After leaving Mijas, we decided to follow the coast road through to the eastern side of Malaga but ended skirting around Malaga and leaving it for another day stopping instead on the outskirts of Rincon de la Victoria. Having found suggested parking in designated spaces next to a park and as it turned out some caves (more of them later), however all the motorhome parking was full of cars so in the spirit of the occasion we parked Buzz in the car parking area. As it was still very pleasant and quite early we went for a walk first around the park and then around the local area, the park was a strange affair being marked paths around large weed beds or should that be natural planting? Anyway it was actually a pleasant stroll, we also found a large modern new looking restaurant bar. Although feeling decidedly under dressed compared to the hoards of Spanish families eating and drinking we went up to one of their 2 roof bars and had a couple of nice cold beers as the sun went down. Heading back to Buzz and making dinner after but not before spotting the previously mentioned caves.
Now as it happened Cueva del Tesoro – Treasure caves are marine caves the only ones of their type in Europe and 1 of only 3 known such caves in the world, not only that but Monday (which it the next day happened to be) was free entrance. So yes of course we went to see them, the caves available for public viewing aren’t extensive but very interesting and different to any caves we had been in before. These caves were formed when under the ocean over many millennia giving them some strange and amazing shapes, smooth sweeping curves and holes creating odd looking sculptures. Now I know that sea cliffs are full of caves but these are at least 100m above sea level, that’s what makes them unique in Europe and 1 of only 3 globally.
After our cave excursion we took Buzz down to the front driving through Rincon de la Victoria before eventually parking on the road at the far end of the coast road. A quick coffee later we unloaded the bikes and hoping for a better result than Calla Mijas cycled down to the promenade alongside the large sandy beach and much to our delight you were allowed to actually cycle on the cycle path. Making back towards Malaga we cycled out along the front stopping at the tourist information office to gather some info, from here you can go all the way into Malaga (only 6km). Cycling through a tunnel under the coast road we stopped to admire the sea view and got talking to a British couple who had been caravanning since September having spent around £7,000 on site fees during that time they were seriously considering a motorhome! They also told us that the over direction was a really nice long cycle. So after a while we headed back to Buzz for lunch before heading back out the other way towards Torre del Mar. Passing several beach bars along the way before eventually turning around and making for a nice looking beach bar we had spied, taking in some warm late afternoon sun. We got talking to a British man an ex merchant seaman who now lives in Malaga, he had cycled out from there and stopped for a beer before heading back. He gave us some advice on where to park in Malaga which we may well use when we head back to Portugal but for now it was back to Buzz and find somewhere to park for the night and more importantly some form of Bun for Monday Bunday.
We found a massive beachside car park at Torre del Mar parking right in front of the beach with nobody within 100m of us having a very peaceful night. However in the morning at least 2 other vans had parked near us overnight including a Swiss man who had been broken into the day before. Luckily they didn’t take anything but it is still very frustrating.
For us though it was on to Nerja and Balcon de Europa – balcony of Europe – where an Arab lookout tower stood in the 9th century, more recently it housed a fort and cannons to protect the town. This was however destroyed by the British during the Napoleonic wars, 2 of the original damaged cannons sit on the balcony today. Before Nerja I grabbed the opportunity to get a long overdue haircut in Santa Rosa. I spotted the barbers shop as we drove through Santa Rosa and almost immediately saw somewhere to park so quickly pulled Buzz in disappearing out the door leaving Marcella to wait for me. Thinking I would be no more than 25 minutes she was happy to wait, well about 1 ½ hours later I returned from the most methodical barbers I have seen. Waiting while they finished off the 3 customers already in the shop then having the apprentice slowly with meticulous care cut each hair individually (well it felt like it). Then just when I thought it was all over the boss and teacher spent 5 minutes touching up the apprentices work before he returned at spend another 5 minutes finishing the cut off. I was beginning to feel a call to the bank manager might be needed to release enough funds to pay for the cut only to told the bill was 9euro, not as cheap as Modena in Italy but actually better value. Never thought I would be able to say that.
So much later than intended on to Nerja, parking not far from the coast we walked through the front and the balcony. A rock promontory jutting out into the sea it is in truth a large patio with views of 2 of the towns beaches and plenty of restaurants, bars and Ice cream shops to choose from. Walking around Nerja it was a nice clean town and like so many towns seen in isolation is definitely worth a visit with plenty to keep you busy. However having come along the coast from places like Mijas, which is lovely, it is hard to compare the towns fairly and for us it didn’t quite have as much character.
We liked Nerja, it has some pretty buildings and houses many full of colour and tropical plants. The pretty cafes and restaurants in particular are bursting with colour and very tempting. One house we passed had the most gorgeous looking Orange Honeysuckle draped along it’s high garden wall and at this time of year here there is plenty of sweet smelling Wisteria growing along walls and trellises. We would say if you’re in the area go and visit, it’s worth a couple of hours of your time and even longer if you want to stay and eat.