Well we’re 7 days into this trip and have been making small steps into our exploration of the area. This first week has involved a lot of chilling, getting to know Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Malaga … all at a slow pace – largely due to a foot injury Steve sustained on the explorer run before leaving MK … and sadly recovery has been slow (and ongoing)!! So no big walks as yet and even sightseeing has been limited – the physio has declared that rest is the order of the day. Not that the chilled days on the beach and the gentle sightseeing strolls haven’t been appreciated – to be honest I don’t think I’ve EVER felt so rested … AND … I can finally keep pace with my limp-along hubbie!
Friday 1st March 2019
Very much enjoyed our first visit to the local supermarket – stocking up with Serrano ham, manchego, olives, pimentos, Spanish tomatoes, the tastiest of fruit, crusty bread … and then the wine. Steve’s eyes were popping out of his head at the crazily cheap prices …. just how do you choose? – he spent more time on this aisle than the rest of the week’s shop altogether.
Returned home and had our first lunch feast on the balcony – a bit of everything …. and everything is SO tasty – we’re becoming such foodies – Spanish foodies. The haze of the morning had lifted and our view of the sea was now becoming clearer.
Took our first drive down the hill to the nearest beach- Playa de Bil Bil and spent a couple of hours relaxing in the sun. Steve had a bit of a snooze (resting his foot … and eyelids!) and I took a walk along the beach, paddling in the near on icy water – nobody seems to be swimming!
Afterwards we took a short drive up into the hills – our apartment is fairly high up into the hills, away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal accommodations. To be honest, I hadn’t realised that Benalmadena was the metropolis it is – I had imagined white sun-drenched hillside villas, sloping down to quiet beaches – but it’s massive – high-rise hotels and hundreds and thousands of apartment blocks …. but with the most stunning backdrop of mountains and blue blue sky.
Back home and of course it was beer/G&T o’clock … whilst looking longingly at the apartment’s pool which is apparently too cold for swimming. Well at least the ducks are making use of it!
Whilst sipping, Steve started to research Benalmadena and discovered its history of earthquakes and tsunamis – oh well, I guess there had to be something!
Saturday 2nd March
It had been a fairly stormy night and this morning the wind was still giving the palm trees a good old blasting. Determined to get back to his running soon, Steve wanted to continue resting his foot, giving it every chance of recovery, so I set off solo for a walk of the local area. Took in a fair few hills, up and down – stunning views down to the sea and up into the mountains. Walked for a couple of miles at a fair pace so felt that at last I was getting some exercise … even got the lycra out.
Later in the day we took an Uber up to Benalmadena Pueblo, the original part of this area, with its whitewashed houses and cobbled streets – this was the Benalmadena of my imagination. We had heard that there was to be a carnival parade so got excited about a colourful fiesta fest – however, it turned out to be a few children dressed as pirates, princesses and fairies and a few Dads in Spanish dresses … I’m sure there’ll be others! Stopped for pizza and vino and soaked up the atmosphere of this old Spanish town. Didn’t wander far on the cobbles though – not conducive to foot recovery! Will defintely be back to explore more.
Sunday and Monday 3rd & 4th March 2019
Both of these days were particularly hot so, of course, it had to be beach and we took a drive to Fuengirola both days where we knew we could secure sun loungers and shade (it’s important business foot resting you know)! 6 euros equipped us with all we needed and included a free drink each. I snuck in a 5 mile speed walk along the promenade the first day – joining a whole army of Lycra clad ladies doing similar struts, all of us weaving in and out of the more leisurely beach goers! And the rest of the day we lounged and read (both getting through so many books) and lo and behold … I actually swam in the sea. I can’t lie, it was freezing – but as always once you’re under it’s gorgeous – it’s just the getting under that hurts!
On the Monday I didn’t fit my walk in – I’d had a little too much wine the night before so just rested … and swam (nothing like freezing water to clear the head).
Steve’s comment of the day: “Day 4, still no friends!”
Tuesday 5th March 2019
Decided to venture out to Malaga today, by train. We wanted to check out the journey as we’re booked on a tapas tour there on Saturday evening. Drove to the station – stopping off to navigate the recycling and waste disposal systems on the way – parked up near Tivoli World for 1 euro for the whole day (bargain). Phrase book in hand, I delivered my best Spanish request for ‘two return tickets to Malaga please’ … and he actually understood me … “muchas gracias.” (No Caroline and Jim, I didn’t ask for a table for eight fish 🤣). Lovely clean and air-conditioned trains – passengers could do with a few more manners when embarking and disembarking however – Steve managed to stand on a lady’s foot who stepped up as he was stepping off — his bad foot too!!
Loved our first glimpse of Malaga – didn’t get far as gentle strolling only – but certainly got a feel for later visits, things to do, places to go. Walked around the moneyed Marina area – some rather delicious yachts moored and a selection of upmarket bars and cafes – with KFC and McDs thrown in of course …. plus Hard Rock Cafe opening soon.
We managed to get ourselves lost on the way back to the station and Steve (being a man) not being one to ask for directions left it to me to practice my Spanish a little further. I asked a lovely lady “Donde esta l’estacion?” (I learnt ‘donde esta’ … (where is) when I very first came to Spain when I was 18, and I’ve never forgotten it – so today it came in handy. This very sweet young lady caringly guided us up the road like two lost grandparents and set us off in the appropriate direction. We chatted and found out she was Russian and came to Malaga to visit her children – so we sort of made a new friend – no Facebook contact however!!
Once back in Benalmadena, we stopped off at a couple of local bars for sundowners …. as you do.
Noticed we were the only consumers wearing ‘summer gear’ – everyone else was swaddled in jumpers, hoodies and coats … and not another exposed leg in sight – just us then! Haven’t come across that many Brits yet – seems to be largely a Spanish area. Have to admit I was slightly worried after watching recent episodes of ‘Bargain Brits abroad.’
Wednesday 6th March 2019
As had been forecast, today is mega windy and overcast. So it’s been a day of housework (yes, we’re in an airbnb apartment and we actually have to do our own cleaning, washing etc. – it’s not a holiday you know!! 🤣) supermarket stock up and blogging. A big rest day today for Steve – foot up and showing some slow signs of recovery. Those of you that know my marathon man husband will know how much he is missing his running and generally active life – please heal soon!
So blog done, I’m off to do some yoga – Namaste 🙏