We have had a lovely couple of weeks shooting down the coast of Spain heading to the start of our first Elddis adventure back in 2016. Having had the chance to play golf twice last week this week we have been lucky enough to meet up with old friends near where I spent many childhood Easters and summer holidays, Marbella. Like everything when you look back it is all different and I can honestly say I recognise nothing anymore. It has changed utterly but we found a lovely campsite near where our friends now live. Having set up their new venture in pet services called Goouchie’s Poochies and they have started to make Spain their home.
We enjoyed two wonderful days with them and were able to walk the beaches of the area east of Marbella town that I did not know, though built up it is much more relaxed that the Porto Banus side that honestly has become such an unpleasant place to visit.
We ate out both nights and the second night we went to a Teppanyaki restaurant which was great fun and great food. To top it off though I don’t eat eggs we all had to have a go at catching some from the cook. It was great fun, was going to post the video but could not get it to work!
After two days we had a good hangover installed and serviced and it was time to move on before things changed and we were stopped in our tracks by a lockdown. It was back on the road, again heading to the part of Spain that we have called our favourite for years since our first trip back in 2016. Would it meet up with our memories or has old age caught up with us and we are hankering after sweet memories like I perhaps had for Marbella, a place that no longer exists. .
Well the weather greeted us in the same way as it did back then. It rained, we parked up in a snowbird campsite. The next day the sun came out and we got on our bikes and explored and went to another Pueblo Blanco (white village) called Conil de Frontera. The last time we were here it seemed like it was a work in progress but now the whole town has had a fresh coat of paint and was alive and wonderfully comfortable in its skin. We were incredibly happy to be back in the land of tapas and chilled atmosphere.
The whole area is low rise and there are wide open spaces, beautiful beaches for long walks, with the coast of Africa in the near distance. For surfers, this is a paradise as the waves are continuous and quite high. There is wind for the kite surfers among you and the light is stunning for the painters out there. Also, this is the place that should have more resonance for English people in Spain than any other, as you look out from the lighthouse it is the place where ‘England Expected’ it is lovely. Yes, this is our comfy place where all in the world seems right, not in a pandemic.
Our electric bikes allow us cover longish distances 30 – 40 km and have while cycling, discovered that masks are downright dangerous. To explain, here you do not have to have your mask over you face while cycling along, but you do when you stop. So, you keep your mask on under your chin, this as I found can cause amazing pain. If a wasp is flying in the opposite direction and gets caught in your mask the sting of the terrified wasp is painful. A big thank you to our friend Katherine who persuaded us to always carry antihistamine wherever you go. Otherwise my lips would flatter a football.
We will stay here for the next three to four weeks soaking up the chilled vibe and friendly people. Eating great food such as the red tuna line caught in these waters, or the red beef named after the colour of the cattle that roam the area, soak up the history being near the oldest city in Europe Cadiz. It is a relaxed and chilled place, and after over 16,000 Kms of excitement, perhaps a little slower pace of life is needed. The people that come down for winter are called snowbirds, and we can only say we hope the weather is kinder to us than in 2016, where we even had a frost. Spain today announced a ‘State of Alarm’ this means you must be home by 11.00 pm, we are normally asleep at this time, the Spanish have always thought we were wimps now we will just fit in.