Since moving to Spain 11 years ago I have lived mostly in the Selwo area, right in the middle between San Pedro and Estepona on the Costa del Sol. I feel an affinity to both places as I visit both regularly and I like them because they have a friendly, small town feel about them; they aren’t big, sprawling towns like Benalmadena or Torremolinos for example, and both San Pedro and Estepona remain very ‘Spanish’ too. While there is a wide variety of nationalities residing here, including many British people, neither San Pedro or Estepona have been blighted by an outbreak of those English pubs and greasy spoon cafés which are in such an unattractive abundance along the paseos of those bigger towns.
And if you scratch beneath the picturesque surfaces of San Pedro and Estepona, there are many more treasures to discover.
Estepona has recently become a talking point because of its ‘Ruta de Murales Artísticos de Estepona’. This series of wall murals was implemented by the local council and was started in September 2012. The murals are painted on the sides of buildings, transforming them into massive pieces of art. It was hoped that they would not only rejuvenate some of Estepona’s neglected neighbourhoods but also become a tourist attraction, putting Estepona on the map as a cultural destination. From what I can work out I think there are 18 to find (although some people have said there are as many as 22!) but I don’t know exactly where they are. My plan is to explore the back streets and see if I can find them all! I love cycling and most evenings I go out for a bike ride and so I thought I could combine this with my mural mission and embark on some mini cycle tours in an attempt to locate them all.
And so, on Friday after work I set out on my bike to see what I could find. The nights are starting to get dark earlier now and I had to cycle as fast as I could to Estepona in order to get there before it got too dark to take photos. I got into the main part of town and turned off into the side streets thinking that would be a good place to start. I hadn’t gone far before I found my first mural! It was ‘Una flor de futuro’, painted by A.F Rios. I’m not very good at knowing street names or areas but when I got home I looked it up on the internet. It is on Calle Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios and the artist has said that his artwork is supposed to work as a mirror because there is (as I found out too late when I was back home) a sculpture of a flower, also by him, nearby and the mural supposedly reflects this. Clearly I didn’t get the full mural experience as I had failed to notice this sculpture as I was keen to move on to find another before it got too dark! Maybe I will stumble across it again one day.
Anyway, I hurried on, not too sure where I was going but wanting to get at least one more photo before I had to go home. Eventually I came across ‘Pasen y Vean’ (‘come and see’) which is spread over a couple of walls and is by E. Aguilera, whom (I later found out) is a local artist who wanted to give a sense of flight and movement through her depiction of circus performers and trapeze artists which can be found in the Barriada del Cid.
At this point it was getting quite dark, it was cold and I wasn’t too sure where I was! I decided to call it a day and try and find my way back to somewhere I recognised amongst the numerous, winding back streets. I still had to cycle home which would take me about 20 minutes. I had managed to tick off two of the murals though. It was a good start to my mission which will continue next time!