“Where on Earth is Fuengirola?” we hear you all ask. As you drive along the Costa del Sol towards Malaga you come to the seaside resort of Fuengirola, one of many such places along the coast. There are so many that it becomes hard to tell when one ends and the next one begins. So for the next three nights we are enjoying sea views from our sixth floor mini apartment. To get here we had a very interesting drive.
We said goodbye to Seville with some very happy memories. The apartment staff were really helpful and it was great to be able to fully cater for ourselves for the first time on this trip. Having a fridge made all the difference. We could have cold milk on our cereals and cold beers at the end of the day.
Our journey today took us south towards Cadiz, which we by-passed, and instead travelled through the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales. We had a wonderful boot lunch under the shade of cork oak trees. We were in el toro country and we half expected Ferdinand the Bull to emerge and give us the evil eye. Matadoress Marilyn was always on the lookout
for trouble but fortunately nothing happened except for some rather voracious ants hovering around during lunch.
One reason for taking this route was to get a glimpse of the famous Rock of Gibraltar. Coming out of the National Park there it was in all its hazy glory. We took the opportunity of a visit to this rocky little country hoping for another stamp in our passport. No such luck. The Spanish officials only wanted to know if we had a passport and the Gibraltar official looked bored watching all these crazy people walk past his little cubicle and then we were in Gibraltar. It was easier to leave the car in Spain and walk across the border which meant a walk across the airport runway! Quite a sense of power as we stood in the centre of the tarmac taking photos looking straight down the middle.
We had a big decision to make; walk into town or see the Eastern Beaches. The Eastern Beaches won. Bad move. It was about a 30 minute walk beside the famous rock face past road works and a huge pile of rubble in 26 degree temperatures. So far no glimpse of the sea...
Once we got to the beach it was like an English beach scene with bobbies patrolling the streets, parking attendants sorting out the cars, restaurants with left-over food spilling off dirty plates and overcrowded bars. We were in need of a cold drink and a toilet stop so went into a “nice” restaurant and ordered two Sprites. It was as though we had ordered the moon. Eventually they came but no one could work out how much they were. When the bill arrived - £3.20!!!! “Sorry I only have euros”. Oh. A quick calculation - €3.84!!! “I can only give change in pounds”, said the barman. “That’s ok we are going back to the UK later in the year”. With £4.80 in change in our pocket, a Sprite inside us and relief all round we headed back to the border with nothing to declare and no one really interested that we might have been fugitives from Portugal, or Africa or anywhere else really. We read later that the Gibraltar pounds we now had may be worthless anywhere else. Perhaps a UK parking meter might take them.
So with a somewhat tarnished view of Gibraltar we headed towards Malaga and
our next stay in Fuengirola.
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