Batten Down the Hatches and Going Round the Bends …


A day for catching up with the correspondence, sitting here high above a valley full of splendid views, if only we could see them! Not only is the vista obscured by clouds and lashing rain, the windows of the van are all steamed up as we have had to bring the roof down for fear of being blown away. Still it’s good to be close to nature.

We managed to cycle into the town of Nerja this morning, arriving just as the rain began. Good job we had our rain proof jackets, though there were a couple of soggy bottoms by the time we got back to the van.

Castle at Almunécar

Such a contrast to the previous two days, the first of which was spent exploring the coast eastwards to the town of Almuňécar; a classic ride with well graded climbs followed by free-wheeling descents over a series of capes. With the sparking azure sea on one side and towering hills on the other, all was well with the world.  Yesterday’s ride has to rate as one of the best either of us has ever done. The forty seven mile circuit started easily enough, taking in sedate the promenades along the beach fronts of Nerja and Torrox. Then it got interesting with increasingly jaw-dropping panoramas as we climbed higher and higher up steep-sided valleys to the whitewashed town of Competá. The valley sides are dotted with grand villas and more humble dwellings, with seemingly impossible access, but the most spectacular aspects towards the sea.  Impressions of the Wild West are hard to ignore with striking, giant, Aloe Vera plants and prickly pears, resplendent with bright red fruits in such abundance. Competá clings to the hillside, with the sun reflecting off the heat repelling, uniformly white, façades. Negotiating the steep and winding streets is perhaps better suited to the nimble, cute mountain deer we have seen, than a middle aged couple pushing their bikes in search of sustenance.  The route back through a different, converging valley almost defies description. Slalom on bikes – constantly transferring weight to negotiate zig-zagging hairpins in the balmy breeze. We could get hooked on this cycling lark!

On the way to Competá

A proposed detour inland to Granada to visit the world renowned Alhambra (13-14th century Moorish palace-fortress) has been postponed to a future visit due to lack of preparation.  With bookable tickets being sold out four months in advance, it did not seem prudent to make the circa 200 mile round trip in the vague hope that we might get two of the daily allocations.

Our current camp-site and the one at Maro near to Nerja are in complete contrast to our expectations of the Costa Del Sol and its hinterland, being so quiet and with such unspoilt views – clearly not all sun-loungers and sangria.

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