Andalucia Diary – Seasonal Travel Notes

East meets West

The drinkers in the bar spilt out onto the crowded pavement; noisy talking,
laughter and the sound of the Real Madrid football match on the TV filled the warm air. Families and young
dating couples occupied tables on the pavement, whilst inside old farmers
exchanged jokes and news with each other, as well as with the youngsters from
the village, all dressed up but with no where to go.

There was even one young lad that made me think of Dafydd,
the-only-gay-in-the-village of Llandewi Breffi. The young man was extravagantly flamboyant, to the total indifference of
the macho, elderly farm workers who drunkenly chatted away to him!

Above the bar, beside the calendar from the local
electrician and the fake 500 euro note, was an elaborate icon of the Virgin
Mary. Used napkins ("Gracias por su visita" emblazoned on them) littered the floor
with the cigarette ash.

This was my Saturday night out in Maro – a sleepy village
hugging the coast, about half an hour east of Malaga! The tapas were tasty and the wine cheap and
the company – well, varied! In fact, in many ways not so different from a night
out in a British pub, deep in the countryside, where economics and geography often
conspire to bring together an unlikely combination of young and old for a night

We’d decided to explore the eastern part of Malaga Province
and had luckily discovered a quaint little place, Hotel Casa Maro, with a
charming room with old French Windows opening onto a wrought iron balcony with
a view to cliffs and coves below.

We visited Nerja, with its rugged coast line and charming Paseo de Maritimo.  A traditional wedding was being held in the church on the square – beautiful, traditional Andalucian songs were being sung.  We also took in the famous Caves of Nerja with their huge
subterranean Cathedral like chambers. Then on to Frigliana; a little hill top village I’d heard a lot about. At
first, with its ubiquitous messy dumpsters and unfinished buildings and graffiti
I thought that this would be just like any other Andalucian mountain
village. Yet, once entering the Old Town, it was amazing. It really reminded me of the immaculate hilltop
villages of Provence. All the narrow streets were exceptionally
well kept, each cobbled with tiny black and white pebbles in creative
shapes. Houses were freshly painted
white and each home proudly tended pot plants outside, making for a beautiful
setting. Last weekend was Corpus
Christi holiday, so many of the streets were decorated
with little shrines and alters to Virgin Mary. (See my updated Pueblos Blancos photo album).

Lunch as always for a Sunday was in a Chiringuito on the
beach – the weather was turning, preparing for a thunder storm, but the food
was tasty and great value.

The motorway from the west, that circumnavigates Malaga, stops at about Nerja and one has to take the windy coast road to go further east, but the
Spanish National Motorway Network is being extended east wards from Malaga Province into the poorer Granada
Province, beyond Almañaca, to join
up with the motorway that takes you to the deserts of Almeria
(Spaghetti Western territory). So if you like a little property speculation,
this might be a good area to look for property, as once the motorway makes it
an easy run from Malaga International Airport you can imagine demand will

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Andrew ForbesTravel & Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor Web: Twitter : @andrewaforbes Instagram @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »