Sunday brought us sunshine and warmth. Sam, Conway and I headed to Malaga port for a morning walk through Malaga park and out along the water. We met Amanda and boyfriend Mitch over coffee, crepes and croissants at the relaxing but slow-serviced “smallCafe”. Sparrows and pigeons nipped between our legs and ate crumbs of croissant, a large passenger ferry was moored besides the grandiose Malaga Port Authority and Conway slept in the shade of his buggy.
For lunch we welcomed more tapas and headed back towards the shopping precinct. Amanda brought us to a local restaurant, Cortijo de Pepe. Sat outside in the brick-lined alley, with waiters cooing at Conway, we devoured the best garlic prawns you could ever eat, and washed them down with cold San Miguel beer.
With the sun still shining, and Brighton beating Arsenal in the football, the five of us searched for the hidden lift that takes you up to Mount Gibralfaro and the lower level of the castle, Alcazaba de Málaga.
After an emergency breastfeeding session in the shade besides the castle, we took the lift up to the top and showed Conway the sights. Carrying him, and avoiding taking the push chair through all the narrow paths and over all the bumps, we lifted him up to see the views, lowered him for a close-up of the butterflies and posed amongst the flowers; all the while other tourists stopped and smiled at us.
We rounded out the wonderfully warm day at Plaza de la Merced, sitting besides Picasso’s statue eating our ice-cream from waffle cones, a specialty by the heladería Nonna.
One of the joys of being in an Airbnb is not fretting about missing a hotel breakfast. We arose late and left late, spending much of the morning either playing, feeding or nappy-changing our little boy. Morning rain gave way to rays of sun, so we ventured out again for a stroll along Pedregalejo Playa sometime after midday.
The waves lashed at the beach, the spray occasionally catching us. Seabirds drifted in the air as they battled the wind which kept throwing them off course. I was surprised by how shallow the beaches are, by how close the sea is to the restaurants, and by how much sea defence there was. Dotted between all the mini marinas lie shacks that sell €2 sardines cooked on open fire.
Half way along, then back again, we stopped at the upmarket looking La Chancla Hotel for cocktails and a late lunch. They served us some very fine Caipirinha and Mojitos and the food was wonderful. The glass front kept in the warmth and kept out the gales, while other restaurants and patrons flapped about, napkins flying around.
Amanda met us after work at our flat, we cooked fajitas and listened to music while Conway hiccuped at us with an incomparable cuteness, his little body flexing with shock at every little pop, then a coy smile and a look away as he feigns some sort of baby embarrassment.
Sam cooked us all a fine gallo pinto breakfast before she met Mitch for a massage and Amanda left for work, while I stayed at home with Conway – he slept most of the time, and it wasn’t until I was on a full bus that he decided to arise from his slumber and wail at me. I swear he has his mother’s knack for timing.
Samantha met up with father and son at the port, and we stumbled on the high class Marisqueria Godoy restaurant for lunch. We had the inside to ourselves on a Tuesday lunchtime, the owner sat at the bar with a child. We ate our iberico and fish croquettes with a glass of cava, and once Conway had a little feed and a nappy change, we finished up with the Godoy special; seafood and monkfish in a tomato sauce. All quite exquisite, we were relaxed and comfortable with our baby and fine dining.
From the port we walked to the beginning of the beach then East along La Malagueta beach and back to Pedregalejo. About an hour’s walk, runners and cyclists passed us, families of stray cats darted in and about seafront rocks, and a cormorant bobbed on the sea waiting for a passing fish, the skies overcast once again.
From hereon out the rain and wind was gone, there may have been an odd shower here or there but it didn’t affect us, we had sunshine and warmth and it felt like we were properly on vacation. Indeed there was so much sunshine there was even a little sunburn, my nose and arms turning red then swiftly brown.
Leaving in the morning glow we went to orange chairs Kelucos for a pitufo and coffee breakfast. We reclined in the chairs, watching the waves roll in and the palms sway lightly as Conway had his mid-morning nap, wearing his stylish cap to keep out the sun. Amanda met us here, and we proceeded along the seafront.
Amanda ate at La Galerna and chatted with Sam while I wandered the beach – partly to avoid all the outdoor smokers and partly to have some time to myself. I listened to music and watched the sea hug the shore. Soon enough we were off again, this time marching at pace, beyond El Palo to the end of the beach for Amanda to meet someone who’d be giving her (or not, as it turned out), a kettle and a lift.
At the end of the walk there is El Tintero, a place that’s meant to be good for seafood, but they had no shade and on inspection more staff than punters, we headed back again, making a poor stop at a place called Pontegordo where we had sardines, and beer served in a wine glass – always a warning sign. We left swiftly and stopped at our old favourite La Chancla Hotel for a proper lunch.
That night Amanda joined Samantha and Conway at Pez Tomillo for a tapas dinner while I watched Champions League football, as Tottenham lost to Juventus. Their evening was better than mine, and their oxtail and potato, soft-boiled tempura egg, iberian pork and tuna ceviche beat my nachos with a cheese more like mayo than melted.