A few days lapping up Spain’s warm sunshine was on the cards in late March when I arranged to stay in a friend’s hillside villa in Los Altos, a place I had previously visited some ten years ago but predictably much had changed since last there although the stunning views stretching to the Mediterranean a couple of miles away remain unchanged.This time my sister and her youngest daughter Rosy, a dab hand at the internet,  joined me and who arranged our cheap £40 Ryan Air return flights from Bristol to Malaga. This was my first Ryan Air experience and I’m happy to report all went well, both flights arrived and left on time.

The only drawbacks were arriving late at night, picking up a Hertz hired car and negotiating our way on unfamiliar roads to Los Altos which retrospectively turned out to be a bit of a nightmare.

Fortunately, we agreed to pay an extra 200 euros for a ‘super insurance’ at my niece’s insistence as she and her husband had been stung to the tune of £500 when the car hire company they used in Sardinia docked £500 from their credit card after it was returned to the airport and purportedly a crack was found on windscreen, something they are still fighting.IMG_2770

After agreeing to the insurance upgrade, we were subsequently upgraded to a rather ungainly Audi A4 which I stupidly agreed to even though I had never previously driven an Audi, and more to the point nobody at Hertz bothered to accompany me to the car to demonstrate how everything worked which meant not even knowing how it started! Thankfully I found someone walking around in the semi-lit car park who kindly came to my rescue and started the car. Needless to say the drive to the villa was another nightmare in spite of Rosy’s navigational skills!

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The next morning clear blue skies greeted us and after a light breakfast we drove to the local supermarket to stock up for the next few days. In broad daylight landmarks are easy to remember but we still managed a couple of wrong turns before finding the road leading to Los Altos.

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An enjoyable afternoon followed and spent lapping up the sun’s warm rays in the garden but by late afternoon we were in the mood to explore. Fortunately I remembered a place called Capopino about ten miles away which has a small but charming Marina and where we ended up for a late afternoon drink after discovering a nearby delightful beach restaurant where we watched the evening sun set while downing a couple of glasses of local plonk and a plate of fried calamari.

The next day we returned to the same beach, hired three sun loungers for 5 euros and spent the day enjoying the warm sunshine, having a delicious paella lunch and walking along the beach dabbling our feet in the cold seawater before returning to the villa.

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As both Felicity and Rosy wanted to visit Marbella, the next day found us driving in the direction of Marbella but somehow ended up the wrong side of town driving down a horribly narrow one way street with cars closely parked on one side, and somehow I managed to clip one of the parked cars which completely buckled the front-side driver’s wheel.To this day I’m convinced the wheel was already damaged and even the police agreed to this when they saw the broken spindle.

The other car - barely damaged!

The little damage to hired Audi A3 which hardly scraped a car but ended up with a completely buckled wheel

The other car - barely damaged!

The other car – barely damaged!

Fortunately I managed to drive the stricken vehicle onto a nearby grass verge and soon the two charming policemen who came to our rescue had taken over, arranging through Hertz for a taxi to take us back to the villa – thank goodness for Rosy’s advise. As we were leaving the next day Hertz also agreed to lay on a taxi to take us back to the airport!

All’s well that ends well!

End

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