Every time I visit the north of the island, it seems to be either covered in grey cloud or raining. Maybe I am unfortunate, I am told that it is because the airport is at a higher altitude than the resort of Puerto, but the same applies here, I visit Granadilla regularly, which is high above the southern resorts and while it may be cooler than Los Cristianos, it is bright and sunny. Is the sun just shining on the righteous? Maybe, but he always seems to have a memory lapse when I get past Candelaria and start heading north or perhaps, on this occasion, it was just a reflection of my dull mood. I am going for a week’s holiday to mainland Spain but I don’t feel the least bit excited as I have put my two girls in kennels and whilst Marti was in her element running round the garden, checking the chickens and discovering new smells, Caña was squeaking her dissatisfaction at being left.
A friend took us to the airport and like the last time we were there it was wet and quiet! The few people who were there were all middle to old age pensions: the women with hairstyles that looked like wigs and the men with trousers whose waist stopped under their armpits.
Our flight on Vuling took off and landed on time, as did my daughter and son in laws who were flying to Malaga from Luton, so within 30 minutes we were meeting up and heading for the hire car. At just after midnight we were on our way, torch and directions in hand.
Luck was on our side, the first sign we saw was the road we needed the A7 and fortunately, we ended up heading in the right direction. We knew the journey would be approximately an hour and it went exactly to plan until we were within 10 km of our accommodation at the Villacana. The directions said Come off at exit 155 then take this turning off the roundabout, then at the next roundabout, then other roundabout, then another. Hmm, we seem to have lost several roundabouts, we are lost, so try again – still lost! When in doubt, ask a policeman – ‘get back on the A7 towards Malaga’. Pay the toll and ask the man in the booth, ‘No No, back towards Estepona’, pay the toll again. So backwards and forwards taking every possible exit off the now infamous roundabout. We finally stopped a different group of police, this time checking vehicles. Nobody in the group of 8 or 9 people knew where we were until Julio came across and said back on the A7 look for the river then the next slip road. Once more unto the breach…. and after seeing the river we finally found our destination, it was now almost 3.00am. The only uplifting thing was that we were not alone, there were other villa keys waiting for people that were still probably driving up and down the damned motorway.
We were given a map and key to the security gate and told we were in Sylvia, but who is Sylvia? We followed the directions but I think by this hour in the morning we had lost all sense of direction. We spotted villas called Jorge and Patricia. Finally, Kate slipped into a flower-covered alley then came running back, found it. We all followed and there was Sylvia waiting to welcome us.
Inside was a welcome pack and a bottle of wine, but ignoring all we headed for bed. At this point, the only thing we noticed was both bedrooms had their own ensuite bathrooms and there were fluffy dressing gowns across each bed. Nice but that could wait until morning.
Finally woke at 9.00am and left the rest of the household snoring. I did a recci and decided it was a lovely villa, with a nice seating area outside and directly opposite one of the 5 swimming pools. The equipment was good with modern TV and DVD, we had slipped a couple of new films in our hand baggage as I had checked the weather and it had been forecast damp but today the sun was blazing so perhaps again I had been righteous, just hope the others had too and didn´t mess up the odds.
I sat on the patio with my coffee, bit like being at home and listened to the birds twittering away, it was the only noise around apart from one small child enjoying one of the other swimming pools somewhere in the distance. At 12.00, we ventured to the welcome meeting. Ordinarily we don´t do organised excursions but at just €12 we thought we would visit Mijas the following day and perhaps, as we were so close, Gibraltar.
The day was lazy, we soaked up the sun until almost 6.00pm having had a short wander around the complex where reception advised, don´t take the Gibraltar trip, it is easy to do as you have a hire car and will save almost €200. Back at the villa we spent the remainder of the afternoon reading and listening to Huge Laurie’s ‘Let Them Talk’ CD. This was a first hearing for me, I knew he was a good pianist but he also, at least in my opinion, has a fantastic voice for singing the blues. After a wash and brush up, off to Gregorio’s restaurant on the complex for dinner.
Page 2 – Mijas