Narrow streets in old 'white villages'!
It was Saturday morning on Dec. 27th when we made our little driving excursion to the 'white village' of Cómpeta, and it turned out to be quite busy due to the local market being in full-swing. The number of farmers vehicles parked here and there combined with the old twisting and narrow Moorish streets on on the hillside made for quite a driving experience. On more than one occasion we found ourselves at small dead-end plazas where goods were set up for sale and just getting turned around was a trick in some cases.
We finally found a street away from the worst of the bustle with a parking spot open, not far from the hotel where we decided to have lunch. It was after 1 PM by the time we finished our meal and decided to head back to the coast. As we left our parking spot I saw a sign pointing further up the hillside with words like 'circumnavigation route' on it, I guess meaning that you could skirt around the main part of Cómpeta that way. However, for some reason I decided that I wanted to go back through town again.
As we headed downhill on the twisting streets, it was not long before I was lost and the streets seemed to be getting narrower all the time. After a while I noticed that there were no other cars in sight and that old women and small children were scattering in front of us! By this stage, the downward slope was very steep and there was no way I would be able to reverse uphill around all the narrow turns I had negotiated. Things got worse as the 'street' became so narrow that I scraped a bit of paint off the rear passenger wheelwell on one of the turns. This was as scared as I became on our entire trip, with visions of coming to a set of steps for pedestrians only and no way to reverse out - in my mind I could see a helicopter rescue lift coming!
I breathed a sigh of relief as no steps appeared and we finally came around a corner where the street widened again - I could see civilization ahead! I tried to avoid narrow streets like those in any other towns after that experience! The strange thing about renting a car in Spain is that no damage check is required to be made before you first drive away in your rental. Sure enough, when I successfully returned it more than a week later I simply handed the keys over and walked away! The 2nd photo shows a rear view of our Ford Focus rental car a couple of days later after we drove down the coast to the Tarifa area.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Laundry can be a problem
By the time we returned to Nerja for the second time, we needed to get some laundry done and figured a town like Nerja should be no problem. Not being able to read or understand Spanish made our task difficult but we looked on the net, asked here and there around town and wandered the streets until we finally found the laundromat that some of our searches had revealed. A notice on the door said it would be open that day between 11 AM and 1 PM, so we returned to our room to pick up our bags of clothes for the appointed time.
Shortly after we returned, the owners unlocked the doors and we stepped into a medium sized room with six or seven machines lined up along one wall. However, it appeared that they had left their dog in the room overnight because the entire floor was covered with pools of urine and numerous piles of turds. We were thinking that we would be able to do the laundry ourselves by adding the required detergents, etc. but that was not the case. They said they would have to do all the laundry and it would not be ready until the next day. Sue did not like the sound of that because she was afraid of what they might do to the 'gentle' clothing when drying them and I was not keen on having to wait around for them in the morning because we had a long drive up the coast as our trip entered its final days. Combining that with the looks of the place, we decided that we would rather continue with the clothes we were standing in!
- Road Trip
WARNING! Don't be a mugging statistic.
Although Nerja is designated as a villiage, it suffers from an amount of oportunist crime as does anywhere.
Handbag snatching seems to be the latest crime in Nerja from pairs of youths on motor bikes who will take your handbag whilst riding past a victim without stopping.
Beware when visiting the Markets as pickpockets operate there.
I advise when carrying money do NOT use a handbag.
If you are out late at night, always be aware of persons loitering or following you. nine times out of ten the situation will be completely innocent but DO be alert. Walk in groups is always a good idea anywhere late at night.
- Family Travel
- Luxury Travel
- Women's Travel
INFORMATION: What Emergency phone number ?
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS :-
In the unlikely event that you need the Emergency services, here are the telephone numbers. Write them down or print them and take them with you.
Local Police - 952521545
Guardia Civil - 952520091
Fire - 952558091
Health Emergencies - 061
Red Cross - 952500321
Ambulance - 952523131
Maritime Rescue - 900202202
British Consulate - 952352300
General number for Fire, Police, Ambulance. See below.
- Family Travel
- Adventure Travel
Not really a warning or a danger, but one thing I dislike seeing British style pubs in Spanish resorts. The seem to cater for the British tourist who are too nervous or narrow minded to experience anything new or different. To me it seems to be the kiss of death to a town with so much character, I just hope this trend does not continue here.
My suggestion would be to experience the local Spanish bars, you will get a friendly welcome and will often have the benefit of trying the local tapas, and experience something new.
Here was a Welsh bar, as a Welshman myself I can vouch that it is not really typical of Wales. Its called the Three Cliffs, after the well known Bay on the Gower peninsula in Wales.
- Beer Tasting
DANGER! Building work.
This information is correct as of 19 Sep 2005.
There is major building work just up from the new Mercadonna supermarket. the pavement is not very wide there anyway, but now we have to contend with wooden power poles in the middle of the pavement.
So you may find that is safer and easier to walk on the other pavement. (the Guardia Civil side). Take great care crossing the road it is one of the busiest roads in Nerja.
Neither side is really suitable for wheelchair passage. Wheelchair users would be better to use Calle Pintada if coming up from the Balcon to the top of town or bus station.
- Family Travel
Mosquitos - A few ideas to combat them.
It's not just hot countries where mosquitos proliferate but damp, wetland areas; or to be more accurate a combination of the two.
The science bit:
Mosquitos are attracted to Carbon Dioxide and Pheremones.
A readily available commercial repellent is called 'Autan'. Available from chemists and even supermarkets in the UK. It smells of Lemon and was in the form of a rub on stick but is probably available as a spray now.
Cures after being bitten:
Try to refrain from scratching, (May be hard to do but this makes the bite bleed). It also makes them itch worse!
'Afterbite' is a rub on stick available in most countries which, although stinky, relieves the itchy effect and stops the bleeding.
Another is to use a slice of lemon rubbed on the bite.
Many people think that eating plenty of Garlic in your food dicourages Mosquitos from biting you in the first place and keeps them (and people) away.
An electrical solution is a 'plug in' mosquito 'Zapper' available cheaply from many shops in the UK with Spanish 2 pin for plugging straight into a wall socket. Run 24/7, they take very little power. Only problem is, if you are in an hotel, most use the smart card system for power when you enter/exit the room. Zapper will be turned off when you go out.
If you have air con., keep the windows closed at night having closed them prior in early evening and made sure that THEY are not already inside!
Spray rooms with insect repellent, available from most supermarkets in town.
Your own place:
If you are plagued by mosquitos and have no fitted sliding mesh screens on your windows, (particularly bedroom windows), put up net curtains which deter their entrance as long as the curtains are pulled taut. For this you need curtain wires or rods top AND bottom.
If you can get hold of an 'African Pyrethum' plant it will discourage all insects as it is the basis for most insecticide sprays. Try a garden centre if you are here for a long amount of time.
- School Holidays
Pedestrian Crossings in Spain.
Pedestrian crossings fall into 2 catagories.
On one hand there are the croosings with traffic light control. These are safe. When the 'green man' is illuminated, then it is perfectly safe to cross that section of road, as it should be.
However, there is also the none controled crossings. The ones with just the white markings on the road. These can be anything BUT safe. Unlike in England, you do NOT have the right to cross if you are already on the crossing. It is up to the motorist to let you cross.
Motorists may stop to let you cross but BEWARE. Just because the traffic in one direction has stopped for you to cross, it does not mean that traffic in the other direction is going to do the same. So WAIT until both directions have come to a halt before you cross. Even then, keep a sharp look out, as motorcyclists have been known to overtake stationary traffic ON PEDESTRIAN CROSSINGS.
One particular Wit once wrote that as far as the usefulness of uncontrolled crossings goes in Spain, he observed that they were just another place for cars to park!
- Family Travel
WARNING! Wheelchair users and Nerja
Any bar or building undergoing a building alteration is now, under Spanish law, bound to make the access wheelchair friendly.
Bars must make access to the bar AND the toilets suitable for wheelchair users.
Whilst all this is very commendable and a step in the right direction, the paved streets of Nerja do NOT come up to scratch and are anything but wheelchair friendly. Some pavements are barely 8 inches wide whilst others have semi perminant power line poles right in the centre of already narrow pavements. So who is kidding who?
On one hand the Spanish government, albeit probably at the behest of Brussels, seems to want to improve facilities for the disabled and then on the other hand the pavements and roadways cannot support the rest.
I would hate to be a wheelchair user in Nerja.
WARNING! Driving in Spain
There are several requirements that the motorist should be aware of whilst driving in Spain and also some pitfalls to beware of.
I have detailed all that I can think of in my 'Tourist Traps' section and thought it may be relevent to make a note of this in 'Warnings or Dangers'.
I have provided a Link to take you accross there below.
- Road Trip
The busy carriageway
This is the busy carriageway which starts in Malaga and runs right through into Nerja, I walked along here a couple of times at night because the beach was isolated, and the traffic is mad!!
Walk along the beach - Not this busy road!!
Whilst enjoying the sights and sounds at the Nerja tuesday market it is well to be aware of the rose sellers ;mainly female ;Whilst trying to convince the unsuspecting 'customer ' to buy a rose their accomplice is quietly sizing up the possibility of lifting the said customers wallet.It is always a good idea not to keep wallets or purses in any pocket but preferably to use what has become to be known as a 'bum bag'.
- Family Travel
The Spanish Mafia!
It seems around the area of Tutti Frutti Square a group of youths that can be indentified by a feather earring have caused me unease a few times, they are no more than any other towns idiots, just as a warning if you spot one of them try not to antagonise them, because they will have a few friends close to hanD!
Really they just tend to prefer being left alone by foreigners, unless they are women! Nothing much to be fearful, it can just prevent any trouble before it happens if you know what to look for.
please please make sure to double check that you lock all doors and windows before going out. i know this sounds like teaching your grandmother to suck eggs but be very careful. these people are very shrewd, they know villas etc are often left unattended for hours at a time and if out of season you may find yourself in an isolated position. i recentley rented a beutiful villa in ladera del mar but i returned home one night and found that i had had an unwanted visitor. the villa was the only one in use in the whole street at the time, again be very careful, when you go out take all cameras etc with you, i was very lucky the little toads didnt find anything to steal i had it all with me.
WARNING! Take care in the Sun !
I know that one of the high priorities on many peoples minds is to get in the Sun as fast as they can and for as long as they can to get a tan to be proud of when they return home. But.........
BEWARE OF THE SUN !
If you are fair skinned or even if not, USE Sun protection cream or lotion BEFORE hitting the beach. Even if just walking around town you can suffer from the Suns effects.
Buy and wear a Hat or Cap to protect the top of your head.
DO NOT sunbathe on the first day for more than TEN MINUTES ! I know that does not seem a lot of time but to avoid looking like a lobster and feeling itchy and uncomfortable, ten minutes only is recommended. Then gradually lengthen the time each day.
Remember that when in the Sea or Pool, the water acts like a mirror and reflects extra Ultraviolet back at you.
Seawater having a high salt concentration, has the same effect as putting salt on Pork Crackling ! So shower off as soon as you come out of the sea or saltwater swimming pool. By the way, beware of the little showers on the beach. They are intended for removing sand and are SALT water; so a shower in your apartment / hotel is better unless you are CERTAIN that the water is not salty!
- School Holidays