Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ArtTraveler takes to the mountains above Torre del Mar, Nerja others

Think of me as the ArtTraveler, not quite the same as Doctor Who, whose time traveler fame is well known.

When walking in the mountains above Nerja, Competa and Canillas de Albaida, there comes alive something very special inside you, something that calls from the Spanish life in Andalusia, traditionally the poorest area of Spain, south Spain which for more than 700 years hosted occupiers from North Africa, the Moors, and one that helped give birth to Flamenco, is where walkers from all over northern Europe and UK come to experience healthy outbursts of breathtaking nature.
These are old if not ancient trails, some used by the Romans, circa 1-3 AD. Joost Schepel, owner of, dug them out of old archives, spending hours locating and mapping them, then logging trails on GPS. 

The Dutch, Belgians and anyone from a flat topography thrive on the challenges walking in the mountains, along the valleys, up the mountains, down the mountains, always up and down and if you're up to it, climb Miroma, the highest mountain in Malaga Province. Some of these tourist are art travelers, because art ranks high on their appreciation of life. Nature and art are bound together. and its owner Joost Schepel, a former Dutch trial lawyer and owner of an international travel agency with offices in the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Tokyo, refined his travel biz in Spain to discovering old goat trails used by the Moors, putting them onto maps and GPS, creating walks from 2 hours to 7 hours or even longer, e.g., from Competa to Granada along Roman and Moorish trails of trade.And he brokers vacation rentals as well.

The photographs I put on my blog are mine. I took them. I'm a former professional photo-journalist who finds it damn difficult to adjust from a Leica M-2 35 mm film vehicle to a Fuji S something or another, whose how-to book looks like instructions for Windows XP. Point and shoot has its limitations.

Before I discuss Joost and his walking prowess, professionalism, good humor (most of the time) and diplomacy (all the time), I experiment here with uploading some fotos from the many walks with Joost. Remind me to tell you about the "nice 7-hour walk."
Foto by S. van Drake from top of Mt. Miroma

This is after Joost led about five of us to the top of Miroma; again, we are in the clouds.

At Bentomiz, the old Moorish fortress and palace of the Caliph conrolling much of Costa del Sol.

These are part of the ruins of Bentomiz near the old Moorish village of Aranus; this once was the palace of the caliph who controlled all of what he could see from this mountain-top fortress. This area was retaken by Isabella and Ferdinand in 1480-87. Granada, the last stand of the Moors, fell by surrender in 1492, completing the Reconquista of Spain over the Moors.

Rock on and practice peace. Also, please check out my videos:

Stefan, the ArtTraveler(TM)

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