After a few recent trips that didn’t hit our usual high expectations, we agreed that 2020 would be just about us two travelling together and visiting known places that we have thoroughly enjoyed previously. The plan for March was to take the cheap option of the Club La Costa resort just south of Fuengirola in Spain.
It’s a lovely spot and, although not the hottest time of the year, it was still pleasant enough to sit by the pool, reading and recharging our batteries. The resort wasn’t fully open, which was good in terms of peacefulness, but bad in terms of having to walk further from the sun lounger to get a beer. Plus, the pool was set to Baltic temperature and body parts shrivelled up just thinking about going for a swim. We did make it into the pool on a couple of occasions, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience and it was more to prove that we could do it rather than we wanted to!
We ventured off site a few times during the week, heading into Fuengirola and finding local bars along the main road heading south to La Cala de Mijas. On one of these outings we walked along the beach, scrambled over a rocky outcrop and into a quiet sandy cove, only to realise we’d stumbled onto a nudist beach. Avoiding eye contact with the patrons and feeling decidedly overdressed, we retreated to a bar and had a good laugh about it. There is just something weird about old age pensioners happily lying naked on a beach!
We hopped on a bus down to Marbella one day and made an impromptu decision to walk along the promenade/seafront down to Puerto Banús. It turned out to be a 7-kilometre walk, but very pleasant. After a mooch around the harbour area, with its high-end fashion shops, performance cars and superyachts, we stopped for food at a gorgeous Italian restaurant (La Pappardella) and then took the catamaran shuttle back to Marbella.
The remainder of our time in Spain was very relaxing, until it was time to head home. There was no rush as our flight wasn’t until 8pm, so we chilled by the pool, booked a taxi to the train station and then took the 30-minute train back to the airport.
All of a sudden, the world imploded on so many levels! About 10 minutes away from our destination, Amanda’s Apple iWatch announced that our flight was now boarding?!? Apparently, we’d messed up our timings somewhat. With no time for panicking, we raced as fast as we could to the check-in desk only to be told it was closed and we had to take our luggage through security and check it at the gate. So, after running back down the length of the airport concourse, pushing our way through security, upsetting the queuing masses, having many of our liquids confiscated and paying our luggage fine at the gate, we boarded the plane as pretty much the last passengers before the doors were closed.
Dripping with sweat and feeling mightily relieved we started to relax until the captain announced that we’d have to sit tight, and departure would be delayed for around 90 minutes. The reason for the delay was the growing travel chaos due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As it turned out, Spain went into strict ‘lockdown’ the day after we left (Sunday 15th March).
Who knows when we may be able to travel abroad again? Maybe it will only be few months, but it could equally be much longer and our plans to hit Key West in June and Cancun in October may go up in smoke! See you on the other side. Stay safe.