We travelled to Spain in the fall of 2010 visiting Madrid and Seville before renting a cottage at Ronda, intending to explore the White Villages of the Sierra Nevada.
One day our route took us past the Roman ruins at Acinipo towards Olvera. We drove high above the River Trajo past the historic village of Setenil. We stopped to take pictures of this “village the mountain ate” before travelling on.
The village stuck in my memory and when I wanted to send Anne McPhail abroad after her adventure in Bermuda—No Motive for Murder—I brought her to Setenil with its cave-like houses and shops with their whitewashed exteriors.
The villages of the Sierra Nevada gleam from the mountainsides in this part of Spain. Every spring the citizens apply a fresh coat of paint to their walls, to reflect the harsh summer sun. Setenil does the same.
Setenil stood as a bastion for the Moors, its people attacked 7 times before the Christian king retook it in the long war that drove the followers of Islam from Spain, the Reconquesta.
Now tourists, those who find it in its remote location on a little-travelled road, sit in its cafes and walk the hilly streets.
It seemed a perfect, quiet location to bring Anne to repair her emotions. It seemed. What happened next is the story of The Child on the Terrace, coming soon from Write Words Inc.
We went on to Olvera that day, a steep town with a castle sitting on a pinnacle high above, and got lost in the Sierra Nevada.