Well, chilling was our aim, though with the temperatures in the high 20s, that was possibly not the most appropriate verb to pick ...On our first full day we walked along the beach from the resort to Fuengirola, and wandered around there for a while. Not really heaps to see (apart from the sea) but we enjoyed our first tapas, and read in the Plaza de Construcion whilst sipping beers and coffees. Too much of Monday was taken up with a mandatory sales meeting with Club La Costa. Suffice it to say we didn't sign up to their 'Vacation Club' package, tempting as it was. At least we had a lovely rep called Sarah, who knew the local area very well and gave us some good tips. Particularly where to find lots of Flamenco dancing at the last night of the Fuengirola's feria (festival). We ventured in, and found its thunderous funfair, and the dancing restaurants, but disappointingly no real Flamenco. Thankfully earlier her other recommendation -- the "Tipi Tapa" Tapas Bar -- had been a hit with us, as had the Prawns Pil-Pil at a seafood bar on the beach.On Tuesday, We caught the local bus to Mijas Village high up in the hills overlooking the Costa del Sol coastline, particularly Fuengirola. It's the closest pueblos blancos (white village) to the coast, and even at this time of the year had lots of tourists. Unfortunately it had the shops-for-tourists to go with it, particularly leather goods for some unknown reason. And too much choice in the eating department, with 30-odd restaurants offering similar fare from similar multi-lingual menus. We opted for a sunny terrace on El Castillo overlooking a quiet plaza, for drinks, and then after a slow circuit of the town, a delicious paella.We didn't feel like trekking up to the ermita or pilgrimage chapel above the village -- overall we'd walked over 7 miles according to Martha's step counter -- but I did take a picture of it ...Feeling a bit chilly whilst waiting for the 8:30pm bus back, we stopped in at the Churchill bar, which turned out to be English-run, and blessed with free WiFi - only the second place we've seen to offer it. Even the resort only has WiFi in one small area, and then at an extortionate €10/day: no thanks.Final evening we ate at El Chanquete de Plata on Moncayo St, choosing it as it seemed a little more up-market than most of the other establishments around 'Fish Alley' -- or at least it had a fresh fish display and no muzak blaring. Turned out to be an excellent choice, with good food and service. Thankfully, the Torres rose wine experiment turned out to be very drinkable.(Later update: there's also free WiFi with patronage at El Ponderosa near the BP garage just to the north of the CLC estate, and around the Eroski supermarket at the Miramar complex a little further on.)

AuthorJonathan Clark