Sunday Morning at the El Alquián Mercadillo

The nearby village of El Alquián has a “mercadillo” every Sunday morning. That literally translates as a flea market and would be a tianguis in Mexico.

I didn’t realise that the clocks moved back yesterday, which explains why I was awake around 7:30 when I’d gone to bed around 12:30. Even the fact that the sun was up did not clue me into the time change!

I had a full eight hours of typing to do, but I still wanted to go out. So I had a quick breakfast, vaguely remembering my host saying I’d be able to have coffee at the market and so skipping that step, grabbed the grocery cart, and headed off around 8:30.

While I had less than 5KM to walk, I discovered that the road is absolutely not pedestrian friendly, having a high speed limit and no shoulders. I ended up coming home by the beach, which was lovely, but not grocery cart friendly. So I really doubt I’ll be going to El Alquián again, not when Almería downtown is about 15 minutes away by buses that run regularly.

Approaching the market. People were parked quite a distance away.

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The market is just a very long row of stalls. It starts with clothing and accessories, then you get produce. I bought a ton of stuff from the guy running this stall (he’s in the red shirt) as he had everything I wanted veggie-wise and it all looked fresh. I think prices are way better than in Canada, but sad compared to the Balkans and Mexico.

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The folks with the covered trays in front of that blue tarp had bulk goods so I was able to stock up on raisins. Mangos and avocado were very pricy and I did not get any.

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I wandered up and down a few times, adding four apples and a loaf of bread to my haul. I had hoped to come home with cheese as well, but there was only one tiny vendor selling cheese and meat and he was doing business much too fast for me to feel comfortable shopping as I didn’t recognise any of his wares and would have had questions. The only stall that I lingered at was selling olives in bulk, but the containers were just flimsy plastic ones and I didn’t want to come home to olive juice all over my groceries!

There were only two food stalls. One had whole roasted chickens and the other one had coffee, hot chocolate, and churros (doughnuts). I got a coffee and that alone was worth my very long walk as it it was very strong without being bitter and the crema was almost like caramel. Yum!

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Frankly, I was disappointed. It just didn’t have the lively community gathering feel that I’ve grown accustomed to at markets.

I’d had my fill within about an hour, right on schedule, so I headed off, pausing to dig one of my apples out of my bag. I found apples, certain types of which are a favourite food, disappointing in the Balkans (always mealy) and have been in withdrawal. This apple was perfect, so crisp and balancing tartness and sweetness.

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I turned to the beach at this point, where you can see my neighbourhood in the distance. I live at the completely opposite end.

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Found someone living the good life!

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When I finally reached my neighbourhood, I was reminded that I’d been to this end of the malecón before with my host. So our malecón is really quite short and that’s why folks will run up and down it. I still had almost a full kilometre left to get home at this point!

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I got in and put my purchases away. 16.52CAD had gotten me:

  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 large bunch carrots
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium broccoli
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 medium onions
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 zucchini
  • 4 large apples
  • 1 small loaf bread
  • 1 coffee

Next, I did all my outdoor chores and then I finally plopped myself down at my desk and started typing.

Around four, I used some of my veggies and as well as leftover chicken broth and roasted chicken to make a quick chicken soup.

Even though I worked steadily and did not take many breaks, I wasn’t done with my jobs until almost 10PM. Phew. My eyes literally hurt by that point. I had a long hot shower, watched an episode of something, and then passed out.

Today will be a slightly easier work day. Depending on what time I finish, I may go to Almería, but I think I’m better off saving that for tomorrow and making a day off of it. We shall see. My clients have been surprising!

7 thoughts on “Sunday Morning at the El Alquián Mercadillo

  1. I’m with you, Rae, and don’t think that market would have impressed me much. It looks similar to some in the area where I live in Missouri, and those are NOTHING compared to the vibrancy of mercados in México.

  2. Pingback: I Can’t Believe What I Found Today! |

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