Goodbye Almería and Hello Málaga

My host was due  arrive in the early afternoon yesterday. I had planned to take the day off, but, of course, a job I couldn’t turn down came in. I had kept on top of all my chores in the house, so there wasn’t much to do for her arrival and I was able to just barely get my job done before she got in, woohoo! We spent part of the afternoon catching up and gabbing, then she went to unpack while I went to pack. This was aided in part by the fact that she’s brought me back a very useful little gift! I couldn’t believe that a) she thought to pick up something for me or that b) it was so me and exactly what I needed:

Pic taken in Málaga with a cameo by my new feline friend. 🙂

I’ve been resisting the urge to buy a few little pouches to organise my Sarajevo bag, but really wanted one to separate currencies and to hold little odd bits like my ear buds and charge cords. So it got put to good use right away. I like the quirky triangular shape and and, of course, that it’s pink! 😀

It was tough, but we made to 8PM, just barely, and went out for my last tapas. We might have been hungry and had three each… 😀

I went to bed early but had a hard time getting to sleep (beer’s fault) and was awake too early. I dozed till eight, then finished packing and said my goodbyes to the cat (who gave me a proper final hug and cuddle!) and my host. The bus station is quite convenient from the bus route I take, so I decided to make my own way so my host could ease into her first day back home. I headed out into the rain around 8:30 and was pleased that I’d timed my last bus perfectly as it was pulling up as I was arriving.

Traffic into town got increasingly worse and I ended up getting off a stop earlier than I would have otherwise, which was a smart move — by the time I got to that stop, the bus was still a block behind me!

I got to the bus station at about nine, an hour and a half before my bus. I elbowed my way to the counter at the café there and ordered a whole tomato toast (both sides of the bun) since I wasn’t sure when I’d next get to eat and I hadn’t been smart and bought snacks ahead of time for the ride. There was nothing at the café that I particularly wanted to go.

After breakfast, I decided that I should buy myself a magazine or two as a treat to read on the bus. Hmm… no magazine kiosk around. First time I’ve ever been to a bus station without one. I went to the information desk and asked. The lady gave me very clear directions to the one she felt was closest, about a five-minute walk away. I got there (stepping in a very cold puddle on the way) and… it was closed. But my soggy quest was not in vain as I found a Mercadona and was able to get a slice of “pizza” for my lunch later. I had fruit and water on me, so I was set. Before anyone asks, no, grocery stores here do not carry magazines. So so much for that idea.

It was about 10:15 by the time I made my way back to the bus station. I headed for my platform and discovered that I know a word in Serbian that I didn’t know in Spanish!

I was delighted to discover that the bus had decent wifi, which made up for not finding reading materials. So off we went. It’s not a long distance, about 250KM, but I had a five-hour trip ahead of me since the direct bus was 24 euros and the local bus was only 9 euros!

The ride along the coast was lovely, especially as the sky began to clear as we headed west! It reminded me a lot of the Montenegrin coast.

We stopped in Motril for 30 minutes. The entrance into that bus station is really small and awkward and I’d find it tough in my truck! I can’t believe the buses can get around without hitting anything. I went into the café and had one of those really special coffees that will stick out in my mind. I don’t know what the guy did to it, but the crema tasted like toasted caramel. Sooooo good. I went out to look for a news kiosk and found one. It was closed. You know, because it was almost siesta time and all that. Like I posted on Facebook, Spain continues to be the most ridiculous and exasperating country I have had the pleasure of visiting. 🙂

We picked up a very chirpy new passenger:

At one point, we passed this store that made me laugh. Related to OK Tires in western Canada? 🙂

I forgot to make a note of where this was, but what an impressive city!

Just as I judged this trip to be the second-most interminable and twisty since Belgrade to Sarajevo, we made it to Málaga!

Kind of a London feel to the skyline…

 

I’d pre-Googled the directions to my accommodation and it was super quick and easy walk there in terms of navigation (not so much in terms of dodging construction). My friendly host was waiting for me. She has a really nice and newly renovated apartment in an older building. She made me feel comfortable straight away, telling me I have full use of the kitchen (including designated space to store groceries in both the pantry and the fridge). We gabbed a bit and she told me that outside of the core of Málaga, I will find the same scheduling issues I encountered in Almería. But, thankfully, I’m right on the edge of the core.

I went straight back out to get some groceries and to make a withdrawal since I’d seen a Deutsche Bank on the way. I hadn’t known if my PayPal transfer had gone through at the time, but I’d been able to confirm it when I got online at the apartment. I was famished by this point (just past five) and was going to turn around and get groceries at the small supermarket right by the apartment, but figured that since I was just a few blocks from a restaurant I’d passed and was curious about, I’d go check it out first. It’s a chain called “Mr. Noodle.”

I passed a pretty church en route:

I got to Mr. Noodle and was happy to see a menu on a table outside, so I grabbed it and saw that the offerings were interesting (Chinese and Thai) and the prices reasonable. So I decided to attempt to try it out at some point in my stay. Just as I was turning to go, a server came outside to ask me if I wanted to eat.

Wait. What? The kitchen was open? At 5PM?! What rabbit hole had I fallen into?!

Let me repeat that I was famished, so that was a definite yes on wanting to eat. 😀 It was chilly out, but they had a covered seating area with a fireplace that was quite cosy. I ordered a beer and went through the menu. Pending disappointment be damned, I ordered their chicken pad thai, no egg please, but spicy.

What  was served looked suspiciously like pad thai. Notice the two bottles of sauce at the top left, Sriracha and sweet chile so I could control my own spiciness level.

This was in no way the best pad thai I’ve ever had, but DANG. It hit the texture and flavour profile I’ve been craving. I left very satisfied. The price was right, too, at 10 euros (including the beer), or about 15CAD. So not cheap, but definitely in line with what I’m used to paying for pad thai of this quality. What an amazing end to my day!

I learned another new word while look a their menu. Not just in Spanish:

Top middle, altramuces. They translate as “lupines” and are a type of legume.

It was getting properly cold out as the sun was setting and I was beat, so I headed home, stopping at the supermarket (Día) for a few things. It was a bit pricy compared to other supermarkets, so I just got enough for breakfast and will look for a Mercadona tomorrow.

I really haven’t seen enough of Málaga yet to have an impression of it other than it’s a large bustling city. It’ll be a fun few days if things are open for long hours and I can get different cuisines, but I don’t think it’ll be as nice a city to walk around in as Almería. I’m not on vacation while here and do plan to work, but I will go exploring tomorrow!

Here’s a map of my day:

4 thoughts on “Goodbye Almería and Hello Málaga

  1. I’m glad you made it to Málaga safe & sound today (um yesterday???).
    Nice dinner.
    I liked your map of your travel day. I bet you had some wonderful views.
    Hoping you & your new charge will get along, more for you than for the 4 legged.
    I forgot, how long are you going to be there?
    Stay warm & bunches of hugs.

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