Cartajima, Los Pueblos Blancos: 6.6.2007

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This morning we wake with an appetite…finally!
Botz fries some drippy eggs and we enjoy with coffee
and a fresh baked crusty bread homemade locally in the village.

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Unfortunately, our late start of the day does not allow for a trip to a site of interest:
Cueva de la Pileta (Cave of the Basin):
A cave with prehistoric drawings!
Instead, we opt for nearby Cueva del Gato (Cave of the Cat) at Botz’ suggestion.

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Cueva del Gato Hotel-Bar-Restaurante

A brief, beautiful twisted drive
though the mountains to the footpath leading to the cave.

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Shade of fig trees cool the moist landscape.

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A short hike over a small stream and under a train trestle
leads to a pond with a waterfall that dumps crystal blue.

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Closer inspection reveals the water is a river flowing out of la cueva.
A small cement catwalk allows closer views of the waterfall and Cueva del Gato.
There was an overwhelming chill in the air emanating from deep within…

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Entering the cave is prohibited as it lacks a safe walkway.

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Most of the a large trees around the mouth of the cave and river are fig trees.
We were warned not to indulge in the King’s oranges, but perhaps a fig is fair game…

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Not exactly *tasty* or ripe, the fig is someone’s home…a tiny larvae!
A part of an endless food web, the worm is sacrificed to an ant colony.

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We start our hike back down, stopping at the edge of the stream.
Botz recommended this water for swimming- maybe a little early in the season.

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The icy tingle of the cave-cooled water

soon drives me back to my sandals in the grass!

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Bees buzzing around a busted battery in the grass.

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…but Botz kept his word to swim under the waterfall and back!

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Exploration of the arced trees on the other side was out of the question…

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We continue the hike back to the car,
and stop at Hotel Cueva del Gato for a cool drink.
 

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 Networking skills land us a new friend, Tina, the dog-in-residence.

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Striking purple among so much beauty!

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A quick peek inside the Gato dining room.

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Bye bye, Tina, be good girl!

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On the road again, exotic homes dot the hills.

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The outskirts of a village larger than Cartajima,

and a bullring of a different size than Málaga.

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