La Linea to Estepona, Fuengirola and Mijas.
Leaving La Linea for Estepona, well nearly.
It was time for us to leave La Linea and the rock of Gibraltar to head for Estepona and pastures new. We were ready and prepared but then it happened again. That small leaving drink to say goodbye to all or friends turned into a big leaving drink.
The following day felt like we had been given a lobotomy and we were in no fit state to sail. Oh well there is the always the next day.
Were off but we can’t see where we are going
Saturday 11th May looked good to sail into the Mediterranean from our winter home of La Linea. We even had good friends to sail with in Stuart, Nicky, Telfer and Denise who would be taking their respective boats, “Comino” and “Sea Dawn”.
Stuart and Nicky behind us on Cominio
Soon after we cast off from La Linea to head for Estepona the fog that had been draped over the right shoulder of Gibraltar like a matador’s cape swooped to surround us in a grey, murky world. We could only see 50 meters all round which is not good when you know that there are twenty or thirty huge cargo boats at anchor around you. Even the iconic rock of Gibraltar which was only 200 meters away and could normally be seen from 20 miles was lost to us. Fog horns were sounding everywhere and we seriously considered turning back, where ever back was. We hoped the fog would clear on the other side of the rock so pressed on a little further before losing sight of “Sea Dawn” who only moments before had been just in front of us. We did have various electronic instruments to help but in conditions like this nothing beats the old-fashioned “eyeball”. At one point Angelina got particularly worried when she could not even see her own hands. Then she discovered the fog was covering her glasses in mist.
The six-hour sail to Estepona was tiring having to constantly look into nothingness but we did have to move quickly on several occasions to avoid hitting boats out fishing.
The beautiful town of Estepona, Spain
Eventually Estepona marina loomed in front of us. Denise and Telfer arrived at the same time. They had only been a few hundred meters to the side of us but in six hours we hadn’t seen them once.
The flowers of Estepona
If La Linea was the Moss Side of Spain then Estepona was the Mayfair. Going into the old town was a complete assault on the senses. The streets were cobbled, all the houses we freshly painted white and every house had identical flowers adorning its walls. It was beautiful. Everywhere you looked in the town was pristine flowerbeds. There can have been no unemployment here as everyone was employed as a gardener. Even the beach had flower beds.
As we strolled through the old town of Estepona we came across a festival. It was strange as in the lead were traditionally dressed men on immaculate horses. After them followed a large religious icon and a large group who danced and sang the same song every time the procession stopped. Then came traditional horses and carts followed by four by fours pulling modern caravans only they had curtains on the outside.
Spanish horse rider
It was pretty bizarre really. When they reached the church at the end the horses peeled off and were all tied up outside a bar whilst the men went for in for drinks. The only thing missing was for a bar brawl and someone to be thrown through the window. I did have my camera poised but things like that don’t happen in Spain, that is unless you visit a British bar in Benidorm.
After a couple of days it was time for us to move on. We said our goodbyes to Estepona and sailed out onto the Costa del Sol to head for Fuengirola, near to Malaga.
Fuengirola. They have stuck Blackpool in Spain!
Fuengirola.. Need I say more?
Fuengirola is hard to explain to the uninitiated. If you took Blackpool and stuck it in Essex you would be getting somewhere close. Billy Butlin would have been proud of Fuengirola with its regimented high-rise hotels and raked beaches. All the signs are in English as are all the pub names. Forget tapas. It is full English breakfast followed by Burger King or McDonald’s for lunch, KFC for evening meal and a Kebab on the way back from the pub. The streets and beaches are a mass of red and white as lobster coloured Brits try to burn themselves. Occasionally you will see a scorch mark on the pavement where a “Ginger” ventured into the sun and instantly fried. For this reason you do not see many Scottish people around. They sleep in their apartments with black out blinds closed during the day waiting for “happy hour” after the sun has gone down.
Fuengirola is not our idea of “going foreign” but I am sure for others it is perfect. The trouble is there is a huge area of bad weather out at sea meaning we are stuck here for several days.
We really needed to get out of town and see something a little more Spanish.
Mijas, a white village with a big ass.
Mark and Angelina in Mijas
Mijas village or Pueblo is a short and cheap bus ride high up into the mountains surrounding Fuengirola. It is one of Spain’s “White Villages”. Everything is painted white apart from the donkeys. I have to say it is beautiful. Little alleys are everywhere. Narrow stairs appear in the most unexpected of places taking you between roads. Mijas Costa Del Sol, is touristy in places but it has soul. It also has donkeys. Lots of them in the main square for tourists to ride and make them think they had done the proper Spain. As Angelina sat down, a donkey and owner passing by started blowing kisses at her. He obviously liked her “ass” better than the one he was pulling a punter along on. I did think about a swap but trying to get a donkey onto the boat may not be a good idea.
Angelina in Mijas
You can find more images from Mijas in our photos here