From the mountains to the coast and back up again…

So we moved from the Sierra Nevada down to the coast and the area around Nerja to start with. Stayed very close to the beach on the edge of the town so we could be proper tourists with a drink at sunset on the sand! It was an easy ride into town to explore the old winding streets before ice cream in the main square. It’s tricky getting your head around the fact its sunny, early January and there’s no tourists but plenty of locals.

We couldn’t not do another epic, so headed up, and I mean up, to a town called Frigliana and the tiny villages above it at c. 1300ft. Frigliana was a pretty, steep, hill town with a warren of tiny streets and staircases, felt a bit like an escape town for locals away from the touristy beach areas. Stylish cafes and restaurants, we looked out of place in our padded cycling pants and high viz gear!

From there we moved on to El Rincon, c. 18km East of Malaga. Easy bike ride here along a beach edge path along to Malaga. More people at this site (c. 20 vehicles of all shapes and sizes) from all over Europe; Swiss, Finland, Belgium, Germany, France and UK to name some.

Headed into Malaga and have now drawn the conclusion that Spain has a problem finishing its cathedrals! Forget the magnificent Sagrada Familia, Malaga Cathedral has only one of its towers and they didn’t get around to the dome at all. Malaga has a variety of spaces from the new port area with birds of paradise plants lining the streets (see my Old Bird, New Bird pic… well I found it funny!) to a maze of back streets and cafes, castle ramparts and walls. Malaga has a real buzz, especially given this was the day before they celebrate Epiphany/Three Kings Day (Jan 6th) The streets were busy with gift buying and cake buying.

There’s an interesting parallel with King Cake here, a Spanish celebration, and the King Cakes devoured at Mardi Gras New Orleans, of French Origin. The cakes look remarkably similar and nod to religious festivals, Epiphany and the start of Lent. Anyhow we joined in with some locals nearby on the 6th, very unplanned, for a super lunch before wandering back to the van (we’ve named it Fred) without falling into the sea!

Those of you stuck in a cold UK will be pleased to know that it’s been raining here today (and tomorrow) so other than a walk to the shop along a prom, blasted by big waves we’ve just been working out next stops. Spain’s current rules run until 10th, if there is any sign that provinces will lock down (rather than just regions) for travel we will need to be able to hot foot it to Cadiz province and probably head back inland. We’ll know soon anyhow.

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