Mon 12/12/16: After a night parked on the road like the poor relations, or keeping it current –no room at the inn, in this case Rincon de la Victoria, Malaga we headed slightly further on down the road to find a new home. For whatever reason not only was the day grey but moods were as well and we just couldn’t agree on where to park at all and ended up on a camp site just a bit further along on the coast. After settling in we caught the bus into Malaga central- scene of my stolen bike and also where we are to collect a small hire car so David can head up and do the Caminito Del Rey tomorrow. Due to the bike theft Malaga really wasn’t one of my fav’s in Spain but I have to say it really is quite a lovely city with a lot to do and see, plus good food etc. Had a couple of tapa for lunch including paelitta which is exactly what the word says- a small tapa of paella. We also had some boquerones in vinegar at a bargain price of €2.50. Although a much loved tapa of ours it’s not always the cheapest of tapa at about €4-5 so we were very happy and budget conscious munching on these. In fact we should have suck with the lunch time tapa as home cooked dinner was less than average with pre-prepared pasta and pesto, neither of which turned out that well, or maybe just another dish had once too often!
Tues 13/12/16: With David heading off early to get to the walk start I opted for a nice slow start. I could have participated in some yoga at an onsite class or even gone to the small gym on site but instead I was dutiful and did some washing and then headed for a walk along the coast. The weather was slightly better and I was able to sit a couple of times in the sun along the seaside prom before heading back to base. Realising as ever that David’s walk was never going to be a quick up, do it and back I started a lovely chicken curry for me to eat when ready and D for when he returned. I was completely correct, people had been met including 2 lovely Canadians and of course a fellow Irishman Thomas (very fit, having last year run 20 marathons in 10 days) and of course the trip back into Malaga resulted in a couple of well-deserved drinks. Given the walk was only about 7k’s really only a warm up for Thomas. David did return and was full of the walk and experience but he did nothing to convince me that I would have liked it given the drops and paths. One thing learnt as ever here was that the website for the walk although informative really doesn’t give out too much useful info and in fact there was a car park where we could have parked Niki had we all decided to drive up. Not an overnighter but it might just have given us all a different option and view, but again lessons learnt and we both had a good day and some own time.
Wed 14/12/16: Walk and Malaga done, time for some golf with a friend from home now living here in Spain and just along the road in Torrox. The drive was lovely along the coast and the N340 which hugs the south coast for many miles. Another David and a fellow golfer from Shooters Hill relocated here with his wife Ann(e) neither of whom I had met so after pitching up at a camp site in Torrox set between the old hillside town and the playa of Torrox we had a walk along the playa in mixed weather, not rain but not absolute sunshine with an evening catch up made. A lot of places along the coast were shut either due to the weather or time of year or both. We ended up having a drink and some tapa in the first bar on the prom which offered a drink and tapa for €1.20. Uhm, how good was that going to be but as ever Spain proved trumps on the food front and the choice of tapa was excellent. I had a lovely fresh prawn ensalada and D some pork in quite a pokey pepper sauce. The dishes weren’t huge obviously but certainly enough, fresh and tasty so again don’t be fooled by the cheap and cheerful, they can work. We met up with David and Ann(e) that evening at our site bar with them driving down in pouring rain which stayed throughout the night. It was a lovely evening ignoring the ‘jam’ session in the bar and great to get some insight into their new life and adventures in Spain and especially Torrox. Torrox has a particuarly interesting past- we had noticed a lot of German language signs on our walk and the reason being was that Franco had during his reign in power decided to ‘give’ the town of Torrox to Hitler, hence the German connection. Two great play mates for sure but the area of Torrox despite all that is an absolute delight.
Thurs 15/12/16: Hooray the sun is shining and even has some warmth behind it, a great day for the 2 D’s to play golf at ‘Spanish’ David’s new golf club. It’s always great for David to play his golf however badly and again even better when he has friends to play it with. However, from my understanding of that days play neither of them will be receiving the green jacket. For me more washing (a woman’s work is never done!) and then a walk along the front. On my walk along the front in a different direction to the actual prom as ever in a unmade area right on the front enjoying uninterrupted sea views were about 6 motorhomes all freedom camping. How they find these places is amazing as the road down to it is narrow and there are no markings for parking, nor is it on our park4night site, which is always a goodie. Anyway, we all met up in old town Torrox in the main square and a lovely post golf lunch of sardina’s for me –which were a delight and calamaris for David and Ann(e). The sun turned into shade as we finished our lunch and so we said our goodbyes and we headed back down the hill ready to move on again tomorrow and hoping that today’s sun was here to stay. A big thanks to both David and Ann (e) for their time and again hospitality- lovely to meet you both and share some time
Fri 16/12/16: Heading again along the beautiful southern Spain coast road in a mix of weather, more grey than sun for the most though, but the drive was lovely and a coast road that rivals most. Our next destination as we nearly finish our tour of Spain and our year is a place just outside Almeria called Almerimar. This place and Aire was recommended by friends we had meet earlier Pete and Phil- they were on a nearby campsite and had seen this aire and really liked the look of it plus the locality also had great tapas. We decided on a night and as we pulled into the harbour area so the heavens opened again rather spoiling our lovely view of the harbour and outward sea. With tummies rumbling and great hopes of free tapa we headed to the port and oddly in an undecided manner stumbled into the Stumble Inn! English as you might have gathered but still embracing all things Spanish like free tapa with a drink and despite all the usual Spanish choice there was also chilli and curry tapa, so of course we just had to touch base with our roots and have one of each. Very tasty and another bar on the way back brought also for me a fish and chip tapa- great fun and a delight especially as in the last bar the Spanish waiter insisted on playing Christmas songs so we had our own afternoon party singing along to ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’, the Pogues etc before heading back to Niki and another evening of rain, heavy winds, thunder and lightning.
Sat 17/12/16: 30 shades of grey started our day along with the beeping of the bread man. A delightful rustic loaf however could not lift our spirits of dismay at yet another wet, windy day as we drove along to Almeria. “Don’t underestimate sun-baked Almeria” LP says and we didn’t having flown in here once before when the sun baked Almeria was indeed sun baked. Today however, it was flooded and the skies grey with heavy winds coming in off the sea. Wrapped up against the elements we headed into the town determined to make the most of the day and town. The Alcazaba was all LP promised and more besides with not even the rain denting it’s magnificence, but after that we could stand no more and headed to a bar packed with locals,pushing our way to the bar for drinks and tapa of fried mushrooms, anchovies and the usual salad Russo. We gave up on the day and our final museum to see heading home in the premature darkness of the storm with the Christmas lights twinkling and holding out against the rain and wind. Sunny Spain???????????
Sun 18/12/16: 40 shades of grey following on from the night time storm and with determination off to see the Museo de la Guitarra. The word guitar is derived from the Andalusian Arabic word qitara and most modern day acoustic guitars owe a lot to Almerian guitar maker Antonio de Torres and this free museum is definitely worth a visit as is Plaza de Flores, where you can see dear John Lennon strumming his guitar in the square. John spent a month in this city filming and also wrote Strawberry Fields Forever here as well. Despite the rain and appalling weather Almeria really is worth a visit, it’s not a Bonita city but has a heart, soul and history to it that makes it a worthy Ugly Duckling. Tonights dinner in an Aire next to a petrol station in the rain, wind and storm truly matches the weather, sausage, mash, onions and gravy.
So, one shade of blue but 50 shades of grey as we end this week. Will Spain deliver the goods on the weather front as we end our last 2 weeks of the year and our journey here, with family arriving in from the UK for Christmas. Our year and time in Spain is nearly done and so we begin our journey home. Is our adventure over or will we begin a new chapter and will the sun ever shine again in Spain. Stay with us and find out perhaps there will be an Encore!.
Our Route this week.