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Getting to know Benalmadena

After three solid riding days to get to me Costa del Sol base in Benalmadena, I wanted a few days off the Family Truckster – to give both of us a break.

My apartment was towards the top of the developed area of quite a steep hill which went pretty much from the coastline main road (N-340A) to the A-7 AutoVia.  As I’d sauntered around Benalmadena Pueblo when I arrived on Saturday afternoon, on Sunday morning I felt a walk down the hill to the coast was in order so I could see how the beach looked.  Maybe a swim would be nice if the hot weather persisted and the beaches were nice.

So after lunch I set off, on foot, headed downhill for the coastal road.  It sure was steep – and tight in areas too.  Whilst a pleasant walk downhill I’m not so sure the walk back – better come up with a strategy on that one.  Not sure how much I’d fancy taking the Family Truckster on these steep and tight roads – either down or up.

Anyway, enough complaining.  The weather was nice and luckily not too hot.  Pretty soon I saw what looked like a fairytale castle in the distance.  I wasn’t expecting to see that.

Castillo de Colomares

Soon I was walking right by the entrance and learned it was called Monumento Colomares.

Colomares Castle

Later I would learn, thanks to Google, this castle was known locally as Castillo de Colomares and was built between 1987 and 1994 by a medical practitioner from the US as an honour to the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Colombus.

No time to visit now.  I’ve got a beach in my sights – maybe I’ll come back another day as its only €2 to have a look around and not that far from where I’m staying.  That was probably the highlight of my walk down to the coast.  The only other thing worthy of mention was the clear evidence of Spain’s economic woes and this areas over reliance on a boom/bust property development industry.  It was surprising just how many unfinished developments there were in a relatively small area.

I pressed on and was soon at the coastal road.  My 1.6 mile walk down the hill, descending some 213m on the way, was over.

Walk from Benalmadena to the coast

Benalmadena elevation from the coastal road

After crossing the N-304A, or Carretera Cádiz as it is referred to in Google Maps, I could finally see the beach.  I’m sorry to say it was most underwhelming.  But hey, coming from Brisbane, Australia the standard by which I judge beaches is pretty high.  By European standards it was good and there were plenty of miles of it, with little bays and rocky coves and an absence of high-rise, likely due to the proximity of the coastal highway.

One of the many beaches at Benalmadena

Undeterred, I ventured west following the coastal highway in search of better beaches that must surely exist beyond what I could see.

Another beach west of Benalmadena

After a mile or so, with still nothing to write home about in the good beach department, I was getting hot and a little sweaty.  There was no way I was going to walk all the back – especially with that steep hill for the last 1.6 miles.

Luckily there was a resort nearby – there would surely be a taxi there I could get back to the apartment. And there was luckily for me.  But how would I explain where I wanted to go?  It’s not like my Spanish was anything beyond ordering wine, beer or Sangria and asking for the bill after a meal.  Again luck was on my side as one of the two taxi drivers waiting at the resort could speak a little English – enough for me anyway to get back up the hill and within cooee of my apartment in Benalmadena.

Feeling quite lucky with how everything worked out, I decided to prepare for the next time I needed a taxi home, just in case of an absence of English speaking taxi drivers.  My strategy was to take a couple of photos that I could easily access on my Smartphone of the main drag and a hopefully well known landmark nearby to the apartment.  Here are those photos:

Street sign in Benalmadena Pueblo

Ascensor in Benalmadena Pueblo

Whether that would be sufficient was anybody’s guess but the best solution I could come up with – time will tell I guess.

Having successfully made it back and with plenty of daylight left (this being the first day of European summertime), I spent the rest of the afternoon taking in more of the sights closer to home, my laziness even extending to my choice of camera. I had brought my Compact DSLR Sony NEX-5 with me on this trip but hadn’t used it yet. Even though compact it’s still a bit of a hassle to carry around and nowhere near as convenient as my Samsung Galaxy Note II which has an ok camera (for a Smartphone) and automatically backs up all the photos taken on it to my DropBox when connected to wifi (I tend to turn data roaming off when abroad due to the high charges).

What is easiest isn’t always best in terms of quality and unfortunately the photos in this post, even though cropped, straightened and auto-enhanced later using Photoshop Elements, would certainly have been better had they been taken with my compact DSLR. Will have to make sure I use it when I venture to the special places I’m planning visit whilst travelling around Andalucia.

So please excuse my laziness and take a look at the sights nearby my Benalmadena apartment.

Benalmadena-Pueblo

Rocky-outcrop-Benalmadena

Benalmadean-lookout

Iglesia-de-Santo-Domingo-de-Guzmán

Coastal-views-from-Benalmadena-lookout

Views-over-Benalmadena

I finished my day exploring Benalmadena with a great meal at Restuarante La Fuente, on Plaza de España.

La Fuente

On the short walk back to my apartment through the Pueblo my thoughts were already turning to my first ride out. Definitely within the next few days, weather permitting.

Evening-falls-on-Benalmadena-Pueblo

Which part of Andulcia will I explore next? Stay tuned …

I’ve made it to Benalmadena Pueblo

Motorcycle parking at Benalmadena Pueblo

On Saturday March 28 at around 1530 I reached my base at Benalmadena Pueblo.  It took me 3 days and five and a half hours (including the 24 hour ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Bilbao) riding the Family Truckster 740 miles from London to Portsmouth and from Bilbao to the apartment in Benalmadena Pueblo that would […]

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Vuelta a Andalucia: Real time updates

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As some readers will have probably realised by now, I’m a little behind in my Vuelta a Andalucia blogs.  It’s tough to find the time to get to all the great roads and interesting places plus edit videos, photos and write blog posts – but I promise I will get around to it when time […]

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Valdepeñas: Best hotel wifi ever and great tapas

great-tapas-FI

I will remember my brief stay in Valdepeñas for the great tapas I had at Venta del Comendar and the best ever free wifi at Hotel Central.  Unfortunately there isn’t much more to say about this quaint but unremarkable town even though Spain tourism would like you to believe otherwise. I arrived at where the GPS […]

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The N-403: One of the best motorcycle roads in Spain

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The N-403 has to be one of the best motorcycle roads in Spain.  It was near perfect this glorious spring afternoon – for me and the Family Truckster anyway. It even has it’s own Wikipedia page – pretty brief really.  Just the practicalities of where it is – it doesn’t reveal much about it and certainly […]

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Police Escort out of Ávila

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Ávila was not the original route I had planned – but seemed like a good idea to take in more of Spain’s N roads – and as a bonus I was rewarded with a police escort! I pulled out of the hotel garage in Segovia around 11am on Friday morning having quickly worked out that […]

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Barely enough time for exploring Segovia

exploring segovia from the hotel don felipe

I was super keen to begin exploring Segovia but not being able to get into my hotel room was going to delay this somewhat.  On the cardboard sleeve containing my room access card key I’d been given at check in  I was certain the room number was written as 207.  But I was wrong – […]

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Heading south to Segovia

segovia-aqueduct-FI

My route to Segovia after leaving the ferry in Bilbao was pretty basic.  South on the Autopistas (motorways with tolls) and Autovias (free motorways) in northern Spain before heading south-west along a Nacionales (national highways) – my favourites – to Segovia and the Hotel Don Felipe in the Old City. In researching for this post I was […]

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The tour starts – Portsmouth to Bilbao

About to leave for the Portsmouth to Bilbao ferry

My very own Vuelta a Andalucia has started – it’s great to be back on the Family Truckster going south on what should be the most boring leg of the trip – Portsmouth to Bilbao.  Relatively straightforward this bit, have done it before.  The last time though I had a bit of trouble – the […]

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The preparation continues for my Spain motorcycle tour

One of Woburn's finest, the Black Horse Pub

I now had a good outline in place for my Spain motorcycle tour.  I was beginning to get touring fit and had secured ferry and accommodation bookings for my very own.  Now my focus turned to getting the Family Truckster ready, detailed route/ride planning and deciding what tech would accompany me on this Spain motorcycle tour. Getting […]

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