|Where is the camping?!?|
The third day was even shorter again, about 15km this time to Camping Nerja, a tourist hotspot right on the Mediterranean. We reached the camping not long after lunchtime but decided it was prudent to rest up. We were coming to realise that even though we were both very fit, gym fitness doesn't necessarily prepare you for multi day trekking where you are on your feet all day every day. Besides, Camping Nerja, on the foothills of the Sierra de Tejeda national park had amazing views and I even borrowed a book to read from the reception.
Unfortunately by now we'd reached the end of the nice coastal road and motorway took us further, so we hopped on an eastbound bus the next morning (Day 5) to Motril, a slightly larger town set back from the coast. From here we walked to Camping Don Cactus near Calahonda. We were amazed as we reached the brow of a hill overlooking Calahonda that everywhere we looked were growing tents covered with plastic and guarded by, as it turned, vicious dogs. In fact at one point we were faced down by 3 of the nasty beasts - an Alsatian licking it's lips, a Rottweiler and a Doberman in the middle of the road - all blocking our way and snarling. If a farmer in a van hadn't appeared and used his van as a shield between us and the dogs we could well have been backtracking 8km to Motril.
|Only the English use the pools in March!|
Planning ahead we realised we'd have to take another bus to avoid the motorway which we did the following morning (Day 7) to Adra where we hoped to pick up another easy to follow coastal path. Unfortunately the reality was that by now, couple hundred km from the tourist hotspots and the mountain foothills, there wasn't much scenery, just a lot of industry and no longer an obvious walking route by the coast. So we made an executive decision to hot foot back to Nerja where we'd had such a nice time. Also, I was struggling a bit with my health problems and couldn't face another night in a tent. So we took a 3 hour bus ride back to Nerja and booked into a hotel. Not really in keeping with our hiking goals but we both felt we needed it and it was especially appreciated as I spent much of the night in the bathroom.
|Let's climb that mountain!|
|Frigliana to Nerja|
With 3 days left until we flew home we started the hike back to Malaga, following the same trails we'd used just over a week earlier to reach Nerja in the first place, taking variants where they existed. The weather stayed fine and we managed to stay in different campings, including a lovely site at Torre del Mar.
We reached Malaga and then for our final night we'd found a hotel nearby in the (in)famous Torremolinos. As we had an early departure we wanted to be near the airport and well rested and for just 20 euros we decided to have one more treat. Unlike our last 20 euro attempt this hotel came with a sea view balcony, was clean, tidy and the staff very very helpful. A lovely way to end 12 days (mostly) on the trail. In the morning, we set off early and walked from the hotel, finding our way through Malaga suburbs, all the way to the front door of the airport.
We had learned a lot about ourselves and our gear on this trip. Perhaps most importantly, although it was challenging, I had managed to cope with trekking and my health issues, although we'd needed a few more stop overs in hotels than planned. Secondly, we made a list of all of the gear we wanted to change. We'd gone quite lightweight, but were still hauling full winter gloves and gaiters and 3 different methods of purifying water. That could definitely be slimmed down for future trips. We'd had plenty of time whilst walking with sore feet to discuss what we wanted take out of our bags for next time!
Finally, as it had been some time since our last adventure abroad, we'd reminded ourselves that we are never more happy than when we on the trail and exploring the great outdoors......