Week 12 started with a chore of getting LPG in Granada (rare in Spain) and then going to an open Carrefour! Hurrah! With cupboards full we headed up to the aire at the top of Sierra Nevada. Last time we came (2+ years ago) we needed snow chains, but this time the road was perfectly clear and the aire had plenty of space. We bought our ski passes – €75 each for 2 days – shows how good a bargain the Valloire €199 season passes were.
Our first day of boarding can only be described as flippin’ fantastic. With a lift and blue-run start and finish within 100m of the van, the snow is great and grippy (though a bit icy off-piste), and apart from the first 10 minutes when we appeared to forget how to snowboard, we had one of our best days. Mel was on fire and was riding the best I’ve ever seen her – even on a couple of narrow runs I couldn’t keep up. However she did do an entire steep mogul field on her bum which was entertaining. The slopes are far wider than at Valloire but a bit less interesting as they tend to be grouped and many are much of a muchness, and surprisingly a bit busier. Overall a fantastic day that completely knackered us out.
The second day had even better weather so we donned the sun cream, but sadly Mels fire had gone out and for some reason she lost her confidence and thus ended our seasons snowboarding on a low. Ah well – at least we didn’t break anything!
Quite boringly we had 2 days in a campsite in the mountains and met my parents there who brought us some UK stock as well as 3 months worth of post. The most exciting was a dentist appointment reminder, but we also got some Christmas cards and an odd birthday card. I also got my new kite delivered – a 4m 4-line land kite with bar, harness and board….
As the mountains were quite chilly we headed to the coast to a campsite near Malaga. Annoying as loads of vans were wild camping a few km down the road, equally close to the beach, and we saw our friends van there. Never mind – we’ll be back to wild camping soon. I did take the opportunity to get the kite out on the beach in wind that was slightly too much. Blimey – the pull and power is enough to pull me up/down/whatever and in the wind it was a bit of a handful to say the least. Being bigger it was also slightly slower than I’m used to, and the beach was lumpy, and there were twigs everywhere (enough excuses yet??). After not so long and being dragged head first for a bit I decided to put the kite away leaving my knee and foot bleeding – and that was without the board!! I also forgot that the harness remains attached even when you let go (unlike handles) – so I really do need to practice the “chicken loop release” safety feature (yep – “chicken loop” is the correct name).
The following morning we went for a run to where we saw our friends, who had sadly already departed, and en route we saw an Alsatian that had been run over. With such a big spill of the red stuff there wasn’t much that Mel could do. The beaches in the Costas aren’t actually that impressive and we can’t quite understand the attraction and mass tourism. The sand in this area is brown/gray (volcanic) and the beaches aren’t that impressive compared to other parts of Europe.
On our final day pre Morocco we drove to Algeciras along the coast for the meeting point. We have to say, the southern coastal part of Spain isn’t our taste. Along the entire route we didn’t really get tempted at all so its unlikely we’ll visit the coastal area again. However, we did enjoy the inland part of Spain more and we are very much looking forward to the northern part after Morocco.
This Morocco tour will be interesting and not sure if we’re going to love it or hate it but it will be an adventure and it is something we want to do. My wish that a load of young totty would be included has sadly been denied, so Iooks like I’m the youngest toy-boy on tour…
So week 12 ends with us in a noisy car park eagerly awaiting to escape to Africa!