I've just returned from a 3-week holiday in the Almeria region. I managed to visit most of the Sergio Leone filming locations in one very exhausting week, but was also able to stay (with my wife) for a day and 2 nights at the wonderful 'Hostel Alba', in Los Albaricoques (Agua Caliente in 'FAFDM').
Ever since missing the 'Rolling Roadshow' presentation of the 'Dollar Trilogy' last year, I'd been looking forward to staying there.... and was not disappointed. I can't thank Manuel, the owner, enough for his genuine hospitality, consideration, and kindness. It was a privilage to meet Manuel, whose dedication, and love of the Spaghetti Westerns, was so apparant. I can't speak highly enough of my stay at the 'Alba', and thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has not yet stayed there. My wife and I were blessed with fine dining, washed down each night with a couple of bottles of the 'very special' red wine ('Tinto Cosecha', and Rioja), as well as being surrounded with many posters, lobbycards, etc. from the Leone westerns.
Having visited Los Albaricoques in previous years, it's interesting (and pleasing) to note that - after such a long time - the town is now starting to acknowledge the fact that some of the greatest westerns in history were filmed there.
Also, during my stay, I took a walk to the 'GBU' Steven's farmstead exterior, at Dona Frencesca, and was fortunate enough to meet a French couple, who were staying there short-term. They permitted me to take as many photos as I wished, and even permitted me to gain access to the roof area, in order to get fantastic views of the surrounding land-scape. It was also interesting to be shown inside the property.
The Cortijo el Fraile (GBU monestary), just down the road from Los Albaricoques, has not fared well since my last visit 2 years ago. Shame on the Spanish authorities for not making a decision on how to preserve the dignity of this beautiful building...., rather than simply permitting it to crumble to dust.
I have many photos which I'd like to eventually share with other members of the site, but it will take me quite a while to sort them all out, so please be patient......