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the weird and wonderful world of the wild wild west


Today I have to say has to go up there as one of the most surreal and bizarre days yet...both in my trip and in life in general.

While reading up a few weeks ago on the area I came across something called 'mini Hollywood' in the Tabernas desert, Europe's only desert. It is the site of filming for many old spaghetti westerns..like 'the good the bad and thé ugly'..as it ressembles Arizona but is a lot cheaper. So from the left behind sets of these films came mini Hollywood.

I've never watched a western movie but it still sounded quite cool. So I suggested it to my friend as something to do today as an alternative to relaxing by the pool..which is something I am not so good at. To my surprise they were keen so off we went to Oasys..the largest of the filmsets.

In the short drive there the landscape changed ..drying out further and having more of a canyon type feel. You can see why they chose the area..and still apparently do for these types of films.

Now when it comes to describing what Oasys was like..I know my words will not do it justice. There are just no words that could possibly come close to adequately describing the randomness, quirkiness and downright bizarreness of it all. It started off quite normal...walk in and into what is effectively the town of the wild west. There was a little chapel, the yellow rose salon, the sheriff's office, lone city bank and even a cemetery. All quite quaint and quite fun to wander about.

Then came high noon and we were shuffled to the side of the streets to make way for the showdown that was about to occur. What basically followed was a scene straight out of any cowboy movie..bad guy caught by the sheriff, his friends break him out, then a big old shoot out yada yada yada. Except it was way more bizarre than that. It was slightly tongue in cheek and there were some modern moments, some rude arm gestures by the baddies, and some..well artistic licence when the baddie came back to life three times. It was so naff it was hilarious. While the Spanish tourists lapped it up we were in tears if laughter at the randomness.

Unfortunately it came to and end when everyone died so we had a chance to wander about some more before heading to the yellow rose salon to watch the can can show. The warm up for which was a guy and his guitar and a woman and her banjo. When we sat down they were playing waltzing Matilda..which kinda set the tone for the geographical accuracy of the place! The cancan show was actually quite cool as they infused it with some flamenco style for the first dance then was alot of fun for the actual can can. There was a parrot show later on but we figured we could handle so much excitement in one day.

Reading this back it doesn't really capture the madness nor surrealness of the day. But I guess you just had to be there. One guy described it as an 'out if body experience'!

All this excitement wore me out and I slept on the way home and had to have a late siesta when we got back. Then It was off to the hpb complex down the road for dinner and a little more excitement in the form of a 'fun pub quiz' which we lost :( though I have to say I was awesome at the dingbats section! Poor old brain finally getting some use.

Thankfully today was a little cooler and so hopefully it will be again tomorrow as it is back on the bike and heading for Almeria. Feeling much more human after a day off but still a long way to full normality to go....

Posted by louisebenn 14:06 Archived in Spain

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