After more than a week of walking around the museums, mosques, cathedrals and castles of Spain, a few days at the beach seemed a darn good idea. So we hopped on a bus from Granada and headed to the local coastline – a town called Salobrena (pics here). Recommended by Lonely Planet as a low-key, low-rise little beach resort, not overrun by tacky tourist shops, fish and chips, bingo halls and bloody Watney’s Red Barrel.
It turned out to be a pretty good move. The Hotel Avenida was comfortable, stylish, and a bargain. The local beach was pleasant and deserted, and the Mediterranean a pleasure for a dip. The old town situated on a huge rock was quaint and easy to navigate. And the impressive Alcazaba was well restored, affording wonderful views up and down the coast, and of the mountainous, parched hinterland.
While it was certainly quiet, there were still plenty of bars and restaurants open along the beachfront. Getting a table wasn’t an issue, and listening to the bizarre, banal conversations of the refreshingly small number of chain-smoking, beer swilling refugees from the English winter was a constant amusement. "How many drink-driving convictions have you had, then?" "Only two – more speeding though – that’s not so bad, is it?" "Dead right. How about a couple more beers, then drive home and watch Corrie on Sky with a Pizza?"
God bless ’em.
So we spent 3 days walking to the beach, walking to the town, swimming, eating fresh seafood and drinking Rioja, Albarinos and cold beers. It was almost like those holidays of old, relaxing and a little indulgent. But three days was enough :-}