The Axe Man Cometh

If it hadn’t been for Colin Snout, I’m not sure that we would have discovered Fort Bravo. I first went there by accident last November. It was the day that I’d arranged to collect Colin from the dog rescue charity. Rather than driving the 600 kilometres up to Alicante, it was agreed that we would meet halfway, somewhere around Almeria. I was given an address for a petrol station in Tabernas. Nothing seemed untoward until I printed out the directions. On studying the print out I discovered that Tabernas is in the middle of nowhere; it is a desert.




Earlier in the morning I’d dropped Irishman off at Malaga airport for his flight back to the UK. When I checked my phone, I realized that I had no Internet connection and very little credit left to make calls. I hoped that the 245-kilometre trip to the pick-up point would go without a hitch. All was going fabulously well until I took the road off the motorway at Almeria and found myself driving through desert and scrub.




I started to wonder why I’d been told to meet up in such a desolate location. As I left the coast behind me, the small road was soon surrounded by wilderness. The further I drove and the more minutes that passed, the worse my fears became. My imagination started to go in to overdrive. There was no doubt about it, this was a set-up. I was about to end my days at the hands of an axe murderer. I arrived at the desolate parking spot by an old garage, turned off the ignition and waited. Tumbleweed blew across the lot and dust settled on the car windscreen. By now my heart was racing, beads of sweat poured down my brow – it was 2pm. I was on time but where was the axe-man?




Five minutes passed, then ten. Something was horribly wrong. Despite the location, mercifully there was some signal on my phone. I rang the number that I’d been given and waited. ‘Hello’ said a cheery voice ‘Is that Lottie? ‘Yes, yes it is but where are you?’ I was still not convinced that at any moment, the Grim Reaper wasn’t about to bellow ‘Here!’ just outside my car window. The cheery voice replied ‘I’m here at Junction 456, where are you?
‘I’m in a desert. Hang on; I’ll be with you in 45 minutes’ – I’ve drove like a bat out of hell all the way back to Almeria.




To this day I still don’t know what went wrong with the directions that I was given but it’s of no importance because as many of you will already know, that is the day that Colin Snout came in to our lives. But the point of this story is that in the course of my wild goose chase across the desert, I came across an old spaghetti western set called Fort Bravo. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it would make a perfect backdrop for one of Irishman’s films.




Fort Bravo is a magnificent set and definitely worth a visit. It is still occasionally used for filming but in it’s heyday during the 60’s and 70’s it was the backdrop for films such as ‘A Fistful Of Dollars’ ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ and many, many more. More recently it was used for filming an episode of Dr Who ‘A Town Called Mercy’ It costs 17.90 € but is worth every penny and is open from 9am-6pm. Entry fee includes a ride round the set in a mule cart and an opportunity to watch two shows during the course of the day.




There is a Can-Can show at 12.30pm and a Cowboy shoot-out at 2.30pm. Irishman and I arrived first thing as we wanted to avoid crowds. The first mornings shoot we had the place to ourselves but it was busier on our second visit. I’m not the world’s greatest camera girl but I think we’ve made some nice work together. Irishman is looking at the rushes and about to start the lengthy editing process. The photographs are a reminder of the fun time that we had there.







39 thoughts on “The Axe Man Cometh

  1. This is an amazing place.I went there ages ago, raved about it and then when I tried to find it again to take someone else I couldn’t find it. Great photos!
    Glad that Spain is working out for you still (I’ve been out of the loop for a few months so just catching up)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great isn’t it. I’m so glad that you’ve also been there. We thought it was tremendous – oozing with atmosphere, charm and you really do feel like you are taking part in a western. especially when viewing it all through a cam-corder. Having now been there 3 times, I could probably find it blind-folded. Next time you want to go, shout!! xxx


  2. Good shots Lottie, One shot reminded me of Keith Ledger from Brokeback Mountain and oodles of hints of Mrs Miller and McCabe with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie.

    Hope Colin Snout did not mistake Irish for the baddy and bit him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Gerard. It was such fun being there. We were fortunate to pick a morning when we had the place to ourselves – perfect for our hi-jinks!
      Colin is so sweet natured, he’d never bite a soul, however bad they might be!


  3. What a place. It’s full of atmosphere. I hope the Irishman has enough pieces to craft a good film together. I also hope it doesn’t include an axe murderer though to remind you of your wee error in going to collect Colin Snout.
    The photographs are wonderful.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Because Irishman had such an ace director and camera woman, I think he’s got plenty of good stuff to play about with!!! (I think I might be blowing my own trumpet there!! 🙂 )

      I think he’s making lots of tiny clips out of it which will be shown on multiple screens – and then he’s got to add the soundtracks. Complicado!

      No axe murderers, such a relief. Enormous hugs to you! XXXXXXX


  4. It looks fab Lottie but is that one of the Blues Brothers wandered on to the wrong set? I hope you have taken CS back to the scene of the hand over. Was Butch Cassidy filmed there? I can imagine you and The Sundance Kid singing in the rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘You’ll be straight back to Junction 456….’ is what I threaten Colin with when he’s been naughty! 🙂 it seems to do the trick as there haven’t been any Yule Logs for months – maybe it’s a seasonal naughtiness?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Most definitely! 😀 as to measurements, I’m not sure there is such a thing as a pint here – generally you get offered large or small – a ‘large’ beer is about 3/4’s of a British pint. That’s ok, you just have to drink more of them to make up! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve heard about it but haven’t been there. I’m sure I saw a TV program featuring it recently. There used to be one in the outskirts of Barcelona ‘Esplugas City’ but no longer there. Must put it in my list of places to go. Thanks and great pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Olga, it’s definitely somewhere to visit if you are in the area. It’s very atmospheric and the shows are good fun. We only watched the earlier one as we couldn’t film after 12pm as there were too many people. I’d love to go back and watch the one with the horses. I forgot to mention that you can hire horses and go riding there – maybe we will do that too.


  6. Wow, a bit surreal and hectic your trip to get CS! These photos take me back to my childhood and Sunday Matinee 😉 Looking like a ghost town now though.


  7. Good that something productive and creatively stimulating came resulted from your ‘detour’! I’m wondering if I’ve seen Fort Bravo in the westerns that played on Sundays when I was a child, which I used to watch with Dad. It would be fun to rent the whole place out for a big party with appropriate costumes! Great photos as usual Lottie.


  8. I’m online again and back to say how much I enjoyed this post and the marvellous photographs, as ever. When we come to visit, this place has to be on the itinerary so that I could do my best Sarah the Strumpet in the saloon. Filming it would certainly add an extra frisson to this old slapper!


  9. At last! Lottie, I loved this post but it scared the devil out of me. DO NOT TRY THIS AGAIN! But moving on. I’m not a fan of western movies. But I just know that I would love seeing the film that you and Pete made. The set actually looks very American with the saloon, the dust, the mountains and, more.

    I’m trying to figure out what those horses were eating in what appears to be nothing more than dirt with not a blade of grass or shread of hay.

    I’m sure this is one place that is embedded/inked/fixed in your brain in more ways than one. That liitle dickens, Colin Snout led you on a rabbit chase even before you saw him in reality.

    Hope you are working on another post that will be coming out soon.

    ~yvonne xxxx


    1. Don’t worry about the horses! They were well fed and looked after – lots of hay and water – the stuff on the ground was straw for them to lie on 🙂

      When Pete has shown his work, I’ll post a clip on here so that you can get an idea of what we got up too! It’s not a linear film, it’s lots of tiny films being shown on different screens – complicated to explain but it’s quite fun to watch. You, the viewer make up your own story.

      The little dickens surpassed himself with badness this week – he’d did a HUGE pee right across a stack of books – now a good 1/3 of them have to be cleaned and wiped down and I pray that they don’t stink – I really felt like dropping him back at the junction after that – he had no need to do it, the front door was wide-open so he could have done it in the yard.

      There will be another post soon – tomorrow is a busy day as we have our boxes and furniture arriving from London – I’m so excited, I’ll have a table and chair!!

      So good to hear from you Yvonne, thanks as always for your comments. Big hugs to you xxxxxxxxx


  10. Another great story Lottie. Thanks.
    I’m waiting for Irishman’s film will be shown…. don’t forget Indonesian subtitles 🙂


    1. Thank you, Arjan you are very kind. When the dust has settled I shall post you a clip of the film. I hope you are well? Indonesia seems a loooong waayyy away! xxx


  11. Amazing pics! I can see the headline now: “Axe-murdered claims his latest victim in deserted Old West saloon town!” Thank goodness you survived the scary desert meet-up point! And what a cool town! Those pics are awesome!


    1. Thanks, Darcy! I did have wild and fanciful thoughts as I pulled in to the deserted parking lot. We had a fantastic time at Fort Bravo making the set of films and I’m happy to now write that this final piece of work (for Pete’s doctorate) now means that he’s got his PhD – funny how it al started with wild imaginings of axe-murderers and finally resulted in my husband becoming a Doctor! Great to hear from you and thanks for your comment 😀


  12. That’s awesome! Sort of like Brigadoon–something entirely out of place and time, and you stumbled upon it. (Are you sure it’s ALWAYS there? Maybe it only appears out of the mists of time on special anniversary days…)


  13. Looks like you had to leave Bali (and Jakarta) to stumble on this marvelously comical adventure! It actually reminds me of visiting Universal Studios (Calif) in my childhood and coming to terms with facades, stuntmen and fake food. Sheesh! Can’t wait to see Pete’s films too. Congrats to the new Doctor in the House 😉


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