One Man’s Hovel, Another Man’s Gem

I have holidayed again in the heat and ruggedness of a hilltop village in the Med.  Where I stay is a truly authentic village with the old houses made of simple stone with lime whitewash covering the internal walls and a sort of wattle and dorb outer coating.  These would be reapplied befoe winter set in each year as the families hunkered down to face the elements.  The fireplaces would draw ecstatic ooohs and ahhs from the ‘real fire’ fans of programmes on our tv here.  But in situ, they’re not quite so romantic – guffing black smoke back into the room and only keeping the immediate hearth area from freezing – no good for the rest of the house.   The toilets are still set across the yard in a sort of pigpen arrangement.   Some families have moved with the times and updated but many old hovels still exist – and tourists flock to see them!

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