This book (second edition) is available from Amazon UK, or within Spain directly from me [eb.tenyks@ycartm – type this backwards]. To read more about the book and the author, please go to www.hermitagebook.net

I become increasingly attached to the Alpujarra, and this village in particular. I come to my house in Bubion 3-4 times a year, and stay for a month or two. Each time I find something new, talk to more people…
The concerns I expressed three years ago have become more-and-more relevant. The Spanish economy is recovering, but it will take time for this to be felt in a mountain village dependent on tourism. Nothing has been done to resolve the problem of traffic and parking, and we are still waiting for the swimming-pool to be finished.
However, in May 2015 municipal elections were held, and the mayor who has had two four-year terms was thrown out. The new mayor is a woman (for the first time); she runs a local transport firm, so should have some business sense, which is badly needed. Although I am not “resident” so do not have a vote, I gave her all the support I could. I think she is a good choice, but with money still very short her task will not be easy. Still, there are small things which can be done that do not cost much (like freshening the billboards which indicate directions to tourists…)

In January 2015 I wrote a series of eight articles in Spanish recounting the progress of the Catholic forces in January 1569 up to their conquest of the Poqueira villages, then on to Portugos (over the sierra) and Pitres. I e-mailed this, also day-by-day, to a list of contacts and it aroused quite a lot of interest. I shall do something similar in English in January 2016: if you would like to be on the e-mail list, just let me know (see coded e-mail address above).
For this, I had studied two works: a very long and thorough thesis by a Spanish academic, published in mid-2013, and a little-known report to King Philip II by the Spanish commander, written soon after his campaign. I also studied detailed maps and tramped over the land, trying to work out how the large Catholic army had fought its way in a single day – January 15th – up to the Poqueira villages.
Afterwards I put these articles together in a single PDF document – “La Reconquista del Poqueira y de la Taha de Pitres” – about 20 pages with maps and pictures. A Spanish author who helped me says it makes a useful contribution to local history. Here too, if you can read Spanish and would like to get this PDF, let me know

Anyway, I am always glad to hear from readers.

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4 thoughts on “WELCOME !

  1. Graham Mowl

    Hi Michael
    I have enjoyed reading your wonderful book on Bubion and I am very interested in contemporary demographic change in the Alpujarras area. I saw with interest that you quote figures for both resident and non-resident population in Bubion from the 2001 census. I would like to obtain similar data for other Alpujarras villages but can only seem to access the figure for ‘resident’ population via the INE Spanish census website. I’d be most grateful if you could please let me know how you managed to get hold of the number of ‘non-residents’ from the 2001 census?

    1. mat1932 Post author

      Thank you, Graham, for your comment. As I am working on a new edition, I have been looking at the 2011 census but I cannot find data on “non-residents” – I confess that now I cannot find it in the 2001 census either, but I did not invent it! The 2011 census does give distribution of residents by nationality – see http://www.ine.es/jaxi/tabla.do . I have however sent a query to the Censo.
      I would be glad to follow up with you on this and maybe other points. More suitable perhaps for e-mail exchange: mtracy@skynet.be. Presently in Belgium, but I shall be in Bubion over Semana Santa.

    1. mat1932 Post author

      Thanks! Yes: both bookshops in Orgiva have copies, but go to Atlantide (near the church) as I gave them the new edition just the other day


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