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| | |-+  Just Returned From Scouting Leone Locations...
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: Just Returned From Scouting Leone Locations...  ( 3910 )
marqkin
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« : July 02, 2007, 04:36:03 AM »

Firstlly, a big hello to fellow Sergio Leone fans!!!
I've just returned from a 2 week holiday in Almeria. I'd been planning it for the past 2 years, and it was my 5th visit. I decided to visit ALL of the Sergio Leone filming locations, and so I booked with A FANTASTIC company called 'Tuco Tours' (which can be found easily enough on the internet). The gentleman who gave both myself and my persevering wife a personal tour of the sites, was named Richard - and I can't praise him enough!!! He did all the driving, and was keen to share his love of the Leone Westerns, and also threw in a great deal of facts and knowledge about other non-Leone films, as we were passing by the various sites. Thde great thing that I discovered was, that, although driving on the way to visit Leone locations, the Almeria region was packed to over-flowing with hills, ramblas, scenes, used in many other 'Spaghetti Westerns'.
My wife - and I can't praise her enough - was a real trooper!! We spent a total of 5 days rambling through the Tabernas Desert visiting the locations...the temperatures, at times, was between 35-37 degrees...! But is was well worth it!!
As well as visiting the Leone sites, we visited sites for 'Shalako'; 'Blindman'; 'The Deserter'; 'Lawrence of Arabia'; 'The Hill'; 'Valdez is Coming'; 'Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade' etc...
It was a fantastic experience...and I can't stress the point enough...if you have the desire in your heart to visit these locations, then do it now...
I say this because there were both good, bad and ugly sides (pardon the obvious pun) to our trip...
The good side is that in certain locations, such as Los Albaricoques village (which was 'Agua Caliente' in 'For A Few Dollars More'), the Spanish tourist board have now started to show an interest. Erected signs are a 'homage' to Leone, and the owner of the bar down the road 'Hotel Alba', is, I believe the gentleman to than all these years for keeping the memory of Leone alive...!!
On the bad side, some of the locations are giving way to 'progress'!!!
I was disappointed, upon visiting the outside of the 'Stevens' ranch (GBU), to find 2 Spanish builders renovating the site...
Gritting my teeth, I decided to take some pictures. The builders, apparantly, were totally unaware that they were in the process of renovating a Leone location!!!!!!!!!!
The Ugly side......well, that was having to return to the British Isles, with the cold, the wind, the rain...
Getting back to the good....that's being able to chat to fellow Leone fans out there...
All the best, Amigos,
Marqkin.....

filmyfan
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« #1 : July 02, 2007, 06:02:55 AM »

Hi Marqkin,

Nice to hear about someone who has done this tour with Tuco Tours.

I myself am thinking about doing a tour later in the year (maybe September when the weather cools a tad).

Hopefully i will be able to drag my "better "half with me on what sounds like a cracking tour.

I think I will only be allowed to do the "day" tour though-although from the itinerary on the website it seems to cover all the main Leone spots I would like to do.

Anyway do you have any tips !?  O0

I alas cannot drive and my wife would be unwilling to do it but I know Tuco can arrange the car and driver-is that all easy enough ? What are the arrangements like...are TUCO very helpful !?

Also did you stay in Almeria city ..and if so which hotel can you recommend !..I hear there is fine tapas available ! :)

Also where did you fly from and with whom..was it a good price....I would only be going for 3 or 4 days...

Anyway any tips would be helpful.. :)

marqkin
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« #2 : July 02, 2007, 06:48:24 AM »

Hiya filmyman!!
Great to hear from you!!
I can't reccommend 'Tuco Tours' highly enough!! Richard is a brilliant guy who will do everything in his power to make it an enjoyable tour!!!
As regarding tips: Drink plenty of water... you can't have too much, especially when reambling through the Tabernas Ramblas... I would also suggest a good pair of sun-glasses....lots of sun-tan lotion......and be prepared to catch up at every location with both your other half, and Richard. I found that, after taking all my photos, and then taking some cam-corder footage, I was lagging behind by a good hundred yards or more...so be prepared to catch up at a 'steady trot'!!!
I have to admit...the heat in the Tabernas Desert is unbelievable...in my casd, I think that the adrenalin kicked in...
I was so gob-smacked by being there, that my body received an extra boost....!
Also, if your other half is a Sergio Leone fan (like yourself), she will love the whole experience...
...if she isn't a Leone fan, then give her lots of encouragement.....
Regarding 'Tuco Tours', Richard was extremely helpful...he did all the driving; and, at the end of several long days, he was kind enough to wait as my wife and I stopped off to buy some shopping (and much needed water)!
I can't praise Richard and 'Tuco Tours' enough..... Go For It!!!
My wife and I stayed at a beautiful seaside resort called 'Roquetas De Mar', which is located approx. 45 mins coach-ride outside Almeria Airport. We travelled with the 'Thomas Cook' company, and stayed at a lovely self-catering apartment resort called 'Playa Golf Serena'. The price was very reasonable.
If you have decided to go and visit the locations, then do it now...I'm sure you won't be disappointed...
I wish you all the best...
If you have any other questions, then please ask...
Adios for now,
Marqkin....

Leonegeek
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« #3 : July 02, 2007, 06:56:41 AM »

Thanks for sharing so much - that sounds absolutely fantastic!

Hopefully one day I can venture over and do the same..

marqkin
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« #4 : July 02, 2007, 07:13:19 AM »

To Leonegeek.....
I can guarantee that you would fall in love with the Sergio Leone locations.... I wish you all the best in eventually visiting them...
let us all know how you get on with your dream...
Marqkin...

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« #5 : July 02, 2007, 08:25:57 AM »

Nice to hear you took such a trip marquin!! I plan on doing the same thing someday!




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« #6 : July 02, 2007, 08:54:07 AM »

I'm definitely going there someday! (But sad to hear about the demolition and other crap  :-\ ) My visit has to wait for some years, though, because of studies, lack of money and such. But this is something that would be great to experience with fellow fans, as pointed out in the thread about the arena-rebuilt. A meeting at the same! That would be something.


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« #7 : July 16, 2007, 05:15:42 AM »

Yeah Richard is the best.We went last september and looking at the recent pics there seems to be have been a few changes in the 9 months since i was there.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/bongojazz/sets/72157594296669784/

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