Xabia & Benitatxell – Rising From The Ashes

Disasters are often forgotten quickly by the outside world, but the fires in Xabia and Benitatxell in early September are still very much at the forefront of everyone’s mind. For many people the rebuilding process has only just begun.

The acres of forest devastated by the fire are a striking, devastating sight that can be seen for miles around.


I visited the area by Cala Granadella to see how the forest was doing all these weeks later. Personally, Granadella is one of my favourite places within driving distance of Xabia and I haven’t been back since the fires. Driving round those last couple of bends before the bottom of the hill was devastating. Seeing the destruction was awful, and I really felt for the people who’s houses have been affected. I was climbing up through the trees when something green caught my eye:


It was an incredible moment – a flash of green, literally rising up out of the ashes. The earth around the small plant wasn’t as scorched as some of the other rocks, so I wasn’t sure if this lucky little shoot had simply escaped the fire. Either way, this little shoot in the middle of a scorched forest was a really beautiful thing.

As I was climbing (falling) back down the hill I stopped to photograph some pinecones (I was trying to be artistic.) Right by my knee I noticed this:


Can you see it?! A tiny green shoot coming right out of the ashes. It is tiny, literally the size of a pine needle. This time there was no doubt – this tiny shoot was brand new. I discovered it by chance as I knelt down – I would never, ever have noticed it otherwise. Looking back over the burned landscape, I wondered how many other tiny green shoots I had walked straight past.

It’s an amazing thought – nature is repairing itself.

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