Well, to be more precise, Estaponaaaaaa!! That’s right…I finally found out where we were going (when in the car driving to Estapona…). For those of you who, like me, have no idea where Estapona is, it’s a town halfway between Malaga and Gibraltar.
So when I last posted I had no idea about anything, and it would seem that my boyfriend didn’t either. Wouldn’t have been too much of an issue if he weren’t in charge of important things like plane tickets. As it turned out, our flight was 2 hours later than we initially thought, and luckily we found this out the night before, rather than at the airport. After a bit of confusion regarding luggage and having to book another bag on the plane, we tried to get an early night ready to be at the airport for 6.30am the next day.
All was as normal as we got on the plane, did the standard thing of find out flight time when the stewardess announced it, and…saw a celeb!! Mitch Winehouse (Amy Winehouse’s padre) was on our plane, and my claim to fame is that he queued up behind me for a visit to the on board toilet. However, this ‘joy’ wasn’t long lived, as no sooner had we left the plane than I realised 500ml of water had leaked into my hand luggage. The actual puddle in the bottom of bag had been home to my camera for god knows how long, which meant that the camera was totally fried 😦
Onwards and upwards, we drove to the apartment we were staying in in a small golfing resort between Puerto Banus and Estapona. We dropped off our bags, went up to our private roof terrace and looked out over the sea. Not only do I love being able to see the sea, but we could see the rock of Gibraltar and the coastline of Morocco!
We then headed to a cafe called Cafe America down on the main strip of shops, and I opted for a chicken sandwich, thinking yeah, light option. Nope. Biggest sandwich I’ve seen in a longgg time…and it came with chips! We then popped down to the local beach La Laguna, where people pay €60 to sunbathe! We just threw some stones, i tried to learn to skim stones but still have yet to master it 😦
After soaking up the sunshine, we headed back to the apartment for a nap. The intention was to chill for a bit, then head out somewhere for dinner. We’d popped to the local supermarket on our way, so were fully stocked up on nibbles & breakfast stuff, so after a quick nap (during which the boys did a standard chocolate & beer run) we snuggled up on the sofas and….played cards. We were too tired to go out for dinner, and luckily for us the friends we were staying with are just as chilled out as my boyfriend and I are. The only thing I’d really note is just how freezing cold it gets in the evenings. The apartments are designed to keep cool in the summer months, and unfortunately they keep the place cool in the winter too.
Next day we were up bright and early to visit Puerto Banus market, which we thought was only open ’til 12. Lucky we got there so early, as no sooner had we parked traffic started building. Not the best market we’ve ever visited – it’s a collection of stalls around the small shopping area, which then snakes down one of the roads. Unfortunately, once you’ve walked down the road, you have to come back the way you came…up a hill. There aren’t any new stalls to look at, but we did have a laugh at my boyfriend trying to haggle. I got a nice owl necklace to add to my animal collection for a bargain €5! and our friend got himself 2 belts for €6 which didn’t turn out to be the bargain he’d hoped as they’ve fallen apart after 1 wear.
Next stop: Puerto Banus harbour. Very nice, with some fancy big yachts and cute harbour-front restaurants. If it weren’t so windy we’d have explored more, but we settled in a restaurant that has to have been the most over decorated place I’ve ever seen. Orange…everywhere! A visit to the toilet was an adventure, as there’s a window in there from which you can hear people in the cellar talking. I don’t think they could see in…at least I hope they couldn’t! We finished off with a trip to El Corte Ingles, and made it through 2 floors before admitting defeat and heading back to the apartment.
Biggest pizza I’ve seen in a while for lunch! It was shared lol
After a few quick games of cards, we jazzed ourselves up and headed down to the local bar before getting a taxi to Benahavis, a town in the mountains, for a spot of dinner. The night didn’t quite go to plan, but with such good friends a sandwich would have been just fine! What we did end up with, was a quick drink in the bar, and a visit to a famous fish & chip shop close by called Peggatys. I don’t actually like Fish & chips, so was a bit apprehensive, but wow. Just wow. The menu has lots of other things on it, and I had a chicken & bacon burger (yummy!) and I totally see why our friends go there all the time. After dinner, we quickly admired the many famous faces that had visited the restaurant & made our way back. Few games of cards & a couple of drinks later it was bedtime.
Sunday meant a visit to Gibraltar. I didn’t know what to expect but I never expected what we saw. Gibraltar still ‘belongs’ to Britain, and you can tell. As soon as you go through border control, which involved us showing that we had enough passports for passengers in the car, we drove OVER the runway and into the main city, everything is English…the road markings, the decor even the police uniform. We’d gone to see the monkeys, but the bad weather meant we didn’t fancy a trip up the rock, so settled for a bite to eat. Unfortunately, it being Sunday and out of season, there was very little open. We found a small pub, and realised everything was in pound sterling! We’d only brought euros, never occurred to us that they’d use English money! Wasn’t the best trip, but we saw some monkeys and had a quick look around, got the obligatory postcard & magnet for my boyfriend, and headed back to the apartment for the boys to get ready for the footie in the evening.
The plan was that they’d go and watch the Malaga v. Madrid(?) game and we’d meet them in Puerto Banus for dinner. Unfortunately, we were too busy nattering and didn’t get ready in time, and by the time they were back it was half 10…so we popped to the shop and grabbed some hot dogs & other snacks. While whipping up some grub, everything turned off. We thought it was a power cut, but no sooner had we flicked the fuse back had it turned off again. Maybe the excessive amount of things plugged in was causing havoc, so we turned everything but 1 light and the oven off until we’d eaten. Might sound ok, but having no heater when it was that cold wasn’t fun!
Up early next morning to pack & give the apartment a quick clean, before heading to Cafe America for breakfast and to pick up a postcard. From there we made our way to the airport. We had to stop off en route to fill up with petrol, and as we sat in the queue we could see someone at the pump sitting in the front right seat. We all began to get quite annoyed that someone would just sit at the pump, before we realised that we were in Spain, the front right is a passenger seat…oops! We made the mistake several times over the weekend, walking to the wrong side of the car to drive, and a couple of times starting off on the wrong side of the road, before a quick sharp reminder from one of us. Luckily I didn’t do any driving, not sure I’d always remember
So…all in all, a very relaxing weekend. There have been talks of going back in September for a week, which would be nice if the weather is a bit warmer. Next stop is still hopefully going to be Paris, a surprise for my boyfriends birthday! Just trying to find a hotel that’s not going to demolish funds, and I think we’re going to go on the Eurostar which will be a new experience for us both…exciting!!