Two things. 1) I’m an absolute sucker for new clothes and 2) my wardrobe might survive a summer in England but it is NO match for Spain, meaning I need more tops.
Thankfully, #secondhandseptember was saved by the wonderful Nerja market and it’s jumble stalls, selling all kinds of clothing for <5€. We pored over maps and timetables and figured out the bus route there, only to find out there’s a route just for the market. The journey only cost 1€ each way, which is nothing compared to what I’m used to paying, and took us to the bottom of the road where the market was. So I bought a black halter top and a beige camisole which will definitely help battle the heat over here. I could have happily bought more as I loved the designs but second hand clothing doesn’t often have a fantastic range for ridiculously tiny people such as myself.
The rest of the market was really sweet too. It was a brilliant mix of food, sweets, clothes, handmade gifts, jewellery and more. Definitely better value than I was expecting!
I played Monopoly in the afternoon, as you do, and got absolutely thrashed, but it was a good break after spending ages looking through hotels and Airbnbs in Malaga. I’m definitely going to drag Joe there for a couple of days to see the Alcazaba and the museums.
We had homemade ratatouille for tea which was gorgeous, and then I FaceTimed my brother back home. It was really cool to chat to him since he’s not usually the sort of person to ring just for a catch up!
Later that night we walked into the square where this amazing band were playing, Proyecto Mandarina. We saw them last week too but they were just a sax, a trumpet, a drummer and a trombone. This time they had a singer who was just awesome. They did covers of songs and some mashups, but the energy was brilliant! The whole square turned into a dance floor for two hours. There were a group of English girls who kind of kick started the dancing. One of them was clearly a dancer and moved with the grace of one, gradually dragging her friends along too.
Now time for a quick moment of self reflection – I realised that us brits have been subconsciously trained to see confidence as arrogance. I tried my best to be happy for this girl but there was a part of me which simply dismissed her fabulous movement as just a girl showing off, and I noticed a few other English people rolling eyes. Or maybe I just imagined that. It’s really frustrating, as if she’d been a Spanish girl I’d have loved watching, but the fact that she was English and we expect English girls to be quiet and reserved completely changed my outlook, and it was bizarre. When I’m partying with friends or family I’m always dancing, so why was she any different? I’m not usually a bitter person but I found myself feeling a bit of resentment towards her simply for having the guts to get up and move, and I didn’t like that about myself.
Nonetheless, the atmosphere was electric, the whole crowd had a great time, toddlers and all nationalities included, and we didn’t stop dancing until past midnight. Videos are available on instagram/onthefly.blog if you’re interested!
Last week we found a bar that served pretty awesome hot chocolates and we’d planned to go there and try out the different flavours. We hadn’t planned on watching the band for so long, so by the time we got to the bar they’d stopped serving hot drinks! Worn out from the dancing, we found a cafe attached to an ice cream shop and, yes, at 12:30am, ate waffles and crepes. Why not?!
I haven’t trained for about two days and I was worried that last nights shenanigans might stop me from getting up early, but luckily it started off quite overcast this morning so no one was out at 8:30, meaning I could do a body weight circuit on the balcony without any spectators. Even so, it was muggy and I got breathless very quickly. By the time I finished the others were up and we went to this really cute cafe in town for breakfast, which we’ve wanted to go to since we arrived. It was a proper pastel affair, with a balcony overlooking the sea drenched in morning sun. I had a croissant with ham and cheese and a cup of coffee that I could have kept drinking forever. The staff were so cheerful and there was a real mix of customers.
Once back at the apartment I started a book by John Hooper called The Spaniards, which was published in the 80s and is basically an account of Spain after the dictatorship. Having learned about it in school it will be interesting to get a more detailed understanding of exactly what happened and how it has shaped Spain today.
This afternoon we went to the inflatable obstacle course on the water! It was so much fun. I’d forgotten how slippery they get, so the first ten minutes was spent just trying to stand upright! I’ve don’t the one at Rutland and it’s on my bucket list to work the summer season there, so this was really good to remind myself how fun it is!
I’m writing this at about 8pm. Martha and I have just made a MEAN pasta bake and I’m not kidding. We used the leftover ratatouille and then went to the supermarket and added spinach, more tomato sauce, seeetcorn, cheese and crumbled breadsticks. It doesn’t look too appetising, but boy was it gorgeous.
I don’t remember Thursday in much detail. I missed a few days of writing and I’m trying to go back over what we did. I remember on Thursday I started to feel quite groggy – period struggles for sure. In some moments I couldn’t really be bothered being around people so I sat in the sun to read. We did go down to the beach for a while because the waves looked quite big from the apartment, but when we got there even I was a little scared to go in. Will splashed around for a while before the lifeguards decided enough was enough and got everyone out, so I sat on the beach to do some blogging, and introduced Martha to sea glass.
For tea we had tapas in the square and then tried to take Joe for one of the fancy hot chocolates…except they had run out of every flavour but two, one of which we didn’t really like and the other one had nuts in it so Joe wouldn’t drink it! All in all he was quite disappointed with this hot chocolate experience that we’d been hyping up for days!
We were up bright and early for the bus to Frigiliana, a gorgeous town of white buildings situated in a very hilly area! The bus only cost 1.15€ each way which I found crazy! It was full of sweet clothes shops and small independent bars. One of the shops was owned by a British woman; so much for my rehearsed Spanish greeting. Still, it was nice to chat to her about life in the town. She seemed very content with her choice to move there 8 years ago.
We had lunch in a lovely restaurant which grew lots of their own ingredients and I had possibly the best salad ever – spinach with a sweet honey dressing, toasted bread and goats cheese. I could have eaten it 3 times over!
Also in Frigiliana were some public botanical gardens, tended to perfection, and even more cats! One thing I’m noticing is this gorgeous hot magenta blossom everywhere, which is so bright it’s a wonder it’s a real flower!
Despite the myriad of restaurants and bars in the town, Martha and I went to the local Chinese restaurant and bought takeout for us all. We make a seriously good culinary team, and after tea we made hot chocolate using Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate, which was amazing, even if the boys didn’t approve.
Today has been a bit of a quiet day. We’re all absolutely shattered and needed the rest! Joe and I walked to get his granddad’s paper again then sat for a cup of coffee. There were some guys meeting in the square who had martial arts shorts on and tambourines, which confused us, but we’d sat for as long as possible and although more kept arriving, they didn’t seem to be in a rush to perform. We walked back to drop the paper off and then went back to see what they were up to. Turns out they were practicing Capoeira, and performing acrobatics whilst chanting to a beat. They really knew how to play the crowd and I could tell they knew to hang around afterwards because everyone wanted photos!
On the way back we stopped at this jewellery shop. The owner sells her own handmade beaded jewellery as well as stuff by other designers and, curiously, some second hand studs. She has a crazy jumble of random designs; some which said “yes” and “no”, spiders, fairies, jewels…somehow, the Spanish way of life has got to me and I didn’t mind buying these old, tarnished items. I did watch her wash and polish them thoroughly though, so there’s that. Some weren’t even in pairs, which pleases my haphazard nature. For only 3€ each, I bought a turtle, a seahorse, a moon and a cute green diamond.
I did drag Joe into the tiny pool for a bit of practice and then we went to the beach for a while. For once I didn’t swim though – I was so tired I could have slept in the sea! I dozed in the sun on the beach and read for a bit too. We went out for tea to a restaurant at the top of the road which turned out to be amazing. I finally had a proper gazpacho which I’d been craving all week, and it did not disappoint!
Another quiet day. The last few days have been lovely and overcast but today the sun is back and I’m all sweaty – yuck! We said goodbye to Martha today; she flew back because she needed to get to school. We spent a little while sprucing up the apartment, since with 7 of us living near the beach, a lot of sand has been trailed inside and many towels needed washing! Joe and I finished booking our trip to Malaga, which I’m really excited about, and I looked at a few projects online which I’m thinking of volunteering with as part of my gap year.
I’m currently sat outside soaking up some sun, because god knows when I’ll see it again once I’m back! We’re planning to visit the Alhambra this week too, since I couldn’t really be this close without seeing it!
My energy levels were even lower today. I even went to bed for a while in the middle of the day, but I didn’t really sleep properly. We had homemade tuna pasta for tea which was lovely, and now I’m about to get a super early night because my body just isn’t functioning right.
I’m feeling a lot better today, but still not 100%. I didn’t even set an alarm this morning, but instead let myself sleep in for as long as my body needed – turns out that was until about 10:30. I don’t like the fact that I haven’t trained for about 3 days now as I just love training in this climate, but I need to listen to my body. So I’m spending today soaking up more sun, reading, blogging and watching a cheeky bit of TV. I did walk up the road this morning to pick up coffee from the supermarket and some pastries from the bakery. I really like being able to just walk round the corner to buy breakfast for less than 5€. After discussing it for several days, we finally got round to taking pizza and eating tea on the beach, which was lovely as the beach is in shade on an evening so people tend to pack up and leave and it gets really quiet. We then walked into town for an ice cream, but not before being distracted by a lovely cat for about half an hour.
Thanks for reading this post! It’s really fun sharing what we get up to here in Nerja!