As we are now allowed ( and I quote), `to move freely within Andalucia`, we were very excited to be able to head to La Herradura today, for our usual Sunday chilling and reading on the beach, with a long lunch at Bambu, something that we have missed in the last three months.
It`s less than a fifteen minutes drive from our house, but a really scenic one. We always go via the coast road ,( this looks down on the very scary ,dusty original coast road, that I wouldn’t even dare walk, on let alone drive on).I guess it was built with mules in mind!
The `new` coast road ( built in the 1980s), is backed by steep, limestone mountains that form part of the Cerro Gordo National Park, plunging down to rocky seaside cliffs ,and stunning coves with cyan blue sea. Pine trees and wild fennel edge the road ,and rock roses, rosemary and gorse cling to the stone amongst the Mediterranean scrub. It`s always a pleasure to drive along this ribbon of road, with its huge vistas of sparkling water, and I always have to stop to take a few photographs.
This morning there were just a few white horses breaking the blue of the sea , so we hoped to swim, but on arrival at the beach, it was soon obvious that there was no way you could even paddle, it was so rough. The ferociously hot wind was blowing onshore, and save a lone kite surfer braving the water early evening, there was not a toe dipped in the crashing waves all day by anyone.
But my was it hot. That all enveloping thick heat. The wind covered your face with sea spray, even though we were at least twenty- five metres from the shore, and when we left , my hair was stiff with salt .I could taste it. Mind you, I think that`s a sign of a glorious day on the beach!
Chiringuito Bambu right on the sand in the horseshoe shaped bay of La Herradura , is a cool, stylish,family- run restaurant , and it has been a favourite of ours ever since we moved to Maro. We know all the staff;Maria the owner, ( who sits holding court in the restaurant all day every day-entertaining her friends, and overseeing everything-this is very Spanish), her son, and family, and her two small Yorkshire terriers who terrorise any other dog that dares come onto their patch of beach.
It was good to be back. It’s a very laid back place, full of smart Spanish people, and this is why we like it. We ate the most delicious fresh squid and Coquinas ( tiny purple shelled clams) and cooking away on olive wood were whole small octopus , and `Espetos de Sardinas`; skewers of sardines roasting in the embers. This classic way of cooking was apparently started by fishermen using up surplus fish , with the cane fields that fringed the beach, supplying the skewers. Love it.
There is always live music on a Sunday from 4pm. In February when we were last here it was Flamenco, but at the moment it`s a DJ with a more Ibiza beach party vibe, which is perfect on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
It was difficult to drag ourselves away, as it`s my idea of a perfect day. But we will be back again next week.