Thursday, June 21, 2012


June - 2012

After leaving the Rock of Gibraltar, we headed to a little beach town that we had heard about on the south coast of Spain called Nerja.  Though not much of a beach person, I knew Zack wanted to go beaching.And so we went.  It was a rat race, but looking back it was fun just bus hopping to get there.  We walked out of Gibraltar to the bus station in Spain, got lucky and caught a bus that was leaving for Malaga 40 minutes after we arrived in the station.  When we got to Malaga, two hours later, at about 8:00 we expected to have to stay in Malaga for the night.  Not a terrible thing, but Malaga is not on the top 20 sites of Spain. We had no idea of when busses left from Malaga for Nerja, and as luck would have it, we had about 7 minutes from the time we arrived in Malaga to buy a ticket, find the gate, and get on the bus.  It had to be bang bang bang.  No time for even commas between repetitive adjectives.  We hopped the bus and 2 hours later, we arrived in Nerja, without a map, hotel, or a clue.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the beach. It was either because of the all-you-can-eat paella and $2 glasses of Sangria at Ayo's...
  it could have been the very comfortable $4 chaise lounge...
 it could have been the 1/2 naked people running around.  Yep, that might have been it...

At night, Zack and I would walk around town jumping from ice cream stand to tapas to beer to aubergines (eggplant), that were lightly battered, splash deep fried, and then drizzled with honey!
Wow! Are they good.

My great friend, Peter, had always told me how good the fish, especially the bacalao were in Spain, and Don Pedro, I owe you one.  I can think of no better meal than a plate of aubergines, bacalao, and a cold cold Mahou!
Only regret... Wish Pedro could have been there to enjoy it.

 Another reason to go.... I heard about a guy name Ayo, who was a retired Spanish Jock/hippie (think Ricky Williams??) who cooked paella on the beach.
  Seriously, all the Paella I could eat - for $6.50!!  And I can eat paella.  Above us only blue skies and grape vines.  No walls for the restaurant except the wall of water that was the tide.  Friendly waiters!  Yes, you read that right!  Friendly waiters and in Spain!!!  

Leaving the bus station, we came across a tiny hostel at 10:30 at night, we were too tired to be choosey so we stopped in the first hostel we came across, The Hostel Sol y Mar and little manager Danny DeVito character that was a scream.... No, he was really a scream!!  At 6:oo in the morning he'd be yelling at the top of his wee little lungs to someone.  Nothing was done quietly.  When I would ask him a question, he'd go in great detail at a high volume, always good natured and with a smile.  He was a good guy.

Nerja is a beautiful town, and for the most part well-kept.  Clean streets and fun to walk around in.  The town catered to British, Germans, and Scandinavians.  Lot's of pubs, and English magazines.  Not much traffic as evidenced by Fido taking a siesta in the middle of the street.

The walk to the beach was particularly pretty with purple flowers and views of the beach below.  Funny how if you can manage to take your mind off your current plight, how easy it is to forget the task at hand.  The walk from the hotel to the beach was about 25 minutes, but when we'd walk by the flowers, it was as if time flew by.  Mind over matter.  If you don't mind... then it doesn't matter.

Nerja was easily a place I could have stayed for a few more days... or years
The water was cool
the sun was hot
the beer was cold
the people were not

What was also nice was that when we left the States, we had no intention of going to Nerja, but out of blind luck, some planning, and a willingness to stick our heads out of our shell (guide book), we stumbled across a gem. Having Danny DeVito there made it just that much better!  Having Zack there may it awesome!!  Well... having Zack there and those naked boogies on the beach made it awesome!

It was great to have a Nerja moment to follow the Gibraltar moment.  Don't want to have too many Gibraltar days.  Do want to have many many more Nerja days.  Nothing but good memories!