simple technology can be built and maintained without outside help.
The project is run manily by volunteers who help with envinronmental research.All the houses in the village have solar panels.A ram pump is used to lift water to the houses apart from the water carried by the visitors:2 buckles each day up to the water containers.
A visitor-worker may remain from 1 to 4 weeks.A volunteer remains from 5 weeks to 9 months.
I stayed for 1 week working mainly in an orchard.In that moment all people except another one and me were british.The only spanish they could speak was enough to order something in bars of Sorbas,even with words I didn't know in Nord Spain.
Due to the hot summer the best time to go is from September to May.I went in January and the weather was nice;we had lunch in the open air every day.
Updated Oct 6, 2006
Phone: 0034-950 525770