And that’s what David has been fortunate enough to be able to do this week- with different sets of friends and on two different courses. This of course makes the carrying of the golfclubs all worthwhile, even if as ever they haven’t performed quite as well as they should have done.
In fact, it was a week of losing with the magic sticks for David, as on the Bank Holiday Monday in Altea we came across a Crazy golf course and with fond memories of the Isle of Wight Crazy Golf championship in mind, I managed to beat David by two points. The day and afternoon had been lovely with the prom on the seaside at Altea full with families, friends, walking, talking- having a drink and/or leisurely lunches in the glorious sun, all of course keeping to the current rules and regulations of Covid. For us after the a few days of eating out, it was a rather curious choice given the sun and heat, of home-made shepherds pie, but delicious it was all said and done!
Our aim for Spain is to move quite quickly along the coast and then pitch up for the longer winter spell along the coast near Cadiz, an area we were familiar with from our last trip, where we continued with Spanish speaking lessons from home with a two-week intensive course in the lovely bonita village of Vejer. Having been in Spain for just over a week again now, it has been even more apparent how much we failed on that mission, but then again, we have been in many countries since and you can’t be fluent in all of them, can you?
So, we left the lovely sea front Aire in Altea and made quite a long drive to Narejos, in the district of Murcia. Again, a familiar and loved place for us, having spent time there both motorhoming, and on holiday visiting David’s Aunt and Uncle who have a place here, and under normal circumstances would have been there to welcome and spend time with us.
Murcia, as a district has much stricter rules for Covid then a lot of the other areas we have passed through, and certainly the bank holiday gatherings we witnessed in Valencia district would not have been allowed. Gatherings of six are the norm here, with playgrounds, outside gyms etc still firmly taped off from use. The lovely sea front with views across to La Manga was busy enough with people, and cafes and bars making the most of the fewer clients they have, but for David and us, the place seemed to have a sadness to it from the norm, with the streets being almost ghost like by the late afternoon. The Aire was busy enough, but not as it would normally have been at this time of year, and we listened to the various sad Covid tales from the other regulars here, or long termers in Spain. Like everyone, a Covid tale to be told and as time goes on, the overwhelming question “when is this going to end?”.
We managed to cheer ourselves up, by cycling along to one of our favourite restaurants in this area called La Venezuela. It was of course an Auntie Francis and Uncle Stan restaurant tip and it did not disappoint with a wonderful €22 menu del dai for me- four courses including a glass of wine, while David stuck to a more conventional choice of ham croquettes and calamari (chips as well).
Thursday, brought his first real game of golf at Roda, and despite the ever present afternoon wind he had a wonderful time and game of golf. It was after that when we made our mistake, having decided on an Indian meal out, at a known to us decent restaurant. However, we were drawn in by the recommendation of our lovely waitress to another Indian restaurant. David tried to big the meal up as we ate, but the reality of it was that the dishes weren’t actually as they should have been and seemed to have been ‘Anglophiled’. Hey ho, you live and learn…..some of the time.
Friday gave us a long drive of some 350 kilometres to bring us to Torrox, just short of Malaga. We shared the drive and for me the roads when we started out were lovely and quiet, with the truly amazing scenery and vastness of Spain quickly making itself apparent. I enjoyed my part of that drive, whereas for some reason the other days drive into Murcia had unnerved me, making me overly cautious on the motorways and driving rather too slow for the traffic, especially the lorries. So, I was glad that when getting back behind the wheel again, the nerves had disappeared. Again, who knows why-some days we can’t just be on top of our game. I suspect that a poor sleep and two rather strong café con leches didn’t help, but here we are all safe and sound.
Torrox is a lovely seaside place, again usually much busier with British and other Northern European people, either holidaying or living here. Again, we have a stunning parking spot, up a rather steep slope but the height giving us lovely views to the sea. This of course being the weekend, we have suffered from some slight degree of evening noise, with the beach bars playing their music to the early hours regardless of how few customers there might be, but this is Spain and for the Spaniards late nights and loudness go very much hand in hand- so earplugs in and a few more night-time drugs (homeopathic of course).
Saturday, gave the golf clubs their second outing this week and unfortunately for David they didn’t perform as well as they should have. The first nine was excellent, but the second nine brought less points then it should of -the result being that David lost again. But as they say, it’s not the winning but the taking part and after a second lovely evening spent with our ex- London, now Torrox residents we both would like to thank them for making our time here in Torrox hugely enjoyable yet again. Plus restoring our faith in Indian restaurants on the Saturday evening at their local and very good Indian restaurant- The Buddha. Phew, if it had been another bad one, we might have had to give up curry, just after stocking up with mango and lime pickle, brought at slightly inflated prices in Iceland -Murcia.
On walking around here in Torrox, we have noticed strange, large beautiful purple fruits dangling heavily with ripeness from trees on mass. I thought they were very large plums, but as David said far too big. David thought they might be mangoes, but neither of us thought they grew in Spain, until Anne confirmed that indeed they were purple mangoes, and that should we be able to get some they are delicious. So, we remain on the hunt for these local grown purple mangoes.
Spain has also fortunately been kind to us on the money front, the Aires have been between €10 and €20, but drinks and food are thankfully cheaper, thus causing us to eat out a bit more than we should, and in fact we have just yet again invested in beautifully sweet barbequed fresh sardines at €3 for five. My tinto Verano (red wine topped up with lemonade) costing the same as David’s Alhambra beer €1.50, so needless to say we had to sample more than one of each drink.
Tomorrow, we head on after a hopefully quieter Sunday night with lovely freshly laundered sheets to Marbella- a place again well known to David from his holidaying youth and again to catch up and see two recently relocated friends, starting up a pet care, grooming, boarding business, but for David that’s the end of the golf for the moment and the 14 golf clubs are back in storage under our bed.
Plus, to be fair to David, he only lost twice at golf, he of course beat me on the crazy golf by two points, but if like real golf a handicap system had been in place- I would have won!!