By Veronica


Thanks for all the love for yesterday's wave everyone -- it even made it onto the Popular page! 

Today we were going to explore El Rescate, which is an isolated village up a dirt track somewhere behind La Herradura. But due to not having a large-scale map of that area, we ended up going to Nerja instead -- not quite the same thing! As usual it was heaving with tourists and when we sat down in a bar for a coffee we didn't hear anyone speaking anything other than English. Not only that but my pan con tomate was on white sliced supermarket bread. Not a bar I will be visiting again. But for "lunch" we went to a bar/restaurant we've been to several times before, and had a couple of excellent tapas and a drink on their gorgeous terrace overlooking the sea yet sheltered from the wind.

Then we decided to take the opportunity to visit Chanquete's famous boat, La Dorada. Don't have a clue what that is? You won't, if you aren't Spanish. We first encountered Verano Azul in a Spanish class; the teacher was from Nerja and proudly recounted the success of this 19-episode TV series, made in the early 1980s and repeated every summer for years. We managed to get hold of a DVD set on eBay and duly binge-watched it, struggling with the thick Andalusian accents.

It's about a group of children/teenagers spending a summer in Nerja. They befriend a hippyish artist, Julia, an elderly fisherman, Chanquete, who lives on a beached boat (blip), and Pancho, a local teenage orphan. The really fascinating thing about it is that it was made not long after Franco's death, and the producers and writers very clearly wanted to address social change, as well as coming of age and the interaction of outsiders with local people. Episodes cover topics including the environment (dead fish on the beach), teenage pregnancy (a young girl they meet who's been dumped by her boyfriend because she's pregnant), corruption in property development, the relationship between children and parents, divorce, first love ... It also showcases spectacularly bad parenting. The kids' parents spend all their time on sun loungers on the beach drinking cocktails, while their kids fall off cliffs or nearly drown. They arrive in panic mode at the end of the episode to scold them while Pancho gets the plaudits for saving them. It was both entertaining and educational, and every Spanish person of a certain age will remember it; it put Nerja on the map tourism-wise. So it's only right that there should be a monument to Chanquete.  And as today's MonoMonday theme is "Origins", I think this fits. [Edit: it doesn't really as it has nothing to do with my blip name or my journal name. Never mind!]

If you can read Spanish, there's a "where are they now" article from El País. And a Wikipedia article in English. Extra: a colour version for the nostalgic. I liked the way the boat looks as if it's ploughing through the hedge in that one.

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