It was a real treat to know that we could unpack our bags and be settled for more than 2 days.
We had done and seen so much in the past 3 weeks that we determined to have a much slower week. We were at Club la Costa, ‘The Club on the Coast’ and the Coast is known as Costa del Sol, the ‘Coast of the Sun’.
The rear entrance to our flat
Our very first task was to do a load of laundry. It was wonderful to have a washing machine in the unit. What would also have been nice was to be able to use the stove. It was a digital stove and there was no book of instructions! Also, most people know that I an completely technically challenged. Since returning home, I have learnt that they have been on the market for a few years, we have just not seen them, probably because we have not looked for a stove for a long time.
View from our flat towards Fuengirola
After a breakfast, without the planned boiled eggs, we made our way down to Reception to enquire about buses into Fuengirola and to request assistance with the stove. The bus service was very regular at half hourly intervals. With regard to the stove, they told us to let them know when we had returned from shopping and they would send someone from the kitchen to assist us. We decided to walk the 4kms along the beachfront into Fuengirola and then catch a bus back. The beachfront, had changed completely since 2002. There is now a beautiful promenade with a suspension bridge connecting one side of the lagoon to the other. There is also a zip-line from the hill on which Fuengirola Castle is situated down to the promenade. Across the bridge there are dozens of shops with every kind of produce available.
A part of the beachfront
The suspension bridge into town with the castle on the hill
As we walked along the promenade we noticed a number of small wooden boats lined up in 2s and 3s and filled with sand. We could not make out their purpose until we saw a chef at one of the eateries on the beach make a fire in the boat and cook the fresh fish. It was a fish braai or barbecue. Yes, there were plenty of fishing boats bringing in loads of fish caught early in the morning. We sat on one of the many benches and just watched all the activity on the beach and the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. It was a really beautiful day.
Restaurant on the beach with a boat fire for cooking
After about half an hour we decided to do our grocery shopping and find the Bus Station. On the way we saw a number of supermarkets which excited Trevor as he is the expert grocery shopper. There was also a fountain on almost every corner which really brightened my day. They are so beautiful to look at and give one such a feeling of peace. Many of them have beautiful sculptures as centre pieces or around the base.
The Virgen del Rosario Church in downtown Fuengirola
We eventually did our shopping and then proceeded to find the bus station. This was not that easy as, when we did find it, it did not look like anything more than a bus stop with too many buses parked there. It was in a narrow and very short street so it did not take much to create a traffic jam. There were also dozens of people just standing in groups so it was not clear where each boarded their particular bus. We finally found ours and asked where the queue was to be found and were told that there wasn’t one. To us it seemed a place of chaos and general disorganisation.
When the driver arrived everyone seemed to meld into a queue and no one was concerned about order of arrival. When we reached the front of the queue we were told that we should have purchased our tickets from the office around the corner. It was not in any prominent place, nor even where the buses line up. Fortunately the driver was one of the nicer fellows who agreed to wait for us. We were to encounter some rather dour and not so friendly drivers in the next few days. We discovered that when boarding at a bus station tickets must be bought at the office but if boarding in between stations, tickets are bought on the bus.
Avenida de Mijas, main street near the train station
As agreed earlier, we let Reception know that we had returned and would appreciate some advice on how to use the stove. About 15mins later a short, plump Spanish lady arrived at our front door. She spoke only Spanish and we, only English so with gestures, fingers indicating which button to press 1st, 2nd etc and lots of repetition on her part and nodding on ours she finally left. Between the 2 of us we had understood enough to cook dinner of meat and vegetables, our first in 3 weeks!
The sun sets on Fuengirola