On previous trips we’d been introduced to the quaint Spanish custom of driving to a font in the mountains armed with a car load of 10 litre containers to fill up with drinking water. There are at least three such fonts within striking distance of us and one frequently sees people at the fonts, car boot open, filling up their containers. Equally frequently, when one goes to fill up one’s own containers, it is necessary to wait while the previous “customer” finishes. The water is excellent quality and free. Of course, some fuel is used getting there and back so the economics are unclear but it seems to me to be an enjoyable ritual.
Chris and Yvonne, our first hosts on this trip, have abandoned this enjoyable ritual in favour of a more boring Brita filter solution [Ed: my opinion] so we’d thus far missed out this trip. However, Geoff and Pam still visit the springs and today they needed a fill up. 15 containers fitted our rental car’s boot almost perfectly (we could have done with a 16th to wedge things in snugly) and we set off with Pam to a font in the hills just behind Murla.The font flows quite swiftly so, as Carol and Pam filled and I loaded, the car was soon laden with about 150 litres of spring water.
The Spanish have begun using their large numbers of recession-hit unemployed on development projects rather than leaving them idle and the font behind Murla has received a considerable amount of attention. Rather than a simple spout in the side of the mountain, it now looks very smart with a rail to protect customers and a paved area to park in m ore safety. The projects resulting from this type of work have a “Plant” sign to proclaim them. (I don’t know what Plant might mean or stand for.) Jalón has also benefitted from quite a bit of Plant work and has many smart new pavements (sidewalks, in Amerispeak) for pedestrians.
How sensible is that?