Chapter One Ghosts of the Ghost Towns

Men flocked to the Sierra Almagrera to work in the mines, dressing floors and smelt mills. Some came from other mining districts, others were fugitives or refugees, but the majority were peasants. These men left their homes, families and smallholdings and came in search of paid work, often bringing their oldest sons with them.

Where some of them lived is surprising, as there is nothing left of the large settlement on the coast to indicate what once stood there. The poblado minero, or miners’ settlement, of El Arteal is still, just about, standing. The ghosts of Franco’s Spain still haunt it, and not for nothing was it known as Korea.