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PACO OWNS PLAYA CALAHONDA

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NERJA by KRISS on 20 january 2016

This was the first time I had ever seen the small cave house incrusted in the rock of Playa Calahonda opened.
A man was standing there, I think he had been doing some cleaning.
I had planned to shoot the beach restaurant Papagayo that is now in ruins and only had the Nikon D4s with a Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART on it.
From there I had stunning views of the Balcon de Europa, standing at the southernmost point of Nerja, overlooking the mediterranean.

I walked to the old man probably in his seventies and engaged in a conversation with my basic Spanish.
I introduced myself and the man told me he was Paco which is short for Frederico here and a very popular name.
From what I understood, he owned this little fishermen’s house which had never been a proper house to live in but only a fishermen’s den.
On the other side of the balcon, his mother owned another similar beach house but not in the rock.
This very house is really one of a kind.
As a matter of fact I can think of another one in Playa del Salon where photographers usually love to take couples for wedding shoots.
Both houses are facing west and at sunset the light is perfect, especially at Playa del Salon because Playa Calahonda is shaded by the Balcon de Europa.

Paco told me that everyone loved his house and that Japanese and Chinese tourists loved to take selfies in front of them.
I laughed and asked him if anyone had ever enquired about renting it as a lover’s nest for a honeymoon.
He said he’d been asked almost every week for many years about renting or selling the house but it has sentimental value and the house is not even registered on any legal document and I think he couldn’t really sell it even if he wanted to.

The town hall didn’t cause any problem keeping the house though, and I bet they wouldn’t since he takes very good care of it and it represents one of the most unique features of Nerja.

We then moved the conversation to the Papagayo and he told me the absence of renovation or any other solution for that matter had attracted unwanted crowds around this beach, hippies and hobos.
One night, one of their dogs barked at him while he was coming down to his house.
I learned pretty much everything there is to know about the place but I am still struggling with my poor Spanish and didn’t get everything.
I surely understood though that at high tide (this is the mediterranean, a sea, so high tides are nothing comparable to anything of oceanic amplitude) water would enter the house and mess up everything.
It actually happened this month a few days ago and I recalled noticing very little beach space at Playa Torecilla about a week ago.
He then explained to me that 15 or 20 years ago, the level of the sea was much lower than it is now and he had known a time when the beach stretched as far as the last rocks at the bottom of the Balcon de Europa.
I never really paid attention to the many old photographs of the place you can find all over the village but I surely will check for that fact next time I see one.

After a while, I had to keep going and I will surely meet Paco again somewhere in Nerja.
Maybe next time, I’ll have some proper equipment to take a portrait of this man who behind the harsh mask was indeed a very nice man to talk to !

#cavehouse #nerja #spain #beachhouse #unique #charm

PACO OWNS PLAYA CALAHONDA

PACO OWNS PLAYA CALAHONDA

PACO OWNS PLAYA CALAHONDA

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