Mojácar, Spain

This popular tourist destination in southern Spain, ninety miles east of Granada, is reputed to be the birthplace of Walt Disney. The original pueblo is a Moorish village, a collection of sugar-cube houses perched on a mountaintop. My apartment is a fifteen-minute drive from the pueblo and a hundred steps from the Mediterranean. Throughout July the temperature was stupefying. Cinders from a wildfire of unknown origin had consumed acres and drifted down from the mountains to mix with the sea. We all thought that was the worst of it, but then my neighbor Capi warned me it was going to get even hotter, and I rented a portable air conditioner to keep my bedroom cool.

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