The old admiral and the sea and a poetry contest in Almuñecar

Monchéri likes the company of old men who had a full intense life. He likes to listen to stories of travels and uncommon things. When we stayed in Almuñecar a few days ago, as I was checking on some new places, he met the colorful Pepe who is a former admiral and now lives on the coast in Almuñecar, where he opened a modest small hostal. Tourists have not come in flocks yet so, his hostal was empty by the time we were there. We were about to go back to Granada and may be because he liked us or because Monchéri was all ears when the old admiral narrated his overseas adventures, Pepe proposed us to stay at his hostal for the extremely humble sum of 10€ a night ! So...we couldn't refuse, could we?Pepe generously gave us the room upstairs con vistas al mar, views on the sea and the beautiful metal weathercock in shape of a boat. The hostal was a bit dusty and neglected but oh well, our host was kind and pleasant. After sharing stories of his life in faraway countries, Pepe told us he started to write poetry some years ago and organized a poetry contest every year on a special theme. Everybody from any nationality is welcome to enter the contest, provided the poem is written in Spanish.
The best 3 poems receive a prize from 100€ to 300€. The night of the contest, once the prizes have been awarded and after a few glasses of good red wine and hearty food, poems are being thrown into the sea, inside a glass bottle. I found the idea quite romantic. Who knows if, one day, on the Morroccan coast, someone catches a glimpse of the floating bottle enclosing a poem written by a man or a woman some time ago. Actually, Pepe confessed with a broad smile on his face, that he did receive an email once from someone in Algeria, who had found one his poems with his email address. Isn't it incredible?
This year, the contest is on again and the elected theme is the crisis. Monchéri says he will try to write something. My Spanish is not good enough but I would love to write something too. To be sincere, I'm very curious to read what the participants will have to say about the crisis in form of a poem....
I must say, it's a topic which worries me rather than inspires me to write poetry !

edit to post : silly me, I forgot my Spanish speaking blogging friends (Yoli, Cynthia, Cuban, Susanna) and all of you out there could be interested. Here are the conditions of the contest. The exact theme is España en crisis*. Poesia.
The length accepted is a A4 sheet.
Deadline is : august 25th
Works are to be submitted at the following address : Hotel Playa San Cristobal, Plaza de Abderraman nº5 - 18690 Almuñecar (Granada) Spain.
3 awards will be given to the best poems
1st prize : 300€
2nd prize : 200€
3rd prize : 100€
Awards will be remitted at the Hotel Playa San Cristobal on september 5th.

*the crisis is hitting hard in Spain as the economy mainly rested on sectors of construction and real restate which have been severely slowing down


Cynthia said…
Hi Lala Ema, I have something in common with your Moncheri, I too, love to talk with people who have lived in another time...I can spend hours with these "living history" people. Love the idea of a poem in a bottle contest. It's such a gesture to life and creative living...yes, and romantic too. What is the crisis theme? The crisis of the times: the situation in the Middle East? North Korea? Sorry about my ignorance but I'm living on an island (as you know) and I get my news through the computer, mostly. I think it would be fun to enter the contest...with my bad Spanish and all. I think you should too-and I'm sure your Spanish is much better than mine. Besides, the idea is to have a poem to throw into the sea...even if I throw it in the sea myself. Anyone around here who found a message in a bottle would probably prefer it in Spanish anyway.

I love the setting and your beautiful photos. Have a sun-drenched restful week! <3
Your photos are simply full of life and color!

...and to roll them up and put them in a bottle out to THAT is a true gift!
David Engel said…
Hi Lala,

Love the picture of the boats!


I always enjoy the adventures of Lala and Moncheri! It is like a weekly serial. Something I look forward to.
Catherine xx
Simply Mel said…
Love these photos! Stunning!

Pepe sounds like a wonderful person filled with delightful, rich, inspiring stories. Age is the essence of wisdom.

Will you post the crisis poem? We all need a little bit of poetry in these unsettling times....

Leaving for home in the morning. I'm going to miss Spain! We will return again soon - for sure!
I'm afraid that I'm a bit ignorant on what the "crisis" is. :( I'm sorry but I am curious. I would really appreciate it if you could explain. Did you mean the financial crisis which the world seems to be going through or am I misinformed and is that just an American crisis? :(
DolceDreams said…
Oh it all sounds so romantic and intriguing...what would life be without a little crisis here and there? A perfect life would tend to become dull, uninteresting, a tad boring perhaps? I am not saying that I would not mind trying the perfect life...sans crisis! But, is that not when we dig deep within ourselves and come out with that which we did not know we had within us??? Hmmmm.... I would love to find one of those little bottles afloat on the sea with a few lines of poetry! I too look forward to hearing all about your adventures!
Elizabeth said…
Dear Lala
what a magic place
and what a magic poetry idea.
And the poems washing up in Morroco.
If ONLY I could write in Spanish.
This was such a beautiful post.
Love from New York.
Anonymous said…
You have a nack for finding these "characters" Lala. Pepe sounds perfect for a long relaxed chat about past adventures... wonderful way to spend an evening.
Wave from Oia ;-)
Christina said…
So beautiful! Look at these pictures!
; )
Anonymous said…
Great post. Both of my grandfathers were sailors so I can appreciate Pepe's storytelling ability! Almuñecar looks cool. Coastal living is the best.
Sara said…
That's such a lovely place. And the first photo is my favorite, because of the sailing ship weather vane. Pepe sounds like quite a wonderful old character!
Relyn said…
That weather vane! Those boats! Oh, what an amazing visual treat this post is.

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