|Arcos de la Frontera|
|Vejer de la Frontera|
Alcalá is not an official pueblo blanco, in the sense that it doesn't feature in the Ruta de de los Pueblos Blancos and therefore doesn't get the corresponding tourist grant. Rumour has it that permission was denied because of the ugly four-storey building at the end of the Calle Real. But to all intents and purposes it is - the buildings are all painted white and have been since time immemorial.
This involves, as you can imagine, a lot of whitewash, or cal. Over the winter the mild, damp conditions are perfect for the growth of mould (green, black, orange - take your pick) and it is a spring ritual to go round the house with a bucket of diluted bleach and a scrubbing brush to get rid of it all before you can start painting. (The spores of black mould can be toxic, by the way - you should never scrub it off dry, always wet it with diluted bleach and leave it for a couple of hours to kill the spores off before removing it.)
I've just started work on painting the roof terrace, having waited several days for the wind to drop sufficiently to be able to wield a brush without it blowing everywhere. Even so there is nearly as much paint on me as there is on the wall ...
|Patio in Vejer|
Nonetheless they certainly look wonderful, especially when festooned with red geraniums or crimson bougainvillea, backed by an azure sky.