A loyal reader writes:
As a ‘soon to be resident’ I wonder if you have any local knowledge of gay friendly places in the Vera/Mojacar area & whether you would consider an article on this. To be clear I don’t just mean ubiquitous nude beach cruising activities!
Always happy to oblige, although my personal knowledge on the Almería gay scene is a spot limited. Enter Pablo (AKA P.A.T.), my party loving token homosexual employee (we here are Jackson Industries PLC like to have a well rounded workforce) who supplied me with the following details:
- Bar Rayman. It’s in front of the “Hotel Continental” on Mojacar Playa. “Flowery” may be the best translation I can give you.
- In Villaricos is a fancy smooth glass & stainless steel bar, on the corner between the main road and the high street. We forget it’s name, but I do remember wandering in there with three mates shortly after it opened and being surprised at the tightness of the male clientèle trousers.
- Dracena Pub (Rafael Alberti, s/n) and Amargo Sound Cafe (seems to be at Plaza Marqués de Heredia 17) are the two well known gay bars in Almería city. Dracena is a well known pub that is “mixed” as it plays good music, so keep your hands to yourself until you know for sure.
- In Roquetas del Mar, in front of the Plaza de Toros, is a large gay bar whose name Pablo has forgotten, but is the only one there.
- And in Aguadulce, we have Caramelo and Arena, both in the Centro 501 shopping and entertainment plaza.
Apart from these, it seems that there are no “gay only” bars in the Almanzora valley.
And for those of you looking for the rather more sordid side of the sex scene (and hankering after a new addition to their STD collection from the sound of it) in Almería, we have:
- Copacabana beach, which is just off behind Almería airport. Well known for it’s “anything goes” attitude, and by reputation has a wooden walkway where anyone can walk down and exhibit themselves to the onlookers. If eye contact is made the interested parties (it seems that numbers, sex and species of participants is optional) make their way to the bushes. Brings a whole new meaning to the word “dogging”. Often raided by large groups of Police who like to dispense Christian justice with their batons. “Not A Nice Place” seems to be the general opinion.*
- Vera Playa is the other big pickup area. When the naturist hotel is open the movement goes towards the Puerto Rey shopping centre, when closed back to the naturist beach. Again, anything goes. Lookout for young male prostitutes who will lure you back to their apartment where often their many friends (complete with sticks and other implements of violence) await you and your credit cards. No point complaining to the Guardia, as soon as they hear how it happened they tell you “it’s your own fault” and chuck you out. As long as you stick to the bushes you’re OK – go outside the bushes, and the nosy neighbours will call the cops on you. This usually results in a nasty fine for exhibitionism.*
*I would continue to tell you more, but frankly I don’t believe people are capable of some of the things that Pablo told me about. “Hedonistic abandonism” seems to be an apt phrase for what some people get up to there. It’s a whole new world, which, Pablo assures me, he does not participate in, but enjoys hearing stories at the disco about who’s done what with whom where – it seems that the Spanish Almería gay scene is small and (ah hem) intimate world. After hearing some of these stories I fully understand the origin of the phrase “ignorance is bliss” and intend to go to bed early with a good book and a hot cocoa.