¡¡¡Ay, caramba!!!  Andalucía has more bars than any other region of Spain.  Well, I guess we suspected that, didn’t we?  But did we know that there are 53,046 of them down here in the south of the country?

Overall Spain has over 300,000 bars and restaurants, according to a recent report, and that equates to approximately one bar for every 150 people.

Compare that to the USA, where, in 2002, there were only 694,310 for 300 million inhabitants – that’s just one for every 432 people. Must get crowded!

In our village here in the mountains there are 15 bars/restaurants for 1003 people – that’s one per 66.87 persons! That’s more like it – a bit of elbow room!

The stereotype that the Spanish pretty much live in their bars is true. They are sociable, community-oriented folk and they live their lives on the street; one of the main attractions for me. What could be better than a few drinks, some tapas and a good old chin-wag with the locals?

In the last two years I’ve tried all 15 bars in our village, but I confess I have my special favourite, which has no name outside the door. Known locally as Bar Armando, the licensee is Pepa, who took over from her father 20 years ago. She runs the kitchen, while husband Armando, a builder by day, runs the bar.  With cheap drinks, and tapas at only 20 céntimos, you simply can’t go wrong!

© Paul Whitelock

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