BLOOD AND LOVE IN THE MOUNTAINS
One of the most authentic experiences in the Serannia de Ronda returns this weekend as the Bandit-centred historical recreation known as “Blood and Love in the Mountains” takes over the pituresque town of Grazalema.
In what has become one of the most important popular festivals of the region, to which thousands of visitors come year after year, the mountain town returns to the daily life of the 19th century during a weekend that will be full of activities and performances.
At the centre of the events — where people, history and inhabitants come together (with no less than 500 neighbors donning suits from the year 1832!) in one of the most spectacular recreations in Andalusia — is the life of legendary bandit Jose Maria, more widely known as”El Tempranillo”.
An authentic Andalusian Robin Hood, the notorious escapades of this most celebrated bandit marked an era when the most fertile lands belonged to a priveledged few and the rest managed to survive as best they could, an age when justice only benefited the rich and harmed the most vulnerable, a time when the wretched of the earth, even knowing what they had to lose, were led by grinding poverty to steal, jump fences or force locks in search of food. Jose Maria was only 16 years when a fight with a wealthy gentleman that ended in death for the nobleman.
“Temprano has empezado muchacho" — “Early start, boy." With this laconic observation our anti-hero was admitted into the illustrious ranks of the outlaws who made the Sierras of Grazalema their infamous hideout.
The fame of El Tempranillo reached such heights that he came to sign a treaty with King Ferdinand VII dictating that when the troops of the kingdom passed through the Sierra de Gazalema, they were obliged to ask permission before “the King of the Bandits”.
For all those who find appeal in the possibility of traveling in a time machine through the province of Cádiz to discover the life and customs of the inhabitants of the time, their gastronomy and clothing, Blood and Love in the Mountains is sure to offer much of interest.