As usual I woke to the sound of bird song, church bells, and the chef parking his bicycle up outside. He’d been booked to come in at 9am to make my breakfast. As I was the only guest it really was Royal treatment.
Breakfast was huge and consisted of hams, cheeses, bread, preserves, a huge apple, coffee and a fruit juice.
After breakfast I left my laptop charging in the empty bar while I explored the village I’d been living in the for last couple of days.
It was nestled on the edge of the Sierra Mountains and was called El Borge. Built on a hillside the streets were steep and winding. I went to find the church that had become my daily wake up call and found a door at the back labelled ‘crypt’. I went in but it was really creepy so I exited fast to look for the main entrance.
At the other side there were steps up to the main entrance and I climbed them, pushed the large wooden door but it wouldn’t budge. It was locked.
Suddenly, at the bottom of the steps a police car pulled up and the policeman jumped out shouting me in Spanish. As he ran up the steps towards me, I was a little concerned how I’d broken the law. Upon reaching the top he smiled, pulled a key out of his pocket, opened the huge creaky church doors and waved me inside.
Perplexed and bemused I had a look around the church while the policeman it seemed, dusted the Virgin Mary statue. I lit some candles and said a prayer / made a wish (delete according to your beliefs) and took some photos before thanking him and moving on.
I had a appointment back in Torre De Mar to collect the Spanish ID I’d made this trip for at 13h30. It was a half hour drive and I arrived perfectly on time. The senior lady immediately recognised her ‘date’ and beckoned me over. The ID wasn’t a card as I expected, it was simply a letter signed by the chief of police. I sat outside and phoned my accountants in the UK so that the process of setting up my Spanish company can commence.
Again, it was quicker than I expected and I had 4 hours before I was due at the airport. I decided to search Google Maps for the remotest restaurant I could find within a 90 minute drive… The one I selected was at the top of a mountain.
It was North East from the town. The roads started off as motorways, then dual carriageways, then fast single lanes roads, then windy roads and finally dirt tracks.
The drive was stunning and I was soon climbing the mountain on thin, and muddy roads that zig-zagged back and forth.
The roads got rougher and the safety less apparent with steep drops by the side of the road and no barriers. I carried on with Google shouting directions though I did question her a couple of times and pulled over to check the map!
Finally, about 3 miles after loosing mobile coverage I saw a building in the forest… My restaurant!
I parked in front, starving and wondering what local delicacies might be on the menu. Only then did I spot the sign, it was only open weekends. DOH!
The airport was an hours drive back and my concern was that the rental company might try to pin damage on me given the ridiculous price, just €0,15, I paid for 3 days rental.
Fortunately when I arrived the returns staff were in the middle of a heated argument with a German couple. The couple were collecting their car and the rental lady was adament it was in pristine condition and refused to mark the dints and scratches on the check out form. It honestly looked like it had done an off-road rally in Kabul but I managed to capitalise on someone elses unfortunate situation and the lady signed my car off and released my deposit without even checking my vehicle.
Vehicle dropped it was a long walk to the gates. I was stopped in a desolate part of the car park by a disheveled Scottish chap sitting on the floor with a suitcase. He told me he’d missed his flight and wanted €4 cash to catch the next one. He stank of booze and had a can of beer next to him. I asked what time his next flight was and how he thought he could book it for €4, I needed tips! He then started to barter and asked for pounds instead of euros, then £2 and or even just £1; the penny dropped that I’d actually be funding his next beer and he was probably destined to spend the night in Malaga Airport Car Park. I wished him all the best but did wonder if he had a loved one waiting for him back in the UK and what his excuse would be for missing the flight and stinking like a brewery.
One final note: my Ryanair flight was nearly full. I counted 142 people queueing in the VSIP (Very Self Important Persons) ‘priority’ queue as it snaked around several gates (with stoopid people blocking walkways of course). The non VIP had just 20 people including myself… I really don’t understand why people pay extra for perceived exclusivity. On this type of budget flight, the economy has become the rare elite!