All viable villages in this area are wired for sound. We first experienced the system
when staying at El Convent, the only hotel in La Fresneda. On our first morning there
I went for a run before breakfast, as I usually do, and my wife went for a walk.
We met, purely by chance, at the point where the main street which leads up the hill,
branches off into the streets that lace the hillside. I was running down she was
walking up. At the moment of our meeting a loudspeaker immediately above our heads
crackled into life. Loud guitar music preceded some singing by a wailing Spanish
lady. Every dog in the village joined in. The howling of the dogs and the wailing
notes of the singer made us both laugh, the whole thing was a complete surprise in
this otherwise sleepy village. The short song ended with some more frantic guitar
music and then there was a brief period of silence, more crackling and then a very
serious male voice made a number of announcements. The smiles on our faces died away.
Something serious must surely have happened for an announcement to be made to the
whole village. Perhaps the water supply had failed or was contaminated. Perhaps the
electricity was about to be cut off. Perhaps the mayor had died. Perhaps there had
been some greater disaster which affected the whole world, something that we, in
I showered and we had breakfast so the village's main services seem to have survived the crisis. Later we learned that such announcements were both regular and normal. The music varies a little but is usually one of a few extracts of Jota music which we have grown to like very much, it is similar to Flamencan singing, the wailing style is clearly derived from Spain's Arabic past. The information contained in the announcement usually concerns what will be for sale from the market stalls in the village square the next day. Described thus it seems quite mundane, but for us it is part of the character of the place and still makes us smile, especially that chorus of wailing dogs. Quite what's going on in their little minds we may never know, perhaps they just don't like Jota music.