Following my own New Year’s resolution to get out more, Julie and I went to Jerez over the New Year period. We had a plan. Day one we would gently travel up to Jerez via the N340 coast road with a stopover in Conil de la Frontera for a bracing walk on the windy Atlantic coast and a stroll around the artisan gift shops for which the town is well known. Apart from it being sunny, warm and flat calm, the first part went well. I had forgotten that Conil closes in winter. I have never seen a town more deserted. Streets full of artisan shops – all closed. I have a habit of only taking Julie shopping when the shops are shut. She could not decide whether to blame me for the shops being shut or for deliberately bringing her to a place where I knew the shops were not open. A designer meal and a couple of Fino sherries in Jerez that evening and we were speaking again.
Day two. The plan was to take our flask and some nutty bars and spend the whole day on the marismas in the Bay of Cadiz. I am sure I put the flask out to bring with us, I had the coffee, milk and spoon, no flask. Soft drinks from a filling station sorted the liquid intake out. Of course that day the wind howled in from the Atlantic and Julie informed me it was cold, I dared not admit to it being a bit parky, but I will confess to it being a little breezy. Just the sort of weather for which you need a flask of hot coffee, or so I was told numerous times.
Back in Estepona, we planned our next venture. I want to go to Gorafe in February. It is famous for its prehistoric monuments. In fact, it has a Megalithic Park. I can hear you all groaning. Be fair, Julie enjoys shops; preferably when they are open. I like dolmens. There are two snags to this plan, well three really. Firstly the temperature is likely to be minus something – make a note, do not under any circumstances forget the flask. Secondly, the dolmens are all on the top of two ridges that are quite high and steep. At the moment Julie is under the impression we are going to a park. Mentally she is thinking of a relatively flat area. I know this because she has told me so. Craven coward that I am I have not told her otherwise yet. Thirdly, I cannot find a designer restaurant in or near Gorafe, will I get away with designer butties. Probably not. She is right about one thing though; men do cause their own nagging.
Nick has lived and worked in Andalucia for over 20 years. He and his partner, Julie Evans, have travelled extensively and dug deep into the history and culture, producing authoritative articles on all aspects of the region. Nick has written four books about Andalucia and writes articles for other websites and blogs.
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