Week 2 – Malaga to Tarifa


 

We started the second week heading to Villanueva del Trabuco where we were staying in a B&B for 3 nights and meeting up with some friends to go motorbike trail riding in the Andalusian mountains.  After finding somewhere secure to leave the van, we found the B&B which was run by a lovely Welsh couple who made us feel at home.  Our friends turned up later which meant opening the beer cache and going out for one of the worst pizzas ever! 

Mel went on a couple of long scenic walks with the B&B owners whereas I went out with some friends I knew, and some new, to ride with a guide on motorbikes into the mountains.  As I hadn’t ridden for around 5 years, and never off road, it was most definitely a rather large challenge – especially as all but one of the group had off road experience!  After some very basic tips we ventured off, and over the weekend I most definitely improved and was more confident in the handling and sliding aspect – but still lacked confidence at speed.  That said, I only dropped the bike 3-4 times (once in deep snow, and once in deep mud) – but did end up at strange angles on a fair few occasions!  Overall though I was very pleased with how I did – better than expected and injury free – and my crashes were far less spectacular than some….!  A most excellent biking trip which I won’t bore you with…

The mountains were a lovely playground for the bikes, and Mel really enjoyed her site seeing tour.  This area is definitely worth exploring – though having “guides” definitely helped.

After the weekend we planned to head to the beach for a few days, so we headed south and drove through Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Marbella, and all along the costa coast.  In truth, we didn’t really see anything that excited us enough to want to stop!  We’ve never been on holiday to the costas, so hoped we could explore the area.  Sadly though it wasn’t for us so we carried on to Gibraltar!

Just outside Gibraltar there is a massive sandy car park where wild camping appeared to be tolerated.  There was always a selection of vans there anyway!  Getting into Gibraltar is a breeze either walking or driving.  It is worth driving in once (the first time just in case you get stopped) and filling up with Diesel at 62p a litre, and getting some goodies from Morrisons!  Thereafter we walked in getting our duty free allowance each time!  On the second day in stunning glorious sunshine (at last!) we bought entry to the “upper rock” which gave us access to the park; monkey den; siege tunnels; caves and a few other sites.  We opted to walk the route which was quite tiring and hilly (well – Gibraltar is a massive rock!) – Overall it was an excellent day out.

Leaving Gibraltar we headed to the Southernmost tip of Spain – Tarifa.  This town is similar to Newquay (surfing, wind surfing, kite surfing, kite boarding etc) – apart from the fact the beach is empty and the sun was shining!  Ironically we bought snow-chains on our way to Tarifa (watch this space!) – and the day turned out to be amazing.  We looked for a wild-camping spot nearby but failed, and as we needed fresh water and to dump waste we went for a campsite which at 21€ was quite pricey.  It was good enough though, and after a long afternoon playing with the power kite and teaching Mel the “art” of “beach dragging” in the sun, we watched the hoards of kite-surfers making it look all to easy.  We went for a 7 mile run around Tarifa and spoke to a load of the kite surfers who were camping next to the beach – so will probably join them tomorrow.  The end of week 2 is looking more promising – weather improved; wild camping where we can; and (it appears so far) – the Atlantic coast of Spain is a lot nicer than the Southern Mediterranean side.

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