First day off, the first real night of sleep I've had in 3 days. I finally got out of bed, dressed and out the door by 3:30pm and decided to pick up John and Carlos and drive to a mountain village called Tolox in the Sierra de las Nieves, a town I just selected off the map within an hour drive. We drove through the olive groves and small towns until we reached the end of the paved road high above the city at a historical spa called Balneario de Tolox, and a hotel called Montaña. The road was really beckoning me, but it was for SUVs only, unpaved. How I wished I rented an SUV. It probably would be cheap here.
The spa opened in the 19th c. and is reputed to have waters infused with gases that are therapeutic. I noticed many of the people visiting and apparently waiting to get in were elderly. I walked down the stairs and peeked in the windows. I told John, "you gotta see this." The place had nice tile and ceramic designs, but the inside looked totally bizarre, with institutional like booths set up with 'inhalators' where patrons could inhale the magic mist from the local waters.
We then drove down to the hotel where John and Carlos had an awesome looking apple pie and home made ice cream. I had the usually superb Spanish cafe con leche.
In this region of Spain, we saw many many olive trees and some orange trees. It looked tropical, like Florida, but with mountains. What was most stunning was how very quiet it was.
I stopped and picked a few olives. They are a bit bitter when unripe. Some of the small olive trees had big thick trunks, denoting they were very old. They've been growing olives for a good long while here.
The flora here ranges from dry scrubby grassland to lush and tropical, with unusual barkless trees and pines. The mountain roads are typical cliff sided with no room for error, my kind of roads. My dad's favorite too. ;)
Hungry when I got back, but the local supermarket closed. Wow, closed at 8 pm on Saturday night, unimaginable in the US, so I had to drive into Malaga to get some food. Time for bed and another go at the 200m tomorrow. May run it once or twice, hopefully twice.