The abandoned warehouse outside Garrucha

We’ve all seen the old abandoned warehouse, stuck in the middle of a flat field outside Garrucha as we enter from the Los Gallardos road.

Many of us will have wondered why? wherefore? and how? as we speed past this old, well built yet abandoned and now falling apart sign to a past dream.

This… is the dream that was.

Many years ago, around the 80’s, two brothers had a dream. A dream of fish.

They had both worked in the fish markets of Almeria and Murcia, and had seen the growing demand for fresh fish from the Mediterranean ports. In the first economic boom after democracy, the interior towns were hungry for fresh fish, and sharp traders were appearing all along the coast, snapping up the fresh catch every morning to be shipped to Madrid or the interior cities for vast profits.

They quickly established themselves, first as fishmongers, then as traders. They were amongst the first at Garrucha port, then unknown and with bad road communications, to recognise the unique potential of the “Garrucha prawn”, and found an even bigger market waiting for them in the rest of Spain.

They expanded quickly, and then discovered the marvels of future trading – selling off catches before they were caught and using the money to buy entire shiploads before the ship had even left port.

And so they decided upon a proper warehouse. A proper custom built warehouse, on the old road (underneath the current road).

The abandoned fish warehouse
The abandoned fish warehouse

Built to their specifications, with an ice machine, and grooves in the floor to carry the water away into the fields behind.

But then, sadly, the bust of the 80’s came, and overnight the dream vanished. The warehouse was eventually repossessed by a creditor from El Ejido, as were the lands around, all part of the same estate.

Which is why the fields aren’t used much – there ownership is split up between creditors, most of whom are lost in the vastness of Spain now.

Abandoned and vandalised
Abandoned and vandalised

But although the two brothers and their business is long gone, their legacy remains.

They established the brand of “Garrucha prawns”, the most famous prawns in all of Spain, famed for their size and taste.

And they set the fishing port of Garrucha onto its path of becoming a powerful local fishing port, with a large auction house and fishing fleet.

But their legacy is all that remains. That, and a single mouldering building that remains a bit of an eyesore on the outskirts of town.

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