The meaning of life?: Sun, Sept 26, 2004

“Antonio the Muleman”, we call him. Why is it everybody round here is called Antonio? Anyway, this Antonio is in his late sixties I would guess. His prize possession is his mule, although I can’t tell you what he/she is called, I suspect its called “Burro”, the Spanish for “Donkey”. Antonio also (unbeknown to him) acts as a morning alarm call. At precisely 8.23am each morning the sounds of hoofbeats are heard from the bedroom, followed by the dogs barking, announcing the imminent arrival of Antonio the Muleman. The mule walks slowly by the villa on his way up the mountain, stopping only to eat all our plants, encouraged by Antonio cooing “burro” “burro”“burro” to his charge. Better than a radio alarm going off eh?

A recent conversation with Antonio provided some insights into his life. He has been a muleman all his working life. Each day he climbs the hillsides above Lanjarón and at the end of the day comes back down again, mulesacks full. “What are you doing going up and down the hill every day?” we asked. His reply ………………. “I go up in the morning and spend most of the day cutting and collecting food for my mule, loading it up and then using the mule to get the food down the hill again”. His reply sums up this wonderfully relaxed, but rather strange and quirky area!

Written by:
Richard Hartley

Richard is an avid blogger and the founder of Spanish Highs Sierra Nevada. He is author of the Cicerone Guidebook Walking and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada