Jorox



The Mesa de Jorox is a flat top oblong rock outcrop that runs north/south. Mesa in Spanish means table. To the east of the Mesa is the beautiful valley of Jorox , containing a small hamlet and an excellent bar/restaurant with simple, clean, inexpensive rooms. Don't expect anything but a Spanish feeling to the place, which is owned by Antonio. Know sufficient Spanish to get by.

The valley is about 50 metres from our house and is a deep horse shoe shaped valley with steep slopes. The only break in the valley walls is to the south west thereby protecting it from all the winds except the warm south westerly from the Med. As a result it has a micro climate more like a sheltered spot on the coast rather than 2000 foot up in the mountains.

Plants grow here that we can't grow or struggle with. Pineapples, mangoes, bananas are no problem and huge vegetables abound. The main crops, however are oranges, lemons and avocados producing 2 crops per year. The valley is served by an excellent irrigation system, installed by the Moors perhaps over a thousand years ago. (The Moors ruled much of Spain for hundreds of years)
Feeding the irrigation system is the beautiful, fresh water of the Rio Jorox, which has never been known to run dry. The Rio Jorox passes through Jorox and joins the Rio Grande before flowing into the Rio Guadalhorce and then the Med at Malaga. This series of river valleys is the pathway for the warm mediterarean winds that grace this valley. The Rio Jorox only surfaces from it's underground channel at the entrance to the valley flowing swiftly, giving the only source of drinking water for animals in the summer. As a result many animals come down to Jorox to drink during the summer including deer and Ibex.

Jorox has several large caves in western side leading into the Mesa. This combination of reliable water, warm climate, good soil and animals has resulted in the valley being inhabited for around 30,000 years. Southern Spain was one of the last areas that was inhabited by Neanadthals before they were made extinct by homo sapiens (us). Two gold prehistoric chalices were found in one of the caves (now in Malaga museum) When the Moors conquered Spain in early 8th century they quickly moved into the valley and established a community, installing the present irrigation system. Hippies sometimes inhabit the caves now and strange plants can be found growing on the cave entrances!!

Around 1000 years ago the Christians left in the north started the reconquest of Spain taking until 1484 to reach this area. Eventually the Moors were driven out of all of Spain, although marauding bands still roamed the south. In 1570 a band attacked Alozaina while the men were working in the fields and were driven off by Maria Sagredo, using her husband's crossbow and throwing beehives upon the Moors driving them away.
The name of the town also comes from that era, and derives from the popularly deformed word Alhosaina - small castle. This castle was built by Arabs upon the site of a Roman fort. As a for saving Alozaina reward she was given much of the land in Jorox. A Cross was raised on the rim of the valley and every year on the 1st Sunday in May an open air service takes place. In addition a small Church in Jorox contains the most important religious icon of the village of Alozaina and is carried down the several kilometres to the village for the celebration of Easter.

Over recent centuries the hamlet became quite populated and thriving as the swiftly flowing water was used to drive several corn mills, some of which survive today. People brought their corn from all around the area to be milled by up to 200 people. However in recent times the availability of newer methods has led to a decline of Jorox to a quiet place with a small permanent population.

Once the river has passed through the corn mills and the irrigation offtake it crashes over a waterfall into a deep inaccessable gorge. Here much unique bird life exists, so bring bino's and a camera.