The Cork is the outer layer of the bark from a species of evergreen oak tree found growing naturally in only a handful of places in southern Spain and Portugal being the most famous. When the cork is taken it does not harm the tree when cut by an expert, and takes 9 years to grow back to full thickness before it can be harvested again.
The harvest takes about 6-8 days, it involves 4-6 corcheros (cork cutters) 1-2 coriadors (collectors), 3 mules, 2 mulemen and a foreman to organise the cutting and collecting and to weigh and keep a tally for the cork buyer.
The cork farmer has also to be present as the cork arrives at the weighing station by mule, it is then unloaded and weighed and restacked ready to be loaded onto the buyer’s lorry.
The narrow cobbled streets of Genalguacil Village offer a bank, a pharmacy, 3 supermarkets and 4 bar and restaurants, but what makes our village special are the numerous works of art that have been donated by visiting artists and sculptors in a tradition that has been held here, every 2 years in August, for many years. The locals invite these amazingly skilled people to visit, and provide them with materials and accommodation and in return the village keeps the fantastic creations to display around the village, creating an open-air art gallery in it’s public places.
The streets and walkways throughout the village are clean and perfectly kept, the houses are whiter than white and together with the breathtaking views we are proud to have joined the community of Genalguacil, the best kept village in the area.
During the months of July and August the village swimming pool is opened to the public, set in an enclosure surrounded by Cyprus trees and well kept lawns to lounge on and a bar to purchase cold beer and soft drinks is also usually open.
In the winter months from November until the end of February, the rain and sunshine cloak the village and surrounding mountains with wild flowers and greenery, hundreds of plants, mushrooms and herbs, burst into life.
In the spring and summer months we find many different varieties of wild plants, fruits, herbs and vegetables.
We share the mountains with mammals such as wild boar, Ibex and deer. Birds including king fishers, warblers and tits. Raptors include many types of eagles and vultures. Reptiles including lizards, toads, terrapins, geckos and snakes also different types of fish in the Almachal and Genal rivers this is only a small selection of the wildlife to be found and there is much, much more to be explored.
The surrounding mountains are part of a Park Natural which contain a forest of the, almost extinct, pinsapo or Spanish fur, in the micro climate of Los Reales mountain, on the road between the village and Estepona, which are part of the Serrania De Ronda an area of outstanding natural beauty meaning the countryside is kept natural and preserved.The location of the village also makes it an ideal base for exploring western Andalucia, the nearest town is Estepona which is approximately 45 minutes drive south through the mountains and down to the coast, you can find long stretches of quiet sandy beaches, numerous shops and bars, but its not over commercialised.
Ronda approx 1 hours drive through a spectacular lime stone mountain range is not to be missed, for its depth of Spanish traditional culture, architecture and history.
Seville approx 2 hours drive to savor the splendor and beauty of this exciting city with its Moorish flavor.
Cadiz approx 2 and a half hours drive with its ancient defenses looking out to sea and its long history of world trade makes it the perfect destination to experience a bright multi-cultural port.
Gibraltar approx 1 and a half hours drive, its reputation presides it as the gateway to the civilized world, steeped in history and pre history a jewel waiting to be admired.
Marbella just 1 hours drive, this modern affluent port may be of interest, designer shops, exclusive marina and long promenade with its bars, restaurants and shops, frequented by the rich and famous is worth an excursion.