Family time on the Costa del Sol
As January drew to an end, we found ourselves settling in on the Costa del Sol, on camping La Buganvilla, just outside Marbella. Stuart, the lucky devil, was getting ready for a trip (a stag do or bachelor party) to Las Vegas and by the time he returned some of our families would also be here to spend some time together.
Being on the road means missing people from back home, so to be able to meet up in sunny places like this is really great!
In true flip-flop fashion, however, not everything went quite to plan. The campsite was fine and the family arrived and got settled in the holiday bungalow. We had a lovely day trip to Marbella where we enjoyed the sun, the old town and lunch in the Orange Square. Stuart was due home that night but we soon realised there’d been a slight miscalculation in flight times… His flight departed on one day, arrived on the next… Have you ever made that mistake? It’s easily done…
So with Stuart going to be 24 hours later than expected, the 5 of us decided to go ahead with the planned visit to Granada and the Alhambra. It was a wonderful day and it was great to be able to share the experience of the Alhambra, and Granada which is a lovely city. On our way back we stopped at the Airport to pick up a tired Stuart and finally we’re all together.
After such a big day out, a quiet day sightseeing in Fuengirola was in order. We enjoyed the long beaches and another great lunch in the square, before heading back via the Castillo for a night of home-made tapas.
Gibraltar was on the agenda next, with a trip up the Rock to meet the monkeys. What little rascals they are! We saw some younger ones jump on an unsuspecting tourist’s back to steal from his backpack! Imagine having a monkey on your back, literally! It’d be quite the shock! Luckily, they managed to get the monkey off, and nothing much seemed to be missing from the backpack.
Gibraltar was an incredibly busy place! After spending time in a lot of very quiet places, especially at this time of year, the busyness of Gibraltar was almost a bit of a shock. It was also a really great experience and we had a good day out. We travelled back via Sotogrande for a walk with Luna along the beach, and a quick look at the colourful marina.
At this point, Stuart was fading fast..! Turns out he picked up the flu somewhere on his travels and did it knock him for six!?! So we carried on our adventures without him, and he was sorely missed.
A trip to Mijas Pueblo proved a brilliant excursion for a day out. A very interesting little village, with plenty to see and do. Beautiful views down the hill and to the coast, lovely shops, restaurants, bars, most of which are open as well, which was great. A really nice ‘feel’ to the place. We saw the church in the cave, the bull ring, the horse carriages and donkey taxis. It was nice to see a place a bit different to the usual beach, beach front bars and square with restaurants.
On Saturday, Stuart felt well enough to come out with us again and we made the trip to Málaga. We hadn’t been to any of the places we took the family, other than Granada, and really, it couldn’t have turned out better. Málaga is a wonderful city with history in its Alcazaba with its own little Nasrid palace, a brilliant covered market, plenty of little lanes to get lost in, and seemingly music coming from everywhere.
On Sunday, it was time for one half of the family to leave again. We had planned to move on again ourselves but Stuart wasn’t well enough (in fact had got worse again), so we had to stay put. Stuart’s half of the family moved to a lovely hotel in Benalmadena, while we stayed on the campsite to try to get better.
By Wednesday, things were finally looking up while the campsite got busier and busier so it was a good time to leave. As Stuart hadn’t had that much chance to spend with his family and he was still recovering, we decided to go to Benalmádena for some quality family time.
Benalmádena reminded us a little bit of smaller version of Benidorm, but less brash and tacky. It is a lively town, with a coastline merging with Torremolinos via La Carihuela beach. It’s got a little bit of everything; tourist attractions, an old town, a beautiful big park, the seafront with beaches, a marina. Above all, it was very busy! Busy, lively and fun! So we had a last few enjoyable days with family here before they left us again.
We’re still on the Costa del Sol now, as we’re thinking of slowing down a little bit for this latter part of our tour. We’ve managed to catch up with other ‘vanning’ friends in Cala de Mijas, and we’re having a quiet day to catch up on some admin such as some new blog posts… Tadaaaa! Soon, we’ll start moving again, but the Costa del Sol has provided us with plenty of fun excursions, things to see and do to not have been bored one minute these last three weeks!