Thursday, 7 January 2010

Andalucia Tapas Tour

Well we arrived safely in Fuengirola after a 5 hour drive through Spain. The weather varied a lot on route with one hour of sunshine followed by torrential rain and even hail storms at times. We were surprised by the poor standards of the highway as we drove through the urban sprawl of Madrid but as we reached the province of Malaga the roads suddenly opened up and improved which was just as well as they also got much busier. Spanish drivers do love to sit in the middle lane of the motorway at all costs and hate using their headlight in bad weather! Mile after mile of olive tree plantation reached out into the horizon and up every mountain south of Madrid. It must be a good place to buy olive oil I thought!
We reached our destination - Casa Mimosa high up in the mountains outside Fuengirola at 8pm. Thank God for our sat nav Tom Tom !! Our base for the next few weeks is a beautiful white cactus clad Andalucian villa positioned on three levels into the mountain. It is equipped with a delightful fruit garden and various sun terraces along with a swimming pool which has breathtaking views over the Mediterranean sea . Inside we have all the usual mod cons one would expect and am surprised to see a log fire in the lounge! It must get cold in the evenings after all!
The beautiful village of Mijas was only a short drive down the mountain and so having unpacked we headed for the tapas bars. High on the agenda was cold beers followed by tapas. It was strange to pass so many British bars (Churchill’s looked cosy but the Dragoon Bar had seen better days and customers!). We settled for Mijas bar, a classic Andalucian tapas bar in the middle of the village which was full of revellers enjoying the festive spirit - not so surprising given it was December 23rd! We sampled various delights which were all simply delicious and exceedingly good value at E1.50 each. They ranged from grilled razor mussels sprinkled with lemon juice, thin slices of the famous Iberian black pig ham (Jamon Iberico)served on bread and of course the Tortilla de Patatas which for me is mandatory when having a cold beer! It was soon time to call it a day despite the revelry building up around us, we took our leave and headed back up to our mountain retreat for the night. The rain had started again with a vengeance and this was rain I had never witnessed before. It was almost impossible to see the road and in the few minutes it took to park up the vehicle and enter the house we were all soaking wet! Just like last summer in Britttany I thought as I entered the land of Nod.
Next morning our wonderful hostess, Ani, had prepared breakfast on the terrace overlooking the pool and the sea. It had rained all night apparently but now the sun was up. The view seen for the first time in daylight was absolutely spectacular with the mountain valley below us, the sea sparkling beyond and the sunshine warming us as we feasted on a breakfast of toast, soft boiled eggs and good coffee. I tried the grapefruit from the garden which was delicious. Our first trip today will take us into Malaga to check out the Cathedral and Castle in the centre of the town.

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