Monday, February 04, 2019

Made it

After an intense weekend of preparations and promotions, the Ruta Alquibla is now officially opened. Those who set off yesterday and followed the route around the Huerta, the town and La Pedrera  declared it a great success.

The Provincial President, along with the Alcaldesa and the Councillor for the Environment lead the walkers along the way as they set off from the Town Square

Just to remind you, Bigastro made a bid for this project along with 16 other municipalities. Bigastro won and were rewarded with a 300,000 investment from Alicante Province. There followed a huge amount of work putting up signposts and maps, creating points of interest, producing promotional material etc etc. It has all been well thought out and carefully planned for.

If you asked me whether Bigastro could be a tourist destination six months ago, I would have scratched my head to find any reason why people would come here. We have to remember though that there are many different forms of tourism.

Some towns have historic buildings, castles, museums, art galleries and beaches that attract visitors. Bigastro lacks any of those and so it had to look at what it did have and that is its environs in particular, the historic market garden and the scenic beauty of La Pedrera. It is a place where lovers of the countryside and fresh air can come and enjoy a ramble taking in some of the history at the same time.

 Now the job is to capitalise on this investment and attract visitors to the town. 

In order to do this though we need two further projects to come to fruition, we need somewhere for the people to stay and somewhere for them to eat.

In our discussions, the mayor suggested a hotel. There is of course, the campsite at La Pedrera which offers spaces for caravans and mobile homes along with wooden chalets and brick build buildings to accommodate groups.  However, there is nothing in the town itself. I think it is more likely a bed and breakfast is needed - a place where people can stay for the weekend whilst they explore the route and maybe visit neighbouring towns.

Just as important though is somewhere they can eat. There are many bars serving food and the restaurants at La Pedrera. but nowhere in the town itself where people can sit down for a full meal.

To quote the Spanish phrase though, "poco a poco" - one step at a time. Thanks to the hard work of many, a great start has already been made.

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