Today we went off on another bus trip. This time we went east for 27 kilometers to the most beautiful, small town of Nerja. The bus / coach journey took us all along the coast where Elaine and and I had cycled and we passed the place where we had the super lunch. The terminus at Nerja is away from the sea front in the town centre so we walked down and there we saw the most beautiful hotel, right on the sea front with its own beach and all the rooms at the front of the hotel have an idyllic view all along the coast, either side.
So we went in and have booked a deluxe suite, which will have the amazing sea views, for the 1st and 2nd of December so that we can celebrate our anniversary in style. I am sure you can see from the picture why we will be willing to give up sleeping in our motorhome for the two nights.
We walked around the narrow streets that were full of very nice shops and boutiques and by midday the temperature was up to around 23 degrees so we sat outside a small bar, eating tapas, drinking ice cooled beer and people watched as they passed us by. Nerja is obviously a very popular place for us tourists and we heard lots of English conversations from people as we passed them by.
We chose not to visit the caves with its stalagmites and stalactites and the the very elegant aqueduct that are amoung the visitor attractions for the town to give us something else to see on our return.
This is the first time I have heard Elaine describing a Spaniard as stiff and formal.
Today (the 18th)
From Nerja all the way down to Malaga and all the way up to the Sierra de Camarolos mountain range is called Axarquia and the different mountain ranges give their name to area of they national park that they border. The different regions of the area as a whole, each specialize in the crops that grow there and the routes are named after that main crop. So there is the Route of the Raisins, the Route of Sun and Wine ( grape vines), the Oil and and Mountains route ( mainly olives trees everywhere) and the central, southerly routes area called the Sun and Avocado Route
So we decided to take our motorhome out of the campsite so that we could drive around what has been described as a beautiful place to see. We drove north out of Torre del Mar following the Sun and Avocado route and the roads gently climbed until we reached a village called La Vinuela
which borders a very large reservoir. On our way we stopped at this fruit stall that was right in the middle of nowhere and we bought 3 kilos of oranges, mangoes and some pomegranates from the lovely guy who owned this roadside market.
We headed North again and now the climb became more severe and the Oil and Mountain route is very well named because olive trees were everywhere and the mountains were all around us as we climbed our way to a beautiful white town of Periana.
We spent a very pleasant hour wandering around the town and despite the fact that we were over 500 meters above sea level the temperature was a very pleasant 23 degrees.
After this the driving got very interesting indeed because from there we headed east and we were now in the Sierra de Tejeda National Park. We climbed and climbed on narrow, very windy roads and often there were no barriers by the side of the roads.
Probably the biggest regret was that despite the warm, sunny weather there was a haze which meant that it was impossible to get that perfect photograph. Also, I found it most frustrating to see that perfect view that demanded that its photograph had to be taken only to find that there was nowhere to park safely off the narrow roadway. In their wisdom the National Park authorities provided picnic areas in places with spectacular views but didn’t provide parking areas nearby. I am sure cyclists or walkers would be able to enjoy to enjoy these facilities but car drivers and people driving 7.04 meter long motorhomes had no chance.
Elaine spotted a white van right across the valley, way above where we were and she said that she hoped that we were not going to be going on that same road,. She pointed out that the van was going very slowly and it looked like it was really struggling to get up the steep hill it was on. It was no surprise then that the van passed us sometime later going the other way and now we were on that very narrow road. We did just over 50 miles during the day and the both of us have decided that although we have done lots of mountain driving in England, France, Spain and Italy our drive today was way up with the best because of the stunning scenery and the variation in the scenery that we passed