Friends here after Scotland visit
Apr 23, 2016
The Scotland visit was very enjoyable. This time the plane was on time, no hassle. Maggie has recovered well, but her teeth can't be repaired till she's older, and she has a couple of nasty scars. Billie Bruce and Lily have a new home in Montrose,a modern terraced house over 3 floors, which is close to buses for their uni and college. Arran and Arthur thriving happily. Jenny and Douglas well and were looking forward to their holiday without children. Jenny's 40th and Douglas had his birthday start of April, so they booked 4 nights in Venice, asking me to hold the fort, which I was very pleased to be able to do. Liz came up from Somerset before they left, to see them all, then support me for the first couple days. So we had a lovely time, Arthur was incredibly well behaved for me, the only bit I had a problem with was carrying him up and down the stairs. Billie and Bruce came over the day after Liz went back south, friends came over too, so it was a great few days, thoroughly enjoyed it; having Arthur to myself for a few days was such a privilege, and such fun, and such good exercise!
Anyway, Jenny and Douglas duly came back, not only having had a wonderful holiday in Venice, but also with news of their engagement....Douglas proposed at the top of the Bell Tower in St Mark's Square...how romantic is that! Douglas took lots of photos so I'll put a couple of those in here too....For those of you who knew my mum, you'll maybe recognise Jenny's engagement ring! What better use could it possibly have.
Right, the mushy bit's over...
Flew back home, another good trip. Liz and Geoff were already settled in at an apartment in Duquesa by the time I arrived at Bellavista. We had a quiet day on Thursday, met up in the afternoon and had a lovely evening at a bar in Castillo.
Friday, we took Blue to Sue's, very happily he trotted into the kennels, we had no guilty feelings,he was so happy!! So then off we went, Liz driving their hired car brilliantly,to Casares, where we did the full exploration this time, walking a very steep descent into the bottom of the village, stopping there for coffee, then climbing the treacherous street ascent to the church on the other mountainside, with incredible views. We found a tiny cafe with a garden setting so had lunch there, very simple but enjoyable. I said treacherous, if you're wondering why, the narrow streets are so steep and so worn, with only a couple of places where there are hand rails, that coming down I skidded on a piece of highly polished stone so had to take my shoes off and walk barefoot, we all hung on to the walls and each other for the rest of the way down. Took another route back up to where the car was parked which was even steeper, relieved to get into the car for a drink of water. But a lovely day was had by all, we finished the day at Duquesa, at a waterfront restaurant which served us a great meal.
Saturday we set off for the pink mountain, Los Realles, via another mountain road; we've been many times now, but only Roy has managed the ascent to the summit previously. Liz drove superbly again, with Roy sitting front with her as her guide, the last 2 kilometres are pretty hairy scary and she coped well. At the car park we had a scout around enjoying the view, ascertaining the cafe was open for later on....it then took an hour to climb the gravel path way up to the top, the last hundred yards climbing up steeply over rocks. What an incredible view, what a reward for our climb. We could easily see a huge area of Morocco, with the Rock of Gibraltar looking like a tiny pin cushion rising from the sea at the end of the Mediterranean, the narrow channel looked only an inch wide!
We decided to take the - mmmm - quick - way down, through the pine woods along the edge of the mountain, but of course, being at our ages not quite so nimble, it took just as long, having to be very careful on a lot of tricky parts where the goat paths were very steep and comprised of loose stone. We made it down; by this time it was very hot, the welcome coolness of the inside of the cafe beckoned so we had lunch there, this time the menu was limited to chorizo and some dubious looking ratatouille, so we all opted for egg and chips, boring but safe! Nice too.
Back home for a rest, this evening our walk to Duquesa was a struggle, 2 days of rigorous climbing/walking had taken it's toll. The Indian restaurant served us excellent meals, our choices in 2 cases were special requests which they complied with happily. Lovely evening. I think we must've managed to crawl back to Bellavista, cos we woke there the next morning!
Sunday,a good rest, and I cleaned the Lady as I hadn't had time since landing home. Liz and Geoff went into Estepona market then came to us for the afternoon, we had a bbq early evening and an much needed early night.
Monday we went into Gib, this time it was really busy traffic-wise, but we managed to park next to the Cable car terminus, and took that way up to the top, where there was a cafe, which we sat in after looking around the roof top terrace at the views over the Med. The wind got up, but we managed a good walk around, up and down the paths on the nature reserve, until we'd had enough, and went back to the Cable car point, where we were told it was too windy to use so we had to wait inside the cafe for mini buses. After a while we were told the cars were running again, so down we went, on reaching base we walked down the high street to Casemates Square, to Roy's Cod Plaice, where again we had wonderful portions of fish n chips for our late lunch.
A quick look around the shops, back home for a good rest. Roy fetched Blue from the kennels, finding him still happy, but excited to get home, we stayed in, Liz and Geoff had the evening on their own looking around Duquesa port. Tuesday late morning they arrived at ours, we had early lunch so they could get off to the airport, stopping at Puerto Banus on the way. So home they went, and we settled back into our routine, but since then, making more effort to walk more, it definitely did us good, and we've kept up walking at least 8000 steps every day, cept Sundays, need one day off!!!
Our friends Julia and Ian had arrived by then, so Julia and I have been walking together along the prom to the small beach side nature reserve. It's getting hotter now and the nights are warmer too, a lovely time of year here, flowers are abundant on the hill sides where we walk Blue, and the evenings warm enough to sit outside without being wrapped up. Lovely.