The Altiplano has more than its fair share of cave dwelling types….The ones I’ve met, (with the notable exception of Clifford/Irene an ex-pat cross-dressing Mancunian), seem a surprisingly normal bunch….My experience of “Trogs” before spending time in Granada province had been limited to childhood saturday afternoons watching those hairy, grunting, shin-bone munching, knuckle draggin’ dudes that were intent on pursuing anyone daft enough to follow Arne Saknussemm’s runes leading to the centre of the earth, so, I’m sure you’ll understand, even Clifford/Irene came as a bit of a relief……
This particular cave house seems to be unoccupied but, apart from its dramatic appearance, there is a very good reason why I chose to feature it here….
See those huge cacti outside the front?
Want to know why they grow so succesfully?
Well I’ll tell ya…..
Plumbing is still a relatively new concept amongst cave dwellers… not too long ago it was still very much common practise for the local gypsy Spanish, (a large proportion of the Altiplanos inhabitants are still gypsy stock), to use these large cacti as a waste recycler….Not to put too fine a point on it, the cactus outside the front door was the Shitter….
Cacti dotted around in the towns and villages, were treated in exactly the same way, and should a gypsy have needed a dump while out and about, he (or she) would happily have dropped his/her kecks and rattled one off on the nearest cactus….
Not surprisingly, in Spain, the “Shitting gypsies” have entered folklore in a BIG way…
You know those nativity scenes that crop up in churches, shopping malls, village halls, schools… in fact just about everywhere in the Christian world?
Well the Spanish versions always, and I do mean always, feature, somewhere amongst the donkeys, kings, shepherds, baby jesus’s and other stuff, the crouching figure of a bare-arsed gypsy…..I kid you not!
AND…just in case you thought that was all of the shitting gypsy info you could handle……
How about this?
You know that old english expression, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”..?
Want to know what the Spanish equivalent is?…….(I know you do…)
” Eh Signor, I am SO hungry I could eat a shitting gypsy !”
Its true !!!
Isn’t that fantastic !!!
All Images Copyright Stuart Allan Hyde