Thursday 21st March – Friday 29th March 2019
Another week of activity plus wonderful inactivity too! For someone’s who’s not great at relaxing, I’m certainly learning the ropes here – it’s part of the culture. We are truly immersing ourselves into Spanish life and have willingly adjusted to the ‘manana’ philosophy … there’s always tomorrow. We’re blending in with the local people and their pace of life, we’re improving our Spanish language skills by practising new words and phrases daily (and sometimes they even understand!), we’re certainly enjoying their foods, loving the price of their wines, getting around on local transport …. just settling in really. We’ve established little routines for daily chores, running and walking, shopping, eating in, eating out, beach time and generally exploring. We never stop feeling incredibly lucky that we have been able to retire (so young!) …. we plan to use the time wisely while we gently transition into old age!
So Thursday and Friday we just chilled on the beach after walks and runs. Steve has ventured back out and is building himself up despite some continuing discomfort. He has the small matter of a marathon in May and naturally will be doing everything in his power to be on those starting blocks. I’ll naturally be on the sidelines with the jelly babies!
On Saturday, Steve got up early to do a local run – well I say early, we’re becoming like teenagers, not surfacing till mid-morning some days … and we’re not even having wildly late nights. If we’re not careful we’ll soon be going to bed before we get up!! Chilled? We’re practically horizontal!
Later in the day though we ventured out by train to Malaga – there’s so much to see and do there and we’ve only just scratched the surface. It’s a stunning city and a perfect size for exploring on foot, the streets and magnificent buildings are tightly packed together and accessible – I believe the town planning was of Moorish origins. We wanted to retrace our steps from the amazing wine and tapas tour we had done with Alicia – we got a little sidetracked at times but we did find all the amazing bars she took us to (we’re practising for when Alice arrives – she’ll be SO impressed with our local knowledge)!
We walked through the famous Malaga market and saw the vibrant food stalls – and at each corner the popular tapas bars we’d been told about, great atmosphere.
We wandered around the city, soaking up all it had to offer. At one of the many squares we noticed a group of young adults, dressed up in colourful tutus and flamenco dresses – we guessed they were going to embark on a traditional performance so slowed in our pace – when the music started they broke into the ‘Macarena’ routine … it was all I could do to hold Steve back – he knows all the moves you know, thanks to Emma’s meticulous training during our kitchen dancing over the years!
Walked on further and found a perfect tapas restaurant in the cathedral square – we sat and enjoyed the scenery as well as a jug of sangria and a few tapas dishes – it’s all so affordable too – we’re living like students. From there we had an interesting walk – churches, art galleries, shops, sculptures and quirky sightings …. and then more tapas bars – a little vino blanco and some more tasty tapas in each one.
On our way back to the station we popped into our favourite quaint little sherry bar to finish off a great afternoon/evening – cheers!
Castillo Monumento Colomares
The next few days saw us back to general routines of running, walking and beaching – weather not so great, even some rain at times, and windy!!
On Wednesday we decided on a little walk uphill to a very ornate castle type thing we had seen from a distance, and wanted to explore further. Google maps indicated a 50 minute walking route but guess what …. Steve knew a shortcut – of course he did!! So before long we found ourselves on an off-road trail with a steep incline. Now I hate to be a wuss so I go along with these things … but then I am a wuss – I ended up on all fours going up, because my rucksack loaded with heavy camera was pulling me backwards, and I descended mostly on my bottom (through thistles – and I have the grazes to prove it) due to the steepness. Once back on normal paths we still faced an extremely uphill trek … and naturally the sun decided to beat down at this point. Made our way to the Castillo de Colomares though and it was well worth a visit. It is a monument in the form of a castle, dedicated to the life and adventures of Christopher Columbus. Not somewhere to spend hours but something to admire and the views over Benalmadena were stunning.
From there we walked further uphill to the beautiful Benalmadena Pueblo. Cheated the very last bit by getting into a pretty battered looking and very jumpy street lift – always such a relief when the doors open! And yes, you guessed it – we found ourselves in our favourite tapas joint in our favourite square in the Pueblo – wine/beer and tapas as our reward.
Had a relaxing couple of hours at our apartment pool in the afternoon – so sunny but still only the ducks making use of the pool. I keep trying the water but it’s not getting any warmer.
Took the train into Fuengirola in the evening. Alli had recommended a Spanish bar/restaurant that they had enjoyed on a recent Redway Runners’ trip – Tabanko El Callejon. We found it and loved the place – full of Spanish charm and bullfighting memorabilia. All the tables were reserved though so we just had drinks and moved into another pretty square for yet more tapas – can’t get enough of these tasty selections of food … and everywhere you go the choices are quite different.
Preparing for Alice!
And apart from all that – it’s soon to be all about Alice!! One more sleep – not that we’re excited or anything!! I’ve written up an itinerary for her 6 days, want to maximise every minute … I have left her some free choosing time though like any good tour guide would!! So time to get the room prepared and we’re off soon to buy in those essentials – nutella, croissants, pineapple, chocolate, humus, snacks …. oh and the odd bottle of two of vino blanco.
Safe flight Alice – see you for big hugs tomorrow!