16th April 2013

I returned from Malaga and my downhill exploits last night. Getting out of Malaga was by no means easy, but as with the journey there, some hard work and luck sorted it out. I had spent Sunday going around Malaga, first to the coach company Alsa, who confirmed.

  • I would need a box for my bike and..
  • No I couldn’t take 2 boxes (the other with my trailer in).

Only one box per person was allowed, and there was no option to pay extra for the additional item, as with an airline. I could go to Facturaccion and have it sent as cargo. It is no wonder that Spain’s recession is deeper than others when one of its largest companies makes it hard for customers to give them money.

Secondly I cycled round several bikes shops to beg a couple of boxes, but they were all shut, as it was Sunday. However by a stroke of luck, the last shop I visited had their bins right outside, and there were 4 bike boxes in good condition. I cycled back to the hotel, called a taxi, and returned to collect my free boxes. In the end I managed to get booth bike and trailer into one box, by an amazing piece of origami.

The next day I took a bus to Orgiva in the Alpujaras to continue my journey. I am staying in a lovely little B&B run by Jolie and Rosa called Casa Jazmin. Here’s the view from my window:

I had heard that Orgiva (pronounced with a soft g) was an interesting place, a kind of hippy hang out and cultural center. So I decided to stay for a day and check it out. It does have a hippy atmosphere, with more than your average quotient of dreadlocks and baggy trousers amongst the young, most of whom are from elsewhere in Europe. But there were also some individuals who were evidently the worse for drugs and alcohol, and looked in a pretty bad way. I saw some in rags and others rooting through bins at night. However I don’t think Orgiva has been spoiled by that or by any tourist invasion. It is still a nice place and has many bars and restaurants, and also real shops where real people can buy real things, such as food, dishwashers, chain saws, toys etc. I mention this as so many tourist towns in the UK have only tourist shops, and I have often wondered how local people buy stuff they need. Sadly there is no bike shop.

My favourite restaurant is a halal place called Baraka. The food was absolutely delicious; I ordered the chicken Tajin where even the almonds were tasty. But when I asked for wifi, I was told they did not have it as they were concerned about the waves. There were metal discs hanging from the ceiling that offered protection. All the staff still had mobile phones of course, but they did leave the shop to use them. Maybe the waves spoil the food.

There is even a disco in the town; I can only imagine the delights of the flesh to be found therein:

There is also an information centre, which does not say what it is and was shut when I was there. I guess the information about the pueblo is a secret! 

Published by jhalstead1

This is my blog of my trip around Spain, off road, on my mountain bike. The story is told in full in my book "Three Wheels on my Bicycle", available on Amazon in Kindle or hardback.

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