Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Journey, the Roads and Driving around Spain.

Well the day arrived and off we went to Gatwick airport for our flight to Malaga. All went well, found Monarch airways efficient and had no issues with the flight.  Although I have to say, nothing to do with the airline as such, but what are all, those flipping suitcases, on the plane about and why, we had paid to put a case in the hold, 50 odd people did not, and then at the check in they are made an offer to do so at no cost, seems a bit unfair, and why does someone have to recline their seat back on a 2 hour journey.
Arrived in Malaga on a drizzly grey morning……picked up hire car, the care we had been allocated was damaged. A couple of large dents on both sides, I was concerned and highlighted this to the staff, it was then we heard for the first time the immortal words  “don’t Worry”,  my husband was not particularly happy with this but we were caught between a rock and a hard place, as they said, they had no other car… which I know was a lie, but not fluent enough in Spanish to argue.  It was not the last time we heard these words and already I was worried. Anyway upshot was, they had documented on all the paperwork, and we took some pictures.

 So off we went to our first destination, towards Puento Genil. Except 100 yards out of the car hire compound we ended up in a shopping centre car park, a few deep breaths and a brief argument over whose fault it was.
We eventually got on the main road towards our destination dark foreboding mountains came into view, dark clouds gathered over head.  This was not the “sunny” welcome that most would expect. We knew in advance that the weather is not all sun, sea and sangria all year round.  Many do not, lots of people said to us before we went = “oh how lovely… at least you will get some sunshine………Well, they should have been there when we arrived. Sun shine was in short supply. As I said we knew the weather could get cold and we felt this first hand during our visit, More of which later.
We found the journey to our first stop over a breeze, and both commented on how empty the roads were. We had been given excellent directions from our first contacts which helped, along with the Sat-Nav. Generally we had no issues with driving in Spain. Maybe I should clarify that statement, I did not drive, and this is something that I am going to have to eventually be able to do. We travelled around all sorts of roads when we were there including some scary winding roads with what looked like sheer drops. Some dodgy tracks, however as we progressed through the week, I felt more confident as a passenger! On our next trip, I will definitely have to drive and am determined to do so.  I wish I could practice here in the UK. As I have already stated we were stunned at how empty the roads were, including the motorways we encountered some traffic the day we went to Cordoba and the on the journey from Alcala Real to the Alpujarras I was very nervous about the roads etc. around the mountains in Alpujarras, and although I did have brief moments of OMG, generally the roads were great. We came across a few rock slips, and some ice – but on our return to the UK we had more pot holes between Gatwick and home then in Spain.  Yes some of the Caminiro’s were bumpy, but we expected that. 
Generally we had no major issues driving… he had no major issues driving!  But when we were travelling around the little villages in the mountain regions it became apparent as to why the cars all have knocks and bumps. Those little villages have such tiny narrow streets with so nice bends, just sharp turns.  I almost hyperventilated at some points.

Tomorrow Houses and Estate agents!!!!!!!!!!  Don’t worry its Spain comes into its own

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