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A day a year ago

A wonderfully warm day which after 2 days of cold blustery conditions was most welcome. The ride this day was further northwest along the southern Spanish coastline and it would take me from Fuengirola to the delightful town of Nerja. The morning ride was very much seaside and I passed numerous empty beaches whose restaurants were just starting to get ready for the hordes of Spanish families arriving for their traditional festivities that Spanish families seemingly do every Sunday (like the Italians ) 

By late morning I was passing under the flight path of Malaga airport . Not every picture tells a story. To get this shot that encompassed both the bicycle and the approaching aircraft took about 50 attempts and I spent some minutes later that evening deleting the many photos where the aircraft was barely in frame if at all. 

Many of these beachside restaurants had turned old fishing boats into BBQ pits and the aroma of grilled seafood permeated the air.  

Being a Sunday the roads were quiet and through the siesta time of 12-4 I was virtually the only person on the road. An ideal time to cycle despite the heat. You can imagine my surprise when roadside and in the middle of nowhere I came across a large collection of leather clad motorcyclists all listening to a rock and roll band belting out songs in English under a searing sun. Speaking of siesta time it became pretty evident early into the ride that if it wasn’t too hot one of the best times to be on the roads in Spain was indeed that midday to 4 pm window when most weren having lunch or sleeping it off. The drop in automotive traffic during this time was truly remarkable and held consistent for the entire time I was in Spain. 

One of my favourite photos of this particular stretch of coastline road. There’s a bull up there ! At this point the road was basically along the beach and if I had wanted to I could have simply fallen off the bike into the water. The terrain was resultingly flat which was welcome after the  morning of undulating short but steep hills around Malaga. 

Being as close as I was to the beaches I passed numerous colourful changing sheds  and given the water had yet to warm up most of them were devoid of people. I can well picture how crowded these beaches are in summer. I recall at the time thinking how deserted everything felt and at various points along the ride I rode past numerous building sites that were weed ridden and shells of building stood silent and devoid of life. A testament to the real estate boom of the early 2000,s that went bust in 2008 and  has never seemingly recovered. 

Arriving in Nerja at days end I stayed at a wonderful hotel that represented some of the best value for money accommodation of the entire trip. 45 EUR for a wonderfully appointed large room in a modern hotel with all the trimmings and a delightful receptionist called Loila. After stretching and showering I walked through the town to the beach and sat under the softening sun sipping a couple of industrially sized gin n tonics . Staggering back up the hill dinner was in an Italian restaurant where I sat outside and struck up conversation with one of the many Swedish couples who seemed to have made this town a destination of choice for those from the land of the blue and yellow flag. Hailing from Gothenborg they pledged to follow my blog and contact me when I was nearer their home town with an offer of accommodation. That sadly never eventuated. He of the partnership did however implore me to ride the coastal route from Gothenburg to Oslo pledging that it was stunningly beautiful. Mmmm history was to prove otherwise.

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