After the departure of our guests we spent the following few days doing very little, we sat and enjoyed the sunshine on the balcony, did a bit of shopping and had a couple of walks along the Promenade into Sabanillas and Estepona, but nothing overly strenuous. On the Monday evening, whilst sat out on the balcony watching the sunset, I suggested to my beloved that we return to Mijas Pueblo on the Wednesday so that I could purchase my incense burner and perhaps have a spot of lunch whilst there, we would not have to stay very long seeing as we had visited there just a week ago. She did not speak at first but just gave me ‘the look‘, the look that spoke volumes, the look that said, “I really do not want to go back there again so soon” or perhaps it was the look that was saying, “Damn it !! I was hoping you may have forgotten about buying that piece of Tourist Tat !!“, whatever it was saying it didn’t really matter for I just knew that ‘Look‘ !! After a few moments of thought, she spoke, “Let’s go and get your incense burner but come back down to Fuengirola and have lunch there“. It was a good compromise, we both liked Fuengirola, I would get my piece of ‘Tourist Tat’ and we would have lunch out, a win, win situation all round I thought to myself, but tried not to look too smug about it, I was however still a little apprehensive, like Theresa May and Brexit, I do not usually get to win negotiations this easily, at least not without their being some sort of personal consequence.
The following morning, on our balcony, enjoying the sunshine, drinking our coffee and catching up on World events on my iPad, she asked “Do you need to go to Mijas this week or could you leave it and go at some other time ?“. I knew I should have got her to sign our deal in blood, but no, I had allowed her a whole night to think about an escape plan. “Why ?” was my short response, “Well, before the weather changes, how about I take you on a real Shazza adventure ?” she responded, that conniving glint in her eyes as she spoke. “What do you mean a real adventure ?” I asked, with an apprehensive tone in my voice. She smiled, “Just a mystery trip, one where you really don’t have a clue about where we are going” she said. “The weather isn’t forecast to change in the coming week” I said inquisitively, “But it could change in the place that I am thinking of taking you to” she replied.
Further backwards and forwards conversation ensued between us, but to cut a long story short, knowing that in the end she would get her own way, I conceded, a Shazza ‘mystery’ adventure it was going to be.
However, that afternoon on our daily walk she asked, “Do you want to know where I am planning on taking you ?“, I knew already that it would not have remained a mystery for very long, we generally take the Sat Nav and plot the route when we get in the car, so I would have been able to have seen where we were headed, unless she made me do the trip blindfold !! Anyway, I played along, “No, not really, I am looking forward to a proper Shazza mystery adventure“. I could tell that she was actually quite keen to tell me just by the frown on her face when I declined, “But what if you don’t like it when we get there ?” she said, I could sense the frustration in her tone, “Well that is what mystery trips are all about aren’t they ?” I responded. Now it isn’t as if I am a cynical sort of person (well maybe just on the odd occasion ?), but I was beginning to think that perhaps Shazza had been having second thoughts about the location of this ‘Mystery Trip’ and, rather than her being seen to change her mind, it would be a more face-saving outcome, for her, if it was me who took the decision not to go, I may of course have been totally wrong but I decided to test the water anyway. “So go on, tell me more about this mystery trip then” I said, “Well” she started, “I thought we could drive to ‘San Roque’, park the car and catch the train up into the mountains to a little town called ‘Benadalid‘” she explained, now normally she would have done some research on places before we go and visit and so would have had an idea of what their was to both see and do, a Church, Monastery, Castle, Ancient Ruins, Market, all that sort of stuff, but nothing was forthcoming from her, which again was most unusual. “So, what is in this town for us to do ?” which I thought was quite a logical sort of question, but to my complete surprise her response was short, “Not a lot” she said. Now my unusually cynical nature was screaming at me, confirming what I thought that I already knew, Shazza did not really want to go to this place up in the mountains, but surely, this cunning diversion of hers could not be solely to prevent me from going back to Mijas to purchase my small piece of ‘Tourist Tat‘, could it ?
She needed a ‘get out’ and I knew that I could provide it, “So, this train, how long would we have to wait before we could get another to get back ?” I asked, “Four hours” she replied. The conclusion of this dialogue was rapidly approaching and even though I knew it would not end well, for me that is, I was willing to put her out of her misery because ‘that is what Love is’. “So” I said, “We travel up on a train into the mountains to this small town, where there is not a lot to do, and then we may have to twiddle our thumbs for a few hours before we can leave, that doesn’t sound a lot of fun really”. It was exactly the response that she knew that I would make, you see we know each other so well, “Well, if you don’t want to go” she said, in a fake disappointed tone. Then, just to reinforce her disappointment, I then had to go through the Symbolic female silent treatment, yes, I was in the ‘dog house’ or, as the Spanish would say, ‘En La Casa de Perros‘. It would have been simpler if she had just told me that she thought the incense burner was ‘junk’ and that she didn’t want to waste time and money buying it. Yes, I may have sulked for a little while, like a child whose mother has told him that he cannot have the chocolate bar whilst going around the supermarket, but generally she would just ignore me when I do that or more likely she would have just told me, in a stern voice, to “Get over myself“. But perhaps, on this occasion, it was that she felt guilty about her own recent purchases, I refer of course to her growing personal collection of different flavoured ‘Gins’, which of course I made no adverse comments about ? One thing is for certain, we will never discover the truth so if nothing else, we still do end up with a ‘Shazza Mystery’
The sunshine and warm temperatures continued, we knew from our previous annual Winter trips that there would be a break in the weather at some point, we just didn’t know when, the ‘Works of Fiction’ were all forecasting much of the same, day time temperatures between 19-22 degrees(c) and plenty of sunshine, so it was always good to make the most of it when it was here. We decided that we would drive to the large ‘free’ car park on the sea front at ‘San Pedro’, we had been here on a couple of previous occasions and walked along the promenades to ‘Puerta Banus’, quite a reasonable distance in its own right. However we had never ventured much further, but, if you felt so inclined to do so, you could follow this Coastal Route to Marbella and even beyond that. We had no intention of walking all the way to Marbella and elected to just saunter until we got tired, remembering of course that we would also have to walk all the way back again !! We had not prepared a picnic lunch so I already knew that it would be a case of stopping somewhere en route and buying lunch, money that could have been utilised on purchasing my small piece of ‘Tourist Tat’ I thought to myself, but thought better of actually vocalising this opinion to my beloved !!
There was quite a thick sea mist when we departed the apartment, the mountain tops were quite clear and we could see the sunshine on even the highest peaks, but we couldn’t make out the shoreline or the horizon on the seaward side, but the ‘Works of Fiction’ had all been singing the same tune and forecast a sunny and warm day and so we proceeded with our planned walk for the day. It was a twenty-mile drive to San Pedro, we were dressed, as is usual, in tee-shirts, shorts and flip-flops but had brought our ‘hoodies’ just in case. However, when we arrived at our walk starting point, although the mist was still on the sea, it was burning off and it was not chilly or damp so we left our ‘hoodies’ in the car as we didn’t want to have to carry them.
These walks of ours were not just about the actual physical walk, we enjoyed the exercise, especially with views like these, but we also enjoyed the ‘people watching’ opportunities along the way.
Whether it was because we had done so much chatting along our first part of the walk, oh yes, I should just mention that I was eventually let out of the ‘Casa de Perros’, but we arrived at Puerta Banus much quicker than we thought that we would. We have been here on several previous occasions just to look at what ‘Mega Yachts’ had been moored up and to see if there were any celebrities in residence that we may have recognised, but alas, whilst their multi-million vessels were here, the owners were never visible, if they were here at all that is, and this visit was no different. I had told Shazza that it was a waste of time wearing our diamond studded shorts and ruby encrusted flip-flops but would she listen !! But our disappointment of not being invited on-board for a morning coffee was short-lived as there was something different in town to attract our attention, the Christmas Market’
There was something not quite right about this festive scene, perhaps it was the total lack of people, the Marina frontage with all its glitzy (interpret that as expensive) shops, bars and restaurants were empty, I do not mean only a handful of people, I really mean ‘Empty’, it really was like a ghost town. However, it was daylight and very sunny, but even so, festively decorated wooden huts are just not the same without the colourful lights twinkling in the darkness, there was no Christmas music to remind us that ‘Santa Claus was indeed coming to town‘, no aroma of mulled wine, no crackling of hot embers whilst ‘Chesnuts roasted on an open fire‘, their were no sweet smells of candy floss, brandy snaps or caramel toffee so I took some token photographs as we wandered past and then we got back to our walk, but now we were in new territory, we had never walked beyond this point before
We could see Marbella, it looked within walking distance and probably would have been if the walk had been in a straight line. However, looking ahead we could see the winding coastal path and estimated that, at our pace, it would have taken at least another hour of walking, if not more, which would not have been too bad but once there you could not leave without having a saunter around the Marina and then go up into the ‘Old Town’, a lot more walking !! We could have saved our legs a bit of a walk back by catching the catamaran ferry service from Marbella to Puerta Banus, but we would still have had to walk from there back to San Pedro, our discussion on the subject was very brief and we were unanimous in our decision, we turned around and headed back trying not to look too often at Puerta Banus in the distance.
When we got back to Puerta Banus it was well past the ‘British Lunchtime’ but just into the ‘Spanish’ equivalent, at around half past two, perfect timing !! We had no preference as to what we wanted to eat other than this would be our ‘main meal’ of the day, neither of us would have had the energy, let alone the motivation, to want to cook a meal back at the apartment that evening. There were plenty of establishments advertising ‘Menu del Dia’, three courses and a drink for around €20 each, more expensive than in Estepona or Sabinillas, but we were after all in a high-end ‘glitzy’ environment, so even at these prices it wasn’t bad value. The problem was, not only did we not know what type of food we wanted, Spanish, English, Indian, Chinese, Italian, Moroccan etc. etc. etc. but there was just so much choice. We did not want to sit inside out of the sunshine, we did not want to be the only one’s sat eating at the restaurant and there was a lot of empty establishments !! We had virtually run out of choices as we got ever closer to the end of the Marina and back to the promenade in the direction of San Pedro, but then, just as we thought it was looking like we would have to settle for Burger ‘n’ Chips, we came across a ‘Lebanese’ restaurant, which, although not packed out with customers, had sufficient to prevent it from being an isolated experience. The outside seating area provided shade but it had wonderful views over the sea and the boating entrance to the Marina moorings. Although this establishment was not offering the ‘Menu del Dia’, the prices were very reasonable and the menu choices got our gastric juices flowing, we had three courses and a drink and the final bill worked out just €10 more than it would if we had gone down the ‘Menu del Dia’ route.
We eventually made it back to the car, it was late afternoon but the sun was still shining, our calf muscles were informing us that this had been more than just a stroll !! The bottom of my heels were red from being constantly flipped and flopped by rubber, next time I will wear my trainers !! We both enjoyed the chance to sit down in the comfort of the car seats, it was only a short drive back to our ‘bolt hole’, but sufficient time for my legs to try to resist the effort of getting out of the car and walking across the car park. We spent the rest of the evening just sat in our comfy chairs looking out upon our sea views and watching the sun set. It did not take long to recover from our full day of walking and we both reflected on what a good day it had been but agreed that the following day would be a rest day, other than the minimal effort it would take to pour a cooling glass or three of falling over juice, or perhaps two, it would after all be rude not to ?
Although we still have a couple of weeks before the festive periods begin, and our next visitors arrive, we have no pre-determined plans on taking any more trips, although I cannot with any amount of certainty say that Shazza will not decide on any further ‘Adventures’ in that time, so as this may be my last ‘ramblings’ for 2018, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you all for taking the time to read, and provide comments, on my blog posts and to wish you all, wherever you may be in the world, a safe and Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
🎅🏼 Feliz Navidad Y Feliz Ano Nuevo 🤶🏻