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The last gasp!

25 Apr

Well,  how could we follow THAT party… I think we´re all starting to feel a bit jaded! Arlette and Ian went off for a walk and the gang pottered about the village.  There was a lot of talk about going to the coast but in the end we drove to Canillas de Albaida, had a nice lunch and a walk round that village instead… It is no less hilly than Competa.  We were all struggling up the hills puffing and panting… and regular sit downs were a must!

Dinner that evening – I was late as I fell asleep!

Tuesday – market day.  Were we going to the market or the caves, or weren´t we going to the caves. To be or not to be… that was the question!  In the end it was agreed that, as I was meeting a friend for lunch in Nerja I would pick them up at the Torre del Mar bus station and drive them back up the hill…. Well…. there was a bit of confusion.  Anne was being dropped off at the aiport – driven by – yes, you´ve guessed it…. Pepe.  The two musketeers decided they would go to Nerja instead… but of course I didn´t know…I had a frantic call from Helen saying that they would wait at the bus stop until 5pm… Well, I said I would pick them up at 4.30?  Strange. Ah well…. off I went to Torre del Mar – a 20 minute drive along the coast.  Arrived at the bus stop… where were they?  No sign….Waited – ah, there they are coming from the wrong direction on the bus from Nerja when I was expecting them to come from Malaga….No harm done…. drove up the hill and all was well.

Derek is on his own today as I have work to do…. No doubt I´ll see him before he leaves tomorrow morning.. Arlette and Ian left this morning.

U3A Axarquia

25 Apr

This is Norma´s post….


On Sun, 22 Apr 2018, 20:30 , Norma  wrote:

“We, members of U3A Axarquia, and the social subcommittee of Judy, Maggie and myself, want to thank Tina and her U3A UK gang for having joined us today to celebrate Spring during their holiday in the Costa del Sol. A grand time was had by all. Thank you also to all who attended for making this first U3A Axarquia Spring Gathering such a success.

The party was a blast!!! A total of 40 folks attended including the 6 UK/U3A group; they were absolutely charming!! I already invited them to come back for the 2019 Spring Gathering!! Only one-no-show…; so not bad at all!!!!

The official photographer was Judy who went around catching revelers in action!!! Thank you Judy; I’m sure John will be delighted to get an ”illustrated” report!! And we look forward to view them all at some point!! Thank you also to Judy, Sue H. and Mike Carr for helping both before and after the event. It removed any stress I may have otherwise encountered without your support; and at the end about 6 people spontanously helped by removing any tables, chairs and tablecloths from the front entrance and returning the space to its original ”public street” look as we had to invade public property to accomodate that many revelers!! Roger and Mary will come tomorrow to pick up the table and chairs they generously loaned us for the occasion; as you could see, they were put to good use!!

And, the company was tops and very gracious, the food unbeatable and outreageouly yummy, beautifully presented, and abundant!! I plan to ask Gisela and Greta for their outlandishly delicious recipes!! Thank you to Maggie for whipping up a visual quiz to identify Spanish folks; it primed us for a little more involved one on Spanish culture. Our guests from UK surprised us with a mini quiz about some Spanish highlighs related to Irish culture. Dessert and a mini dance class followed; valiantly assisted by Tina from my dance classes; thank you Tina… By then, most of us were partied out and the UK group had to leave early as they were headed to Competa by Taxi; we were sorry to see them go…

And how very thoughful of Christine for presenting us an appreciative little note to thank us for such a good idea mentioning she hopes more events of this type will follow!!!

Again, thank you to all who came for making this first U3A Spring Gathering such a grand occasion; see you next year!! Cheers, nkk

PS: GASP!!! I just realized my spellcheck isn’t working…. Please fogive any spelling errors!!”

Awaiting photos…

More travels…

25 Apr

Saturday was again a day in paradise… skies, wide open spaces…..I had to drive to the airport so I left the gang in the efficient hands of a local walk leader and they did a lovely guided walk of the village, learning about its history, culture and the people of Competa.  The guide has lived here for many years and is fluent in four languages….  Saturday was market day as well so perfect for wandering around looking at the fruit and veg and assorted bits and pieces.


Sunday – and the part I had been looking forward to.  The local U3A of the Axarquis were so welcoming…. Norma was amazing… I couldn´t beat her report so she gets her own page!  Pepe was engaged again to take us to the depths of Velez Malaga.. we only went wrong once… and almost ended up in Arenas… Arlette was reading the instructions….!



25 Apr

Friday dawned bright and sunny…it´s hell living in paradise….

Pepe picked us up at 11.45 and we wriggled down the hill in the taxi to Sayalonga which has the only round cemetery in Spain. The steep slope up to the buildings of the vineyard was breath taking.  The vineyard is a typical Malaga vineyard… small – only an hectare.  It is not the sort of place where you walk around the vines…..

We were met by Rose who was our guide for the day…. what a lovely woman…and English!  There was a good mixture of Spanish, English and Scandanavians.  We had a tour of the vineyard, then sat down to a liquid lunch.  Lots of different wines…. and matching foods……The Malaga grapes  are nicely flavoured from minerals in the rocks and salt winds coming up from the valley below.  Rose stopped in mid sentence when a bee eater flew by  —- what a beautiful bird!

Unlike Rioja which is matured in American oak, the Malaga wine is matured in French oak which gives the wine a totally different flavour.

We ate and drank to our hearts content…. and were picked up by the effervescent Pepe and returned to Competa.


25 Apr

Competa square

The gang arrived on Thursday afternoon……what a lovely day in Competa.  The B&B lady had organised a taxi up to her place as the village is VERY steep.  Some of them enjoyed a welcome platter. I had decided earlier in the day to have a welcoming reception at the hotel.  So… out came the flags I had bought before and the table decorations.  I had got lots of info from the tourist office – maps etc.  so the gang would have an idea of what to do.  I invited some of my friends…. and a local guide in case they needed him.  Lots of food and wine later, we had decided that we would go to the local vineyard in Sayalonga for the afternoon.  I had already booked three of us in…. it was a matter of the others.  Derek and Eunice decided that they would come…. Arlette and Ian would do their own thing.  An early night – full and happy.

Travels in Competa

19 Apr

Sunday morning – a lovely day in paradise. Spent the day planning the week, walking and visiting friends. The bar in Canillas de Albaida was buzzing.  Ramon was as charming as ever.  Good food, good wine, good company – what more could we want?


Monday – woke early but not bright.  I knew that last wine was a mistake!

Met with friends…went for a walk. More revelling in the evening.

Dinner at Oscars.

Tuesday – walking..I had forgotten just how steep these hills are!

Sayalonga for lunch and a visit to the only round cemetery in Spain – so they say.

Dinner at Last Gemelas – prawns pil pil …yummy.

Arriving in Competa

15 Apr

I arrived in Competa at 14:30, after a long and tiring journey from Northern Ireland.  Leaving at 8.25 from Belfast International Airport meant that I landed at around 12:00 Spanish time.  I had forgotten the time difference!  What a difference a year can make.  I haven’t been here for a year and the beauty of flying over the “sierras” and gliding in over the blue glistening “silver sea” never ceases to take my breath away.

Pablo Piccasso gives his name Malaga airport which has developed over the thirty odd years I have been coming here…. it was a shed when I first arrived.  Now it is a sprawling cosmopolitan international meeting point with flights coming in from all over the globe.  I first thought I had landed in the wrong place as it looked more like Las Palmas airport in Gran Canaria – the whole place is being remodelled.  I met with the very efficient car rental lady and ended up not with a Fiat 500 as booked, but a brand new Golf Polo with only 1000 km on the clock!

The drive along the coast is inspiring – a spagetti junction of motorways – but the backdrop of the snow capped Sierra Nevada really is spectacular.  It was a pity I couldn’t stop to take photos!  The blue Mediterranean – well Albaran sea to be precise – on the right and the vineyards and connurbations of Torre del Mar, Rincon de la Victoria and others on the left.  I turned up through La Caleta – one of my favourite places – to see if the market was still in full flow.  It was…. but I was too tired to stop.  Must remember to drop off there and look at the cruises.

Turning up into the mountains at Algarrobo Costa was like going home.  The road wriggles and turn and the scenery gets even more amazing.  Sayalonga is the venue for the forthcoming trip to the vineyard at Bentomiz… a beautiful village snuggled in the valley.  Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle….onwards and upwards.  I finally arrived in Competa and was escorted to my apartment by my very charming host, Sergio Fernandez.  Speaking in a mixture of Spanish and English – we both like to practice.. we got me settled in.  I fell asleep almost immediately.  Waking at 180


My Idea of a Perfect Sunday

19 Dec

Listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, going for a walk

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