Spain 2012

Somewhere between Benadalid and Benelauria Journal

Day 1: arrival                                    30th of December 2012

At 7:00 o’clock we were on our way to Dusseldorf Weeze, where our plane to Malaga (Spain) was leaving from at 10:20. We were flying with Ryanair.

When we arrived at the airport at 8:20 we immediately went to the check-in counter so we didn’t have to stand in line for a very long time. However, when it was our turn after 10 minutes, the woman behind the counter said the tickets were invalid because papa just showed the e-tickets on our IPad instead of having them printed. This meant that dad would have to pay a fine, because one of Ryanair’s stupid rules was that you have to print your ticket 4 hours before departure.

Eventually, after what seemed hours of papa being angry at the manager of the manager of the woman behind the check-in counter, dad payed the fine. The reason why dad didn’t print the tickets is that it didn’t say so on the site where he booked the tickets, so after this week in Spain I think dad will ask for the refund from the company the site was of. I’ll just call it “problem number 1”.

Next was checking if our bags were not too heavy nor too big. Let’s call this “problem number 2-A”. 1 person was allowed 1 bag, so we had 3 bags in total, mine, dad’s and Nuriye’s, at least, WE thought we had three bags, but the stupid woman behind the counter also counted my camera bag! I think that was ri-di-cu-lous, but I don’t think that mattered.

So we left the que and stuffed my camera and its bag in 1 of our bags.

When it was our turn again, we had to weigh them, luckily, no problems there. Though next step, looking if it was not too big, was one. We can call this “problem number 2-B”. Papa’s bag was no problem but Nuriye’s was. It didn’t fit in the measuring box, which meant back to the manager to pay some more money. My bag was not a problem, since Nuriye silently slipped past the stupid woman behind the counter so she didn’t see it.

security clearance was luckily not an obstacle.

At 10:20 we finally took off.

We arrived in Malaga at 12:45, 35 minutes earlier than expected which meant we had more time which was not bad at all. We rented a car and left for another trip, we still had to drive 120 kilometers before arriving at our house we rented more or less in the middle of nowhere.

On the way we stopped once, because I spotted a whole “swarm” of vultures. I took a few pictures with my camera with gigantic lens (120-400mm 4.5-5.6 APO HSM).

Papa didn’t and still doesn’t believe that I counted around 60 of them, which is, of course, a lot for that big birds. But I can’t do anything about it, it’s just the truth.

We came to our rented house and decided to go for a walk. Then we all of a sudden saw a young boar! I have got some pictures of it!

Then we had some tapas in Benelauria which cost us €10,50. Papa payed €11. Papa walked away because those fifty cents were meant as tip, but I didn’t know that, so I waited ’till I got my fifty cents.

When we came back, we relaxed and went to bed.

Day 2: New Year’s Eve                                  31st of December 2013

We woke up at around 8:30, ate breakfast and went to the store in Benelauria to buy some food. I think we spent at least an hour there buying everything we needed and did NOT need.

After we brought everything bought to our house, we went to visit the city Ronda. We parked our car somewhere and started walking. Very soon we came to a beautiful bridge which was built high above a sort of small canyon. Me and papa took some pictures of it and walked on toward another bridge we saw from the bridge.

On the way we stopped at a “Pasteleria” and bought a cake which I don’t know what it consisted of, champagne worth 18,50 and a cake with gamon on top!

After a nice walk we came back to the car and drove around a near valley in which we spotted a kestrel. When we were done with that, we drove back to our house passing Benadalid, which papa pronounced as “Benalablid”.

At around 5 o’clock we went to Benelauria and had some dinner there. I had rice pudding as dessert. Hmmm! Papa guessed that this dinner would have cost us 50 euros, which was pretty close when the bill showed us it was 48, 80.

At our house we were waiting until midnight because it was New Year’s Eve. But at around 10:00 I didn’t feel well and as result I had to throw up at 11:00.

I stayed up until new year, but at 00:02 I was in bed and at 00:03 I was sleeping, because I still didn’t feel well.

Day three: the walk                      1st of January 2013

I was awoken by papa at 2.30pm. So I slept for 14.27min. That’s the Guinness record for me. At 3:00 I ate breakfast, but since it was noon for some time already, it was more like “dunch” (combination of dinner and lunch, just like brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch). When we all finished dunch at 3:30, we took a walk. It’s really strange, because our house was built next to a dirt road and there was only 1 other house next to that road, at least, that’s what we THOUGHT. The road went on after our house, all the way into 1 of the millions of beautiful valleys of Spain.

As far as birds are concerned, there was nothing to write home about, up till the moment I will write about now. All of a sudden we heard birds and then they all flew away again, except 1.

So we decided to have a good look at the only left and wildly jumping around bird. Most of the time we only saw branches moving, because it was hiding behind the branches, but once it showed, we could right away see a beautiful tit with an also beautiful crest, which had a very logical name, “crested tit”. I would recommend to google it, it’s a really nice bird!

A little later we walked past a house with some really freaky dogs, they just couldn’t stop barking. 1 don’t know ’bout you, they didn’t please me.

Not a lot later we came to the end of the road, where it split up in three private roads, so we decided to walk back slowly, enjoying the weather. Oh, the weather! Soooooooo nice! Can you imagine, walking around with the temperature as high as 20 degrees Celsius in JANUARY?

After half an hour we came back to our house, ate dinner watched a movie and went to bed.

Day 4: Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra           2nd of January 2013

Our plan was to wake up this morning at 7:45, but for some reason(totally not because I didn’t want to wake up) that became 10:00. Anyway, after we ate breakfast me and papa went for a walk around the house while waiting for Nuriye.

We didn’t see a lot as far as birds are concerned, just one, beautiful bird called “firecrest” and with a length of 9 centimeters it’s Europe’s smallest bird. Such a colorful bird: green with a red-, orange-, yellowish breast and a red- goldish stripe on its head. Another bird you should google!

When Nuriye was done too, we got in the car and papa drove us to Reserva Natural Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Spanish for “National Reserve Lake Piedra”). We wanted to go there because papa heard there were flamingos there, which I obviously would love to see in the wild instead of in the zoo or on television.

Once, along the way(middle of the main road) papa all of a sudden started acting like a drunken Spaniard without a drivers license, he decided to stop in the middle of the road because Nuriye spotted 2 vultures. Anyway, I took a picture of them and then papa drove on.

Once we arrived at the lake, we followed a sign to a “mirador”, which means an observation point. Obviously we were totally confused because we were driving on a dirt road. Then we saw a stinky looking metal shop but with a nice view on the lake. So we walked to the metal shop to have a look on the lake. Yes! The flamingos papa heard about were no lie! There they were, at least 150 meters away but they were there. After a few pictures we saw a stinky looking man walking around in the now almost lethally stinking metal shop, and decided to drive on. That was obviously not the mirador.

Once we were back in the car we drove but after less than 3 minutes we came to an unexpected, but awesome surprise. Cranes!(a word of advise: google them before you read on if you don’t know what they look like) we were looking at them as if it was Santa, very unusual. First we saw 17 but then we looked a little more to the left and we saw another 30 and then event more to the left and, WOOOOW! I had troubles guesstimating a number, but I think there were like 800 of ’em! Really awesome. If you have never seen something like that and you think “wow” already, than if you will see it in real you would feel like I felt at that moment.

Papa and I got out of the car and slowly came closer to the cranes, we went for a close up.

Every 30 steps I took a picture, so when they would fly away I at least had a closer picture than if I didn’t get out of the car. And then they flew up! I could hear my camera going “click!click!click!” As I took pictures of them. 10 seconds later they were all gone.

Back in the car we drove out of the reserve. We did stop at one place though. An olive plantation. That has nothing to do with it, we were just stopping there to walk through it to come closer to the lake. So I could take pictures of the flamingos from closer. That plan worked. We came to the edge of the lake and from there I could take pictures of flamingos that were only 30 meters away, not 150.

We were walking back when I asked papa and Nuriye what they were doing while I was taking pictures, and as answer they told me: “We tasted the olives, but it would have been better if we didn’t. Bleerghhh! They’re not ready yet!

Later, after we sat in the car for some time, we came home, ate dinner after which Nuriye got a habit of saying “Tea is not good!”, watched a movie and went to bed.

Day 5: trip to Gibraltar                                  3rd of January 2013

I was unwillingly awoken by papa and Nuriye at 11:00 who claimed it was time for me to get out of bed. So I followed my orders and within 1 hour I we were all sitting around the table eating breakfast.

After breakfast we got in the car planning to go to Gibraltar but of course papa forgot to take our passports so we had to wait for papa to get the passports(you need them to go to Gibraltar because Gibraltar is part of England).

Finally, after papa came back and we drove away, we came on the main-ish road. I can’t really call it the main road because it was small and crooked, but I can’t say that it ain’t the main road, because it’s the biggest and pretty much only road there is there.

Then papa went off the road and used the brake like it was the last day on earth because Nuriye spotted vultures really, really close. I got outside, checked if there were any cars coming and crossed the road so I would be even closer to the vultures. Click!Click!Click, that is how the noise that came from my camera sounded. Now papa saw the living proof that vultures can be seen in huge amounts, like the first time we saw them this holiday, because me and Nuriye counted about 40 and papa saw it.

I took a lot of pictures but I  didn’t see (on my camera’s screen) any specially awesome ones, they all looked a bit alike. And just when we decided to go back to the car, I took an absolutely amazing picture! My last and best picture that was, no doubt about it.

After about 60 kilometers we came to Algeciras (pronounced as “algethíras”), from where we would cross the bridge to Gibraltar. However, we didn’t even get to see the bridge, because the police at the customs didn’t let Nuriye pass because she had a Turkish passport and she didn’t have a visa. And of course we didn’t want to leave Nuriye behind alone, so we decided to go to a park close to our house.

When we were very close to the park papa and Nuriye felt tired and they decided to go home. At home we ate dinner, had a look at the pictures I took, watched a movie and went to bed.

Day 6: Málaga

We woke up at 10:30 Because of some noises from outside, had brunch and started packing. We were going to Málaga for our last night because otherwise we had to drive for like 2 hours to the airport and our flight was at 6:45 AM!!

At about 12:00 o’clock in the afternoon we were done packing and set course to Sostoa 2, Málaga (address of our hotel).

It was a beautiful day, no cloud to be seen and a sweaty 25 Degrees, but I still saw a lot of birds, more than on other car drives. I saw 2 birds I only know the Dutch name of (Roodborsttapuit), a siskin, some goldfinches and a ring ouzel, a bird we didn’t see before that holiday.

We arrived at our hotel at 2:00 pm, checked in, threw our stuff aside in our room, and walked to Málaga’s city center in about 20 minutes.

We spent the rest of the evening walking around in Málaga, and I had some delicious mango ice cream somewhere. We also stopped somewhere to stuff ourselves with tapas. We had silver fish, fried cod, tomato salad, mussels which I did and do not like and something typically Málaga’s which I also didn’t like. But I loved the rest.

At 9:00 pm we were back in our hotel room, I read a little bit, and we went to bed.

Day 7: Adios Muchachos

We woke up at 5:00 am, well, at least papa and Nuriye did, I was already awake, I barely slept.

We went to the airport and didn’t have any problems, we safely arrived at our gate.

The End

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