Day out in Andalucia

We have been so lucky with the sunshine. The 8th November brought us a warm and cloudless day. Perfect for our adventures with a Skoda. Below is Kingfisher in her comfy berth in Marina del Ester in the early light.



The car company picked us all up at 10.00 and drove us to the rental centre in Almencar (another warehouse affair; this time next to a drive-in McDonalds!). Before collecting the car, we walked through the town to find the Castilla del San Miguel, hoping to find a brewery inside. Instead, there was a set of ruins on a magnificent defensive coastal promontory which has apparently played a vital part in many chapters of Mediterranean history. We managed about 45 minutes of that before heading back to pick up the wheels.







Driving into the hinterland to a village called Otivar we found a restaurant called "Buenavista", with, not surprisingly, "beautiful views"….it was probably owned by the brother of the car rental man who recommended it to us but we all had very large quantities of delicious steak. Ox not beef. It was a great meal but even the boys decided that we would have to have something other than meat for dinner. We drove on into the hills on a road without a straight section of more than 100m for mile after mile through stunning scenery.  It would make an exceptional episode of Top Gear; but perhaps not in a Skoda. We stopped at more or less the top of the run to take pictures such as the one below:



Moving on, we came to a town called Alhama de Malaga which contained some amazing sites and buildings, all in a state of disrepair with little sign of any remedial work going on.  It was a sobering reminder of the state of the Spanish economy. Along the way, we picked up a local tour guide with four legs and a tail. We shall call him/her Darcy (Bussell) on account of his/her dancing steps while following us everywhere we went.



Skipper looking strangely impatient (that never happens!)



…and our tour guide, Darcy.



We drove back to the coast, hitting it at Torre del Mar and headed East to Nerja which had been recommended for dinner.  There we found a more affluent seaside town with lots of great restaurants and bars.  We followed "Ben Advisor" again and ate in a great pizza restaurant (really good pizzas) for around £8 a head.  Flush with this economic success we then blew the same amount on ice creams for pudding and the same again going to a Flamenco dancing bar. This was a charming family affair complete with very slightly past it Mama (showing a bit too much leg at times) and what we assumed were two daughters and one bloke who could really do the dancing bit rather well.  It started out poorly and just got better and better as they and the audience got into the spirit of the whole thing.  Eventually, audience participation was required and my crew members' blushes can only be spared because the mailasail blog will not take video.  (the footage will be released later under licence…). For an idea of the scene, I can only offer you the photos below…