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Saturday, 19 December 2009

If you want a better place to live in spread the words today

Torre del Mar is a pleasant enough resort, with 3 kms of promenade as well as the usual cafes and inevitable Oriental Bazaar; it is also lively enough to have an Indian restaurant for our monthly meal out. Buses run from here into Malaga and we caught a packed one full of Christmas shopper. We had a good day looking around this energetic Spanish city, had a marvellous lunch in a cosy veggie cafe, explored the Alcazabar laid out over the hillside and admired the extravagant Christmas decorations. We love walking in the countryside and hills, but we do also get a buzz from vibrant city life.

The campsite at Torre del Mar is typical; the other campers are mainly retired, mainly northern European and are staying here for six months. It is a novelty to meet some younger people and we feel especially lucky when we meet someone who is on the same wave length as us. This week we met a young couple who are ten months in to their own gap year and we enjoyed sharing experiences and stories with them.

You might think that being on a long holiday and so far from home would encourage people to be more accepting of others; they do say that travel broadens the mind. However, it has to be said that we have met the people with small-minded views you meet anywhere; their prejudices seem even more difficult to grasp when we are all visitors in another country. The man who expressed genuine distaste when we said we came from Manchester and considered Reading a big step up from that fine north west city was one example. Another was the couple from Preston, whose first question when we told them we had moved from Preston to Salford was, 'aren't there just as many of those Asians in Salford?', then went on to add, 'it's really rough in Salford, isn't it?' We made an effort to politely demonstrate that there is another way of seeing things, but you quickly realise these are neighbours you will only talk to about the weather.

By way of balance, Mike and Doreen, the retired couple we met in the French Alps will remain an inspiration to us, they were open-minded, keen to explore new places and friendly. We hope we will be like them when we reach our 70s.


1 comment:

  1. Hi
    Thanks for your reply to our message.
    Seems like you are having better weather than us. Even in Dorset it is struggling to get above freezing. Not that it has kept us in. A brisk walk along the West Bay certainly clears the head.
    When we visited Portugal in January we stayed near Sagres. It reminded us of Cornwall, especially Cape st Vincent.The weather was mild and we enjoyed many a cliff walk and managed mid day meals outside.
    When we went back to Portugal in March and April it was just warming up. We stayed near Torres Vedras. We can recommend the old town with its castle. We loved Santa Rita beach with its wild seas. We also visited Obidos and I believe you can camp at Obidos lagoon. Tomar is also worth a visit. We didnt venture into Lisbon, but went over the bridge to visit the national park (Arrabida) which was stunning. Once you drive through Setubal towards the park it is wonderful. We swam off the beach which is famous for Dolphin spotting. On the day we were there we never saw any Dolphins or people.. wonderful. That part of the coast is much more sheltered.
    Sintra is worth a visit but quite a tourist trap and not easy to park, the trains seem quite good.
    Best Wishes
    Merry Christmas
    Mike and Nita

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