Wednesday, 11 April 2007

7th April

7th April

Almayate Costa, Costa Del Sol, Spain.

I surfaced about 10 and started cleaning and tidying the van in case visitors appeared, i.e. Graham and Karen! I couldn't have the place looking like a bomb site and in a small space, it's easy for things to start to get messy very quickly.

Graham and Karen appeared about 2, although karen had to wait outside with their rottweiler, Troy, as the campsite doesn't allow animals, although they did make an exception for my soft furry 'tigre' who is my travelling companion! I locked up the van and jumped into their jeep for the drive up into the hills to their place which is near to lake Venuela, a large man made reservoir.

We stopped off at their 'local' pub in a village called Triana and had a few drinks and I was introduced to some of the folks they know from round about. There were lots of english people, but then it is an English owned pub. It's a really nice little bar that also serves good food and has a pink pool table! It also doubles as the local library a couple of days a week. Very versatile these ex-pats!

After that, we headed up to their little house which sits high up in the hills along a crazy dirt road. The house is small but very cosy and homely. They've built a canopy /tent type of thing over the front patio which effectively gives another living space for outdoor living when the weather's warm enough and there's also a roof terrace. Actually, it's a perfect size really, especially for 2 people. The views are stunning and the place is so peaceful. I can definately see the attraction of their lifestyle. Karen has her horses in a little paddock and stables just below the house and the setting really is idyllic.

Arrangements had been made earlier to have dinner up at the lake with friends of theirs. The restaurant we went to overlooks the lake, which although man made, is very pleasing on the eye as it nestles between the peaks. The photos I've taken really don't do the views justice in the flesh. Dinner was very nice. I had an enormous t-bone steak that was cooked just the way I like it. It really was massive and the bill including starters and drinks came in at about 20 euro a head which is excellent value. Prices in general in Spain appear to be very cheap, certainly when comparing with Ireland.

We headed back to Graham and Karen's place and had some more drinks and general chit chat and catching up on things.

The drink continued to flow well into the wee small hours as we finished off the Spanish Brandy and then the vino tinto. Catching up on old times and shooting the shit about music and bands. It was a really enjoyable evening and it felt like it had only been a fortnight since I'd seen them last and not 3 1/2 years!

I've really taken a liking to the region where they live. The scenery is absolutely stunning. Towering mountains and sharp hills and dirt roads everywhere, leading off to little hamlets. Pretty Andalucian villages that are very vibrant, with lots of life in the villages. Everything is very laid back too. I could just picture myself with a little plot of land to park the van on and maybe build a small 'casa'. I'm not as keen on the 'costa'. It's far more built up since that's where most people that come here want to be, but it's not really my bag. It's ok to visit, but just too built up. Inland is much more 'real' and pretty,in my opinion.

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