Travel bits and pieces

Once again, my trail has brought me to Glasgow to see Mum. The hiking boots and the rucksack went south and I came north. Just a Virgin train and the No 4 bus from Central Station and I'm quickly back in another world. I had said that I would come and visit again now, but my arrival is always a surprise these days, a pleasant one I believe....

Yesterday we went walking. We returned to Los Josefos and Cariatiz where, two years ago, we stayed when we first came to Spain to retreat from winter’s worst. I must admit, though, that this wasn’t the plan when we set out. No, we had planned a new walk to an abandoned village set in a landscape of karst. Karst - I had to look it up: exceptional topography full of sink holes and caves fashioned by gypsum, limestone, water and time. This walk had been carefully selected from the excellent Los Mejores Excursiones por las Sierras de Almeria by one...

  Bar La Montana (BLM), as its name suggests is up a mountain. Well, up a hill might be more accurate, the hill above Bedar, in fact, where it stands in a tiny pueblo called El Campico, reached by a series of sharp hairpin bends. It looks like a great little place, whitewashed walls, terracotta-tiled roof, a terrace outside and an open fire inside, coloured glass wall lights, wooden beams, looking quintessentially Spanish mountain but being anything but. Much loved and patronised by the English in these parts, it is ably run by a couple from the Home Counties. We’d only...

There’s a bar on the corner of the seafront in Garrucha. It stands out from the rest of the seafront bars for its air of tradition: wooden shutters, old letters spelling out Meson de Adriana, a dark doorway with intimations of plants and tiles, barrels, lace-edged tablecloths. A taberna in the old Spanish style, we’ve passed it many times, but somehow never at the right time of day – we weren’t hungry or it was closed. Yesterday we were hungry and it was open. A bespectacled señorita wearing an apron and an anorak greeted us hesitantly. “No hay tapas”, she replied to...