excursiones departing from Gibraltar. One toward San Roque,
Gaucín and Ronda. Another toward Tarifa, Vejer
and Chiclana. And the third to Estepona, Marbella,
Ojén and Antequera. Various goods travelled these routes
but tobacco and cloth were the most desired. With them, circulated
ideas, fashion and news. The tobacco store and the protection of
the textile industry in Cataluna, was a detriment to that of Andalucia,
they were behind the commercial wave that surged and was prolonged,
with some variants until a few decades ago. No civility was as appreciated
for a woman as a dress-suit and few obtained the fame that they
sought.The smugglers routes were nurtured by adventurers, busybodies
and esparto-work sellers that fled after the Civil War in 1844.
Gibraltar, San Roque, Gaucin, Ronda.
Gibraltar, Estepona, Marbella, Ojen, Antequera.
monopoly of commodities was managed in Gibraltar, a rock
so irregular that it was impossible to see even when observed from
a short distance. The bouquet merchants, that made their way through
the Mediterranean, anchored in the bay, obligated to wait for the
east wind without which no ship could cross the Straight. Many villages
and cities lived the smuggler fever; Chiclana, city of spring
waters and thermal baths; Gaucín, west of Sierra
Bermeja, curled between the Genal rivers and Guadiazo,
in the lower slope of the highlands of the Hacho and bordering a
platform of a profound ravine where one could catch a glimpse of
Africa; Vejer, textured in a network of quaint Arabic lanes and
habitated by "cobijadas", women, that until a few years ago still
covered their faces. And from Vejer to Ojen, stretching
montainous terrain, to the path of Trocha in order to make
out Gibraltar, incised in the horizon above the blue background
of the Straight.