Azure sea, warm sun, green hills, majestic mountains, white washed houses, flamenco, tapas, sangria, sounds of Spanish everywhere, church bells and narrow cobbled streets...the delights of southern Spain filled our senses. Ahh, Spain. Nothing quite like Espana, eh? Andalusia is the clasic Spain of your dreams.
Yet, when we returned to our village and friends here in southern Spain, in many ways it felt like we never left. It was a "homecoming" because "our" village here will always be one of our homes thanks to spending four winters here where our child went to the local school to immerse in her Spanish.
Friends are important when you travel, so one of our first stops was at the school so that our daughter could reconnect with her old school mates and best friends here. She arrived just in time to attend her best friend's birthday party where she had a ball and she was happy to show her our motorhome when she visited our campsite. It was fun for us parents to also connect with our firends in our village and catch up with the latest.
This was the perfect spot to spend Memorial Day weekend and gave us a chance to rest and recover a bit and get into our motorhome Europe groove. Alas, our battery didn't work when we returned, but we soon fixed that. We have a mechanic here that we trust, so we got our regular oil change, brakes checked and overall maintenance for our motorhome before driving Europe.
We are looking much better now too as one of our first stops was to our favorite barber and hairdresser. We must apologize for our recent shagginess, but haircuts on the road are one of the challenges of a digital nomad travel lifestyle. Maintaining my highlights is even worse. You never know what you are going to get with a stranger, so it's reassuring to be back in the hands of people we know and trust. My digestive health problems before we left our winter abode in Penang, distracted us from getting our hair done there before leaving.
One of our other first stops was to one of our favorite restaurants. We've missed delicious Spanish food and the views. The weather is absolutely perfect now and the ambiance of Andalusia is one of relaxation. There were political signs up in our village due to a recent election, which is something we have never seen before, but despite the news of political troubles in Spain, nothing much has appeared to have changed in our sleepy village.
We also have a favorite dentist here so we each got a check up and our teeth cleaned. Alas, kidlet had a tiny cavity and too broken fillings, so we also took care of those. Feels good to have this all done as we didn't find a dentist yet while wintering in Penang.
It's fun to explore new places and see new landscapes and people, but it's also very rewarding to return to a place that you know well. We're not tourists, expats, or locals, but as long term travelers, we incorporare a bit of each of those characteristics. I think we get a unique view.
Sadly ( and strangely because this is very rare in Europe) the campsite that we stay at while here does not have decent mass transit. That would be fine for a caravan with a car, but is quite problematic with a motorhome because moving mode is very different than rest mode.
It's a pain to store and unstore things to drive and it affects our refrigerated food when it just sits parked in the heat unplugged. Thus, it's not condusive to a long stay, so we just stayed 10 days which was about right for us. We'll be back in the fall, but enjoying the many gorgeous landscapes of Spain in this green season as we take several days to travel from Granada to Barcelona.
There are campsites in southern Spain with better transportaion, but they are much further away from our village and this one is quite nice. Kidlet was overjoyed to be speaking Spanish again...she giggled with glee when the flight attentant on our Royal Jordanian flight from Amman to Madrid did her announcement in Spanish ( along with Arabic and English). Spain and Spanish are part of her now, so she has really missed being immersed in it. I am the weakest in Spanish in our family and even I miss the sound of it and enjoy being surrounded by it again.
Mozart was also thrilled to see her legos and playmobile toys and many classic books that we left here in the motorhome. It was like Christmas! She was even happy to see her clothes.
Our motorhome is a bit old and funky, but we enjoy the freedom it gives us and the comfy lifestyle for traveling Europe. You can't really beat a home/vehicle/storage unit in Europe for just 70 euros a month ( what it costs in total to store it here in covered parking) and we love the luxury campsites of Europe.
Have you been to southern Spain? What are your happy memories of Andalusia?