El Camino Conduce El Sur – Nerja – by Trevor Leeden

by Patty Ryan posted on 1 April 2014

Trevor Leeden (“Lord L”) continues travelling through Spain’s southern region leaving the Costa del Sol (forever) and driving on to the beautiful unspoiled parts of Spain. Nerja is their next stop where the Leedens discover the beauty of areas unspoiled by mass tourism.

Time to push on. Malaga and the Costa del Sol were interesting, but we won’t be back. (Quirky historical fact re Malaga – in 1781 Spain and France supported America in the War of Independence against Britain. La Manquita (“the one armed”), i.e. Malaga Cathedral, was to have two towers but the money to construct it was given to the war effort and the 2nd tower has never been built). We decide to go to Nerja after all, the home of the Cueva de Nerja (Nerja Caves), discovered only in 1959 by 5 intrepid schoolboys (who probably should have been in skool!), and the location of the world’s largest limestone pillar. We get there at 1:45pm and are advised that we only have 15 minutes because it closes from 2:00-4:00 (I shouldn’t be surprised but I am!). BUT, fortune smiles on us as we decide to take a private guided tour. We stay underground for 2 1/2 hours and it is awesome. The ‘famous’ column is gigantic, the expanse where international opera and ballet performances are held annually is huge, and there are stalagtites galore, but surprisingly few stalagmites.

The Massive Nerja Cave Column
The Massive Nerja Cave Column



Nerja Cave
Nerja Cave
More Stalagnites in Nerja Cave
Stalagnites in the Nerja Cave


But how about this – our guide is a man of some renown. He is Miguel Joven, a star of the Spanish TV series from the 80s ‘Verano Azul’ (Blue Summer). He’s a lovely chap, and very knowledgeable. Chatting with us afterwards, he gives us a tip on where to go next (nicely!), and when talking about being a guide he surprises us by uttering the same words as Lidia – “at least I have a job”…tough times indeed.

Miguel the guide with our children at Nerja Cave
Miguel, part time actor and a wonderful guide with our children

Miguel’s tip is to go exactly 7km inland to a little puerto blanco untouched by tourism – we wind our way up the mountainside and come to Frigiliana, and Miguel is right on the money. It’s a beautiful little hamlet and we enjoy a merienda in the setting sun.

Close up of Frigiliana
Frigiliana, one of Spain’s best preserved “pueblo blanco”

It’s back into Rocinante and we head north on a 2 hour drive north. The weather changes immediately and it’s cold and very wet when we arrive in Cordoba. I drop the team off at our hotel and look for a car park (Travel Tip: there are no car parks in the middle of the Old Town in Cordoba, but you can drive in and drop your bags off). We don’t realise it yet (by virtue of it was so cold and wet on arriving we didn’t take notice of our surroundings) but we had struck the hotel jackpot!

Next stop on Lord L’s journey through Spain’s southern coast will be Cordoba….

If you have traveled through Spain and wish to share memories (good or bad are welcomed !) of your travels, why don’t you submit your journal to the INC Blog. Just email your recollections to blog@incmadrid.com.

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