By Veronica

¡ Mercado si !

On Friday, with 24 hours' notice, the local council closed Almuñecar's covered market, claiming it was structurally unsound. They threw the 50 stallholders out onto the street with just a few hours to remove stock and equipment. Many of them had bought perishable stock (fish, meat, vegetables) for a busy weekend. It's scandalous. So this morning we joined the demo protesting against it.

It's been a long story, dating back to 2012, when the newly elected council inexplicably stopped relatively minor repair work on the structure. Since then the market's been living on borrowed time, and the council has come up with no plan to replace it. There are the usual rumours of corruption and kickbacks; the popular theory is that the mayor wants to privatise this bit of prime town centre real estate and sell the land for (yet another) supermarket.

There was a group of young women crying, having presumably lost their jobs. Stallholders who'd had stalls for 30 years said, "I'm 60, I've spent my whole working life here, what am I supposed to do now?". A few had seen the train rumbling down the track towards them and have shops elsewhere, but none of the fishmongers do. There are no fishmongers in Almuñecar outside the covered market, other than the big supermarkets. It really is a disgrace: a Spanish town without a traditional market.

After the speeches everyone marched up to the town hall, whistles blowing (extra). We stood below the mayor's balcony bellowing "¡ Da la cara !" (Show your face). "¡ Fuera ! ¡ Fuera ! " (Out! Out!) "¡ Dimision !" (Resign!) Needless to say she did none of these things.

It was a busy day; after lunch we spent a few tranquil hours on the beach and then set off to continue our tapas crawl, combining it with a guitar concert in the Cueva de Siete Palacios. This is the town museum and a rather unsuitable venue for a concert. It's long and thin, wide enough for four or five chairs with projecting walls obstructing the view at the sides. But we enjoyed the concert of classical music -- including the overture to The Barber of Seville arranged for two guitars, mainly remarkable for the fact that it was possible. 

We met C and M at the concert, so the four of us went for a drink and a tapa together, Then the other two returned to their respective homes and as we were in a non-participating bar at this point, we decided to get serious about the tapas crawl. We managed to hit two more bars, one of which we'd never been in before. In this one (El Convento) we had the best tapa yet, a slice of toast piled high with grilled vegetables, goat's cheese, and caramelised onion. It was a nice little bar too; we may well be back.

And finally, a walk home under the full moon.

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