Aielo de Rugat is sort of like the small town that time forgot in that it remains a very traditional representation of what rural Spain must have been like generations ago.
When we first arrived we saw no one out and about the town. It was as if the village was empty or everyone was hiding behind their doors. We also found it strange that even on a beautiful sunny day, the locals would have the blinds or shutters drawn from the morning till the evening. Brian and I joked that maybe the locals were hiding from the Americans that were visiting. In actuality the townsfolk were very keen to keep the sun from overheating there houses.
At first it seems that there’s not a lot going on but after a few days you start to sense the underlying rhythm that governs all aspects of life in this small corner of the world. The hourly pealing of the church bell in the center of town, the arrival of the bread delivery truck at 9:30 every morning, the nightly walks about the town of the village seniors catching up the day’s events and of course the nightly pickup of the garbage in this immaculately kept mountain sanctuary.
There is excellent hiking in the “campo” which leads up to the old Castello de Rugat ruin where you can see a castle from the 12th century. The trek is a little treacherous at times but well worth the climb.
Everywhere you walked you saw rows and rows of organge, olives and kaki (persimmon) groves with the beautiful mountains always looming in the distance.
We stayed in Aielo De Rugat for 10 days and it was the perfect place to wind down and decompress after our long travels through Portugal and the Andalucia region.
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