As some readers will know, Sharon and I bought a share in a small apartment on the Costa del Sol last year. Furthermore, as we also have a good amount of air miles (which is a longer story than needs repeating here), we decided to visit during last week’s half term holiday.
We arrived in Spain fairly early on Monday, following a very early flight from Manchester. We’d left home at 4:30am, with less than three hours sleep (and I had a sore throat), so the overcast weather we saw upon our arrival was a little foreboding. Still, it wasn’t far to the car rental place, Malagacar.com, and we were quickly on our way in a Toyota Auris.
The first thing we did was park the car in front of the apartment block and unpack. Once we’d done that, I went and moved the car into the official car park but when I got back to the apartment the door-key wouldn’t work! Luckily, Sharon was still inside so we were able to strip the lock apart and to confirm the lock’s knackeredness. Luckily (again) we found ex apartment-partner (and close neighbour) Bernard in and he was able to tell us that there was a spare lock in a drawer (we’ve no idea why). So we found that and fitted it!
The cloud didn’t lift all day and my throat simply got worse, so after shopping we came home, had tea and went to bed (8:30pm – slept through to 7:30am).
We were much less tired by the time we awoke, and actually saw the sun rise for about 10 minutes, as it lifted itself out of the sea and then disappeared behind the shroud of cloud that had not left since yesterday. A sort of ‘hola’, ‘adios’!
Since we were too cold, we thought that we’d pop into Los Boliches and see what they had in the way of ‘appropriate’ clothing (this was our first autumn in southern Spain – so our guess at what was required was way out).
We found a chemist easily enough and bought a spray for my throat, then trawled round looking for something a little warmer than a shirt and some more socks. Sharon needed socks too, and something warm to sleep in. We DID manage (ish) but because of the rain that had started, we were drenched through to the skin by the time we got back to the car.
- Lunch was the same as last night’s tea: salad, anchovies, roast red peppers, Serrano ham, slices of Gouda cheese and crappy white bread squares.
- Tea was: pan-fried cod with honey and garlic (and peanuts), asparagus and a jar of chickpeas/spinach. Lovely.
And that was that for Tuesday. We just stayed in and read for the rest of the day – the rain never let up and although the temperature gauge said 20° we needed plenty of heating to dry our clothes and to stop our teeth from chattering.
This was a much better start to the day. With very few clouds in the sky this morning, we had a magnificent sunrise once again.
We went into Los Boliches during the morning, to get new keys cut for the lock we replaced on Monday. There are ten partners in the apartment, each requiring two new keys, so when we found a fereteria we had to wait for twenty keys to be cut, filed and finished! €1.40 each. So that was the morning gone.
- Lunch was much the same as before and after eating, we drove back down the hill for a long walk along the front. It got colder as the afternoon wore on, so when we’d had enough and fancied a coffee, we decided to come back to the apartment and make our own!
- For tea, we ate at Pepe’s across the road – ok, nothing to write home about.
I stopped using the throat spray today. It HAD helped but it was ferocious. Each spray felt like someone had climbed inside my mouth and slashed it with a razor blade.
Straight after breakfast we set off for Alcaidesa, to meet John and Carol at Michelle and James’s place. Now that Michelle (Jon and Carol’s daughter) is stationed in Gibraltar, they are setting up home there and John and Carol are visiting for the week. We’d arranged to stay there with them overnight and to have a trip around Gibraltar on Friday.
Once we got sorted out in the afternoon, we drove up the coast to a marina somewhere, where we had a drink and a nice walk in the hot sunshine. It had rained on the way to Alcaidesa, but was much better by the afternoon. In the evening, once James had got home from work, we all went into La Linier for tapas. James explained the difference between tapas and raciones, so whilst visiting a couple of places, we enjoyed a number of ‘raciones’. Lovely.
We had a steady start to the morning and after breakfast John and I cycled down to the beach at Alcaidesa for some wonderful views of the Rock. The ride back was MUCH harder!
Michelle had arranged for us to have a tour of ‘The Great North Road’, part of the 34 miles of tunnels to be found inside the Rock. We were met at 3:00pm by Gary Mitchell who then took us on a very interesting and informative tour of the longest straight road in Gibraltar. This area of tunnels is not normally open to the public and can only be arranged through the military. Thanks Michelle.
By now, it had started to rain so, following a drink and some snacks at Michelle and James’s house, we set off home. The weather was horrendous and resulted in a fairly nervous drive. This was the first time I’d driven a left-hand drive car in the dark, in such weather.
We had pizza for tea, from downstairs – it was coolish by the time we got it up to the apartment (ninth floor), but tasty enough.
Today was an absolutely appalling day weather-wise. We drifted into Los Boliches for some last minute stuff and then came home and festered in the apartment with all of the heating on. By now, we had the sense to wear shorts and sandals in the rain – so there was much less drying off required when we returned.
For lunch we had sautéed new potatoes and chorizo with pueblo bread
For tea, we had tuna steak, poached in garlic butter, with fresh asparagus and sauté potatoes. Yummy.
Had a lazy start to what turned out to be a cloudy day.
Then, as it hadn’t rained, we walked down the hill to Torreblanca and along the front through Los Boliches. The cloud did disperse a little down on the front, so it was nice to walk (and have a couple of beers) on the front. It’s quite a steep climb back up to our apartment block, but not unpleasant, given the way the weather stayed fine.
For tea, we visited the pizza place underneath the apartment block and had an enjoyable, filling meal.