Unlike our entrance into Paris (see Paris blog), arriving in Mijas had more grace. We took a direct flight from Paris to the Malaga airport and were met by a prearranged car to drive us the 30 minutes to Mijas. Seamless.
It’s felt easy every since. The mountains watch over us, the wine is cheap, and a small, yet well-stocked grocery store is minutes away!
Bob’s done it yet again. Our apartment is minutes from a trailhead leading into the Sierra de Mijas. The workout starts instantly out our apartment door, with a left turn to face many stairs leading us to the mountain.
As we walk along the trail, the sun catches the many specks of marble making me wonder if I’m walking on diamond chips. I pause more than usual. I’d like to say it’s to take in the view of the Mediterranean Sea in the distance, which is true, but also to sip water and take a breath as the trail is up, up and more up. With each hike, I got stronger. Mijas hiking has kept us in shape.
On our first hike, we were serenaded by The Blue Basement Big Band playing down in the main square. The acoustics of the mountain created the perfect amplifier. I found myself with an extra hop in my step for “Down by the Boardwalk” and a slower saunter for “Lover Man”. On the way back down the mountain, we decided to see if we could get to the city center in time for another set. We made it in time to enjoy our lunch and dance to the tunes, albeit in hiking boots.
Things are more relaxed in Mijas. Bob joined a gym and normally he would be issued a membership card. Here they simply turned over his receipt and drew lines on the back, dividing it into 6 sections. Each time he goes, someone initials the next section, noting his visit. We need to be careful not to toss that receipt. (Oh, I forgot, I learned not to toss receipts in Paris.)
Mijas is one of the “white villages” in Andalusia, hence all the buildings are painted white. One day I saw a painter working on a wall and chuckled to myself thinking about how little time he must spend thinking about paint color. There’s no choice.
Most of the white walls have potted plants affixed to them. Being the gardener that I am, my only thought besides how beautiful they are, was, “How do they keep all these pots watered?” I got my answer when I came upon a crew of people armed with wheelbarrows, buckets, and sticks with cans attached to the end. They haul the buckets of water in the wheelbarrows, scoop the can in the bucket, reach high and pour the water into the pot. I can’t imagine how often this crew will have to water when the summer temperatures rise. All for the beauty of Mijas Pueblo.
Since we are so close to Morocco, I decided to pop over and visit my friend Karla in Tangier for a few days. I took the ferry across the Straits of Gibraltar. Karla greeted me at the ferry gate and even though we hadn’t talked in almost four years, we picked right back up with that kindred spirit friendship thing. I love ya, Karla. It was a delightful visit. Thanks.
We also catch up with Joanna and Jose Marie, friends we met in Malaga years back. We hiked for a couple of hours up past the cute little chapel on the mountain, had a typical Spanish lunch complete with grilled sardines and fried calamari, and topped off the day with a visit to a local ice cream shop. All in a day’s fun.
We leave Mijas Wednesday with sadness in our hearts. Our choice would be to stay a few more weeks, but we are out of Schengen visa time, so off to Scotland we go (which is also a very good thing). We have eleven days in Edinburgh and then the rest of the summer in our “summer home” of Peebles with our usual three housesits plus a new one. The summer is looking good!