Off to Spain!

Today we set off on a cheeky two week holiday to Spain. We had two weeks worth of timeshare to use or lose, so we swapped our points for a stay at the Forest Hills Resort in the hills behind Estepona. We booked flights with BA that we used AVIOS to pay for.

Last night we stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott at Gatwick South. We’ve stayed there before and it’s a nice place, 10 minute walk into the terminal. They offer a parking deal to Marriott Bonvoy members and it was actually cheaper to stay and park with them than just park in Gatwick longterm parking.

Our flight was totally sold out – Malaga must be popular – and it was slightly late leaving but they caught it up. We landed at just after 11am. The airport was an absolute madhouse, a zoo! So many people and massive lines through passport control. Really it isn’t fit for purpose as an international airport. The one in North Cyprus clears people quicker than that. It took us 75 minutes to clear all of the immigration and customs and then find the Man from DelPaso, our car hire company. They took us to the office in a minivan and we got our car from them. A Fiat Panda. It’s small but perfectly adequate for what we need and all the luggage got in.

It’s very hot weather – over 30C – and not a cloud in the sky. Perfect holiday weather really. We’re going to have some day trips but mostly relax. We’ve been to the Costa del Sol many times over the years and feel we know it pretty well. Never been to Estepona before and it sounds like it’s got a very pretty Old Town. We will definitely be exploring that.

It was an easy run down to Estepona and the hotel directions were accurate. Forest Hills is quite a small resort by timeshare standards and it sits like a white castle on top of a hill, the rooms cascading down the slope. We were very warmly welcomed at reception. I had read that the staff here were exeptionally nice and indeed they are. The manager had noted my request to be near good wifi (bit of a challenge in some rooms apparently) and had sited us quite near reception, with an amazing view down to the sea. We have a one bedroom apartment. It has everything you could want – dishwasher, fridge/freezer, oven, microwave. The apartment is not a/c but there are fans including a water cooled one, and massive windows and doors that open to our private terrace.

We unpacked quickly and got ourselves down to the pool for the rest of the afternoon. It seems quite quiet – more people turned up late afternoon, for a swim and to enjoy the little bar/bistro. Again, very nice staff down there, very welcoming. Bob had an ice cold beer and i had two bottles of cold spring water, then we pegged out. Both of us fell asleep for some of the time. Well… we were up at 515!!!!

Being Sunday, the supermarkets closed early, so we haven’t had a chance to stock up but we will do that tomorrow. We booked a table downstairs in the bistro instead.

We sat on the little terrace by the pool. It seemed pretty popular and when the food came out, we could see why. A good little menu for every meal and not expensive, certainly not by Marbs standards. I had fillets of hake grilled with garlic and herbs served with veg. I declined chips so he sent me out a lovely side salad instead. Bob had a gammon steak with egg and chips. everything was really well cooked and delicious. They were about 13-15 euro each.

Did I mention that I am on a BIG DIET????? Well, I am. We have a big wedding next year when Lu and Geri tie the knot and it’s given me the motivation I need to get rid of the lbs that have crept back on over the last 8 or 9 years. Am doing the Dukan diet again because I find it easy to do, it suits my tastes, and I used it to lose 50+ lbs in 2011. Wouldn’t it be great if I can do it again?…. So, I am two weeks in, have lost 9 lbs and am in the Cruise phase where I eat lean protein plus green and red veg. for 5 days and then 5 days of just lean protein. Until I reach target weight and then I have to go into another Consolidation phase to break those bad habits once and for all. No alcohol at all up till then. Haven’t had a drink in two weeks and I must say that the combination of no alcohol and drinking 2 litres of water a day is already visible in my skin.

Came back upstairs and sat out on our terrace looking down to the sea and the great big moon. There don’t seem to be any bugs. Good news. Maybe it’s because we’re high up.