Every Friday morning in Sabanillas they hold their weekly market so we thought we would stroll down and take a look. It was nothing remarkable, you find the same back in UK, a variety of stalls selling fresh produce, clothing, confectionary, crafts etc. the main difference being that the background to this particular one was Palm Trees, Sandy Beach and Turquoise Sea !! We perused what was on offer and then Shazza ‘selected‘ the particular stall she wanted to buy her fresh Fruit and Vegetables from, don’t ask me what makes one stall more appealing than another, I think it’s perhaps just one of those ‘Women‘ sort of things, to me, one Orange, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Carrot looks much the same as any other !! The one thing that never changes, doesn’t matter what Country, Town or Market we are at, is the bit at the end where Shazza commands me ‘To Pay The Man‘. We strolled back through the town, identifying ‘other’ establishments that Shazza wanted to investigate closer on a future visit, namely a local butcher and fishmongers, I just don’t know how I managed to contain my excitement, but I did. Before lugging our two carrier bags of ‘healthy living produce’ back to Big Momma we decided to stop for a Cafe Con Leche (Coffee with Milk) served in a tall glass, the coffee, both here and in Portugal is wonderful, perhaps it isn’t the coffee at all and maybe it’s just the relaxed way that everyone seems to drink it, sat outside at a table, basking in beautiful sunshine and overlooking the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea, but whatever it is, I like it !! We picked up a fresh baguette, still warm from the oven, from what has become our regular little shop in ‘Castillon’ and got back to ‘Big Momma’ ready for a spit of ‘Al Fresco’ dining. There is something so nice about being able to eat lunch outside the van, Fresh crusty baguette, Tomatoes marinated in Olive Oil and Oregano, a selection of Cheeses and Meats and a small glass of ‘Grape Juice’, of the red variety.
We had spent the last few days doing a fair bit of exploring (walking) and as we had already had our exercise for the day, walking to Sabinillas and back, we decided that it was time for a well-earned rest. Funny how time just flies by when you’re not doing anything in particular, especially when lying horizontal in one’s sun chair and enjoying several moments of individual ‘Personal Contemplation’ !! Moments like these are ones to be savoured at every opportunity, as for me, I could spend day after day in such activity, however, Shazza suffers with ‘Restless Legs’, not the sort where you are trying to get to sleep at night but can’t because of leg ‘twitches’, no, Shazzas are the ones whereby she needs to keep her legs moving, and if her legs are going to be moving then so must mine it seems. I have suggested buying her a dog to keep her company on her ‘Expeditions’ but then she responds with “Do you not enjoy being out with your wife” ? Believe me, I don’t care how brave you think you are, there really is only ever one answer to such a question !! And so it was that on Saturday, we, apparently it was one of those ‘we’ decisions, had decided to go on another ‘Shazza Expedition’, surely there cannot be many more walks left to do, I thought to myself, but I have been wrong before and as it turned out I was wrong yet again.
We headed towards Sabinillas, once again, walking first through the small village of ‘Castillon’ then the ‘Marina’, this had become a very familiar route during the short period of time we have spent here, although a walk I don’t think that I could ever tire of as it is along the Promenade right next to the beach. Once at Sabinillas though, where would we head for, we had explored the narrow streets so many times already that we knew it like the backs of our hands. But I had overlooked Shazzas cunning, she already knew that Sabinillas was not our destination, she had just conveniently forgotten to tell me, now why doesn’t that surprise me I wonder. I took a deep inward gulp when Shazza directed my attention to a marker post for a footpath, “Oh look !” She said, in an unconvincing surprised sort of way, “You can walk to Estepona from here, it’s only 12km” she said with one of those smiles on her face. “Yes my beloved” I said, or words to that effect, “But that’s 12km from here, then 12km back plus the forty minutes back to ‘Big Momma’ after that” I said, in an unamused sort of way. She gave another one of those smiles, “Yes but we don’t have to walk all the way today, we can just go part of the way“, now where have I heard very similar words uttered out of her mouth before followed by, “Let’s just see what’s around the next corner, or over the top of the hill” and then before I know it, oh look we have arrived !!
We continued our walk down the promenade, past where the weekly market had been held until we were brought to a sudden halt ! There might have been a signpost indicating that you could walk to Estepona, perhaps someone should have built the bridge across the river before erecting the footpath sign !!
My reprieve was short-lived however, Shazza spotted that the tide was ‘out’ and so we could walk down onto the beach where the river became a mere stream, one that could be traversed without getting one’s feet wet, drat and double drat !!
Wherever we have been in both Portugal and Spain, many of the walking routes have had strategically placed exercise equipment, my only surprise is that if this had been the UK they would all have been vandalised by now. Anyway, seeing as they had been so thoughtfully provided for ‘public use’ we felt the need to have a go on some of them, well it would have been rude not to !!
Although it was a grey and overcast day, one that threatened rain, hence the wet weather jackets, it stayed dry and relatively warm, the wind was still quite strong but not gale force and it actually made for quite a pleasant walk. We don’t do power walking, it’s more like a gentle stroll and with me taking frequent stops for Photographic opportunities we weren’t making ver much headway if Shazzas plan was to actually reach Estepona and get back before nightfall !! I ignored her constant complaints at my frequent stops, it’s not as if I was responsible for the landscape and views that just needed to be photographed for posterity !!
Having seen the distance we would still have had to cover to get to Estepona, let alone back again, Shazza made a very good decision, “Have you had enough for today” she said, knowing what my answer would be already, I did toy with the idea of saying “Let’s just go a little bit further, after all the end is in sight”, but I knew that she would call my bluff so I simply put the ball back in her court and responded “Have you ?”. Needless to say we ‘headed for home’, we were both pretty well jiggered and so we stopped at the ‘Dolphin Cafe’ in the Marina to re-hydrate, Shazza with a Cola Lite whilst I settled for a healthy ‘Apple Juice’ of the ‘Magners’ variety. It was whilst sat in the very late afternoon sunshine, well an appearance is better than none I suppose, that we decided that we hadn’t eaten out in a while, neither of us fancied cooking so, back to the van and a nice cuppa, showers and then a return to the Marina for ‘Dinner’. We looked at several of the menus on the display boards outside the numerous eateries but couldn’t make our minds up, we would decide later.
Feeling fully refreshed after our cuppa’s and showers, suitably togged up in a smart but casual manner, we walked back to the Marina. We had decided to grace our presence at the ‘Slow Boat‘, a ‘Thai’ establishment, they let me in even though I wasn’t wearing one, yes I know it’s an old joke and it wasn’t funny the first time around !! You never really know what you are going to get at these places, a bit like Chinese restaurants back in the UK, you order something in one but when you order the same thing in another Chinese restaurant you get something different. We decided on the same for our starters but different choices for our ‘Main Course’, that way we could try a bit of each other’s. Flipping heck, the portion sizes were incredible, what was supposed to be a meal for two would easily have fed four people and the glasses of ‘grape juice’, of the red variety of course, were let’s say ‘large’ in that you couldn’t have got much more in the glasses if you had tried. It would be fair to say that even after all of our exercise during the day, we struggled through the sizeable portions, I perhaps didn’t struggle as much as Shazza on this occasion but I did need a little more ‘grape juice’ just to help it along. When it came to paying the bill the waiter asked if we would like a ‘complimentary drink’ and reeled off a full list, Whisky, Brandy, Limonchillo, Port etc. Shazza declined but I didn’t wish to cause any offence after such a kind and generous gesture so I opted for a Brandy, it would have been rude not to. What arrived was not so much a ‘measure‘ but more of a ‘sorry my hand slipped whilst pouring this‘ sort of jugful, and very warming it was too !!
I wish I could say that the alcoholic beverages, taken purely for Medicinal purposes you understand, had done the trick and that I had a wonderful nights sleep, and I probably would have done had I not have eaten three out of the four portions of food that had been presented to us !! No it was a night of rather bad indigestion, but hey, some things are worth suffering for !!
So as you may well imagine, Sunday became a day of rest, well not quite, it would be more accurate to call it a day off from any ‘Shazza Expeditions’ but there were still things to be done, domestic type stuff. ‘Big Momma’ was desperately in need of a good external wash, but the sun was shining and so it was a good day for van washing with the occasional interludes to socialise with one’s neighbours, it would have been rude not to now wouldn’t it ?
It’s hard to believe that this time next Sunday we will be parked up on one of our favourite free Aires, the Nature Park one at Cabarceno, just thirty minutes drive from the ferry port at Santander. However, before that we still have two days left here before we very reluctantly commence our journey back to Blighty, that is of course unless Shazza has a different plan I still don’t know about…………………..