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La Ballestera and Montalvo

, Santiago Pontones


A very narrow, tree-lined road takes you into La Ballestera. You will pass by a bread oven and an old barn, both testament to an earlier epoch and the self-sufficient nature of this village. The orchards also contain pine trees and a number of olive trees, planted due to the great need for oil in times gone by.

La Ballestera consists of two groups of houses separated by an old public washing area, still waiting for the village residents to come along with their dirty laundry once more. However, just four people inhabit the village during the winter. La Ballestera is surprisingly clean and the water flowing nearby is extraordinarily fresh, while if you close your eyes you will find that that the silence of this peaceful spot is only broken by the crowing of a cock, the miaowing of a cat or the rushing of the water.

Next to La Ballestera lies Montalvo. The landscape here is, however, completely different, dominated by a rise that can be reached by a road which zigzags its way up to the village and offers impressive views out over the valley. In Montalvo you can find narrow streets, whitewashed walls and splendid houses that were once just ruins, all boasting superb valley vistas.

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