Today is a "take care of business" day with laundry this morning then over to Croydon once that is done as I need to raid the ATM/cash point for some cash and then hopefully get my hair cut and do a bit of shopping, top up the mobile/cell phone so I can get back on my monthly plan so I have data, texting, etc. (much cheaper than Canada but the service sucks...next time I am over I am going to try a different provider) This evening I am going for Japanese food with my airbnb host (and friend) Claudia and her ten year old son Alessandro (who is obsessed with all things Japanese at the moment) along with the other guest that is here - a young woman from Baltimore. So a full day! I just checked my "to do" list in London and I am going to be a busy gal! And let's not forget my surprise trip next week...a week from now I will be checking into EasyJet for my mystery destination. Speaking of which I had much less hassle arriving yesterday than when I returned from Belgium in mid December ("you're over for rather a long time aren't you", "retired? Do you have family in Canada?" (duh...yes I was only born and raised there moron - I didn't say that obviously!) and it went on. This time the customs officer flipped through my (brand new) passport saying out loud the places I'd been on this trip so far but didn't say much and seemed pretty cool so I had to joke that it was my "last fling before my knee replacement" and he rolled his eyes, chuckled and said "good luck". And I was on my way....trains were delayed and I got on the slowest rain out of Gatwick I am sure...I couldn't get a good wifi signal so wasn't able to let Claudia know but she was home and all was well. I'd forgotten how early it gets dark here - I'm used to those past 6 p.m. sunsets in Spain. But I'm so so happy to be back in my beloved London.
Yesterday morning I wandered over to the beachside restaurant opposite the apartment building where I had my last Spanish breakfast. It was basically a toasted ham sandwich although he described it as ham with oil and tomatoes...don't know where the tomatoes were hiding! Portugal and Spain are certainly obsessed with ham and cheese....I think it will be a while before I can handle a ham and cheese sandwich. Anyway it was still good and fun to have my last meal where I had the first one.
The restaurant is very popular and good luck getting a seat around the time of the sunset...
These photos were taken my last evening in Malaga.
Pilar gave me a hug when I left and started crying which started me off as well. Another reason why I love airbnb - the human connection. She took care of me while I was ill..buying me cough drops and kleenex. Staying in a hotel in the centre of Seville worked for me for a few short days but when I am staying anywhere for any length of time I want to live where the people live. To me that is the main positive about airbnb - I'd never have known about this restaurant in a million years as it isn't on the tourist radar at all. I wouldn't have even come near the area.
I spent my last day in Mijas which is a tourist town in the hills above Fuengirola. The morning was dull so the view which normally would be spectacular was so-so. Pilar had warned me it was very touristy and that it was. Lots of burros/donkeys or whatever which I normally love but to me they just looked sad...Lonely Planet says they are treated well and I certainly hope so. I can only imagine how awful it must be to lug tourists around on their 40C plus summer days. I decided to spare the poor donkey the burden of lugging me around. Plus I rode a donkey in Egypt to the Valley of the Kings and back and that sounds much more exciting as my last donkey ride! Especially as there was no "donkey man" walking along beside - it was a free for all!
I must admit I did like the white buildings.
A religious grotto.
I stayed about 90 minutes - I did manage to pick up some very nice locally made chocolate as gifts (sorry none of them will make it across the Atlantic!) but other than that I didn't support the local Mijas economy.
A bus rolled in and I hopped on it - less than a half hour later I was back down in Fuengirola. I wandered down to the beach and had a late lunch in one of the seaside restaurants. This time the meal was much better..in fact the best Spaghetti Carbonara I've had in a long long time and it got shoved down my gob in record time. Yum! Fully sated I wandered down the beach. I was sitting across from the coolest sculpture of what looked like hands holding a palm tree. Well of course the minute I headed over kids decided to sprawl and jump all over it...I managed to quickly grab a couple of shots in between jumping sessions and I edited those little suckers out.
My friend Pat had told me about Lemur island at the Biopark and how lemurs were jumping all over the place. Well I sure didn't see anything like that when I had been there - curiosity got the better of me so I headed back there. Hey I didn't spend much money in Spain really - barely bought anything at all so thought why not? Luckily I found the "door" leading to the island and learned it was a tour of about ten minutes (if you were lucky) - so I did it twice. The first time was much better as she pretty well let us walk around and take photos; the second time we had to stay in a row and move through while she told us about them. They jumped back and forth. I love the way they sit with their "arms" held out. Too cute.
I had a quick look around the place but everyone was hiding or lazing on this sunny afternoon - including the Colobus monkeys and their massage gang.
Then it was back on the train to Malaga and while I was wanting to fit in a quick trip to the civic museum I was in horrible pain with my knee so decided to just go back "home"...after observing the sunset of course!
And that was my last day in Spain! I will get around to Seville and of course all my adventures here in England (and wherever else....!!!) for the next wonderful four weeks and two days.