Spain - fabulous white washed villages in the Axarquía
Finally, the doctor gave me (Nina) an official "go" - and here we went, travelling again - this time together (Markus went on his own to Thailand in January - but this was too risky for me). After 3 abdominal operations in 2012 I got kind of a "new" life - and it was no question that travelling will be part of my second life. As I am still scared of the consequences of unfamiliar food for my poor stomach, we had decided to take it slowly in the beginning. Some days in Andalucía seemed to be a good choice, with decent doctors available (just in case) and more or less save food.
Thanks to Easy Jet, we had an incredably cheap flight from Geneva to Malaga. The downside of this flight was that it left at 7 am in Geneva. From Bern there is no train connection this early in the morning. We had to get to the airport by car and left home at 3.30 am. But the flight was pleasant, we slept a while and had some amazing views over the snowcapped Sierra Nevada. After 2 hours, pure sunshine welcomed us in Malaga. We rented a car for an amazingly cheap price and hit the road immediately. Our first destination was the eastern part of Malaga with its beaches. I nearly cried when we stepped on the beach. 8 month ago, the doctors told me that I would need artificial nutrition and could not live without regular injections. And there I was, standing on a spanish beach, fit enoumgh to travel and do some sport without even 1 single pill a day. Although a lot has changed mentally I was back to my normal life! That made me cry.
We had a relaxing breakfast at a beachside cafe with "churros con chocolate" and walked along the beach visiting a cute little sunday market. For lunch we went back to the hostel and used the kitchen before we started exploring Malaga. Well, the city is nothing special, but it is pleasant for a day or two. On Sunday the entrance to the castle is free (lucky us), and the old town is nice to explore with lots of modern bars. We had a nice afternoon tea at the Teteria near the Picasso Museum simply watching the street live. The next day we left Malaga heading to the mountainous region of Axarquía.
On our way we stopped at Torres del Mar, a typical tourist ressort which is full of german and english pensioners. We do not like these kind of places very much, but we had read the there are some excellent beach shacks (chiringuitos) offering fresh fish for lunch - and this was what we were heading for. It was indeed great, having some freshly grilled fish and a cool cerveza with you feet in the sand. We enjoyed the sea for a while before we hit the mountain roads. From Torres del Mar it is a short drive to the picturesque village of
Algarrobo. White washed houses are clustered on the hill with narrow and steep streets. Wow! It was amazing - no tourists and an absolutely lovely scenery. We walked around aimlessly and just enjoyed the atmosphere. Next we reached Sayalonga, another white washed village. The road went further uphill with lots of curves till it finally left us speechless. From a roadside carpark we had a wonderful view of Compéta, another white washed village - and by far the most beautiful. The whole region was like paradies. Green hills surrounding the village, the blossom of the olive trees and a relaxed atmosphere. No wonder that a lot of artists from all over the world call this village their home. Although there are quite a lot of foreigners in the village, it does not have a touristic atmosphere. We loved it from first sight and decided spontanously to stay longer than planned. We had a small room in the Alberdini Hotel, a wonderful place on top of one of the hills with great views over the countryside to the ocean and yummy food. It was just a short walk to reach the village with its cozy streets, a lively plaza. And, overall, there is subleme hiking in the nearby National Park! Of course, we went for some great walks. For sure, we will come back one day for more hiking and more relaxing. Compéta is one of these magical places for us. We could have stayed for months - but, of course, we also wanted to explore other regions of Andalucía. On our way to the next destination we stopped at the beach of La Herradura which must be crazily crowded in summer. But in may it was nearly empty and we took the chance to relax with some yoga on the beach.