On our last “real” morning in Spain (the next day would only be a travel day back to London), our day began with a little misadventure at the bus station in Málaga. If you remember from Friday’s post, the whole point of staying in Málaga was so we’d be in close proximity to Nerja, a town on the Costa del Sol with some of the prettiest beaches in Spain. We just had to figure out how to get there.
Our plan was to buy three return tickets to Nerja on the bus leaving at 10am, but when we arrived at the station, we realized it wouldn’t be as easy to do that as we thought. The other bus stations we’d navigated and bought tickets from on our trip were tiny little things, but Málaga’s station is much, much bigger with so many kiosks that I wasn’t at all sure where we were supposed to buy our tickets. It took us so long to find the correct kiosk, and of course the one we needed would have the longest queue, that we missed the 10am bus and had to wait an hour and a half for the next one to arrive. (In case you’re wondering – it’s the Alsa bus that will get you to Nerja from Málaga!) Luckily, we were on a direct bus, so we made it to Nerja at 1pm on the dot. Would it have been easier just to stay and enjoy Málaga’s beaches again for the day? Sure. But we would have missed seeing this…
Pretty incredible, isn’t it? A series of sandy coves surrounded by the Sierra de Almijara mountains and gorgeous turquoise waters – Nerja is a gem! Albeit, a not-so-hidden one. From other accounts of Nerja I’d read, I was expecting something a little more secluded, but Nerja in the busy season is about as secluded as Cancun on spring break. (Minus the drunken parties, but still with plenty of topless ladies – don’t look too close at the people in these pictures!)
The weather couldn’t have been any more perfect – blue skies and barely a cloud in sight. Actually, that was our entire Spain vacation. Four cities and nothing but sunshine for all five days of our trip. We don’t get forecasts like that in London.
We started by trying to find an open spot on the beach to take up residence for the next few hours, but the task proved more daunting than we first expected. Not only that, because we were arriving so late, there were no longer any open umbrellas or sun-beds to rent. Beginning to feel a little frazzled and our day had only just begun, I happened to look down from where we were standing. Below us was a collection of craggy rocks rising out of the water with beaches that looked a lot more isolated behind them. We decided to check it out.
Much better. It was like having our own little private beach, except for the people walking through it to get from one beach to the next. We even had our own natural umbrellas – the rocks stretching above us provided plenty of shade, which is probably why no one else wanted to be in this section of beach. (I’m in the 1% of white girls on the planet that actually prefers my skin to be pale.)
While Lexie and Cory ran off to climb rocks and play in the waves, I laid my towel down in our cave-like den and got my iPod out. From where I was sitting, I could see the mountains to my left and a seemingly endless ocean before me that wouldn’t meet land again in this direction until it hit Africa. Nerja may not have been the quiet, remote beach I was expecting, but it still had the best scenery I’ve ever been able to gaze at from the comfort of a beach towel. We were really happy to be here!
After going non-stop for three days, this relaxing pace of ocean-gazing, wave-splashing, and tapas snacking was one we gratefully fell into. The hours began to slip away much quicker than I would have liked. We even had a few visitors of the canine variety for awhile. While their owners went for a swim, they sought refuge in our cave. I think they found the waves a little intimidating. To be fair, Lexie did, too. We had experienced much gentler waters in Málaga, but here in Nerja the waves were much stronger and, given our spot next to the rocks, were pretty loud and scary. Lexie didn’t mind our temporary companions one bit, and was happy to take a break from the water and keep them company up on the beach!
Just like the day before, I spent a total of 22 seconds in the cold water before deciding my cave was where it’s at, and I didn’t move again until the tide began to rise and we got washed out of our shelter. No worries, though – we simply found another cave on higher ground with an even better view of the ocean. I may have outgrown my desire to spend hours laying out and and watching my skin turn an unnatural shade of red, but I will never grow tired of seeing and hearing the ocean.
And, of course, there was another attempt to make a sandcastle and this one had one heck of a moat, but it was no match for the tide that eventually washed it away. (But hey – our castle is still standing!) During the course of making it, Lexie was the designated water girl, catching water in her cupped hands and bringing it back to the castle. Clearly this is not the most expedient way to make a sandcastle, but what’s the alternative when you have no buckets? I don’t think she minded the trips to the water so much as the topless ladies getting in her way as they crossed paths on the way back. On her last trip, with a dramatic sigh she exclaimed, ‘That was like the fourth time I almost ran into boobs today!’ One of those sentences you don’t hear every day…
Almost five hours at the beach and with our second shelter suddenly at risk of disappearing under water, we took that as our cue to go and caught a bus back to Málaga. The next day we’d take a high-speed train from Málaga to Seville, a taxi to the airport, a plane to Gatwick, a train to Victoria, the tube to Chiswick, and a bus to our house (did you catch all that?), and our Spain trip would be over. It was very hard saying goodbye to Spain with its colorful world, fantastic weather, and vivacious culture. I hope to get back again someday in the future, and hopefully it won’t be another four years before we see the ocean again either!
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