Day 23

July 31, 2013.

The one with the heavy packs.

It’s black sand. We throw off our backpacks and make a bed. It’s only sunrise, 7 am. We’re not morning people but it was a luxury to get a ride to Malaga without having to stand for hours next to the road with our thumbs up. We manage to get a bit of sleep; hardly awake we get up and walk into the ocean. Seems like it’s even five degrees Celsius warmer here than in Tarifa. After cooling down in the not-so-clean water we look at our options. We are in the West of Malaga. Not so much to see here. We decide to go to the supermarket to get some breakfast and take the next step from there.

On the map we spotted a nice lake that would be a good nine kilometers walk, in this heat with our home on our back. I decide to ask a friendly Spanish guy who walks out of the supermarket if we would be able to swim in it.The man has done quite a bit of free camping and recommends us to follow the beach until we get to a deserted camping that had to close down due to legal problems. We thank him kindly, the idea of staying near the wind and cold-water sounds pretty good to me, and the bonus of walking only six kilometres sounds not so bad either.

It is a long busy straight road. Malaga doesn’t seem so exciting. We stop to ask if there is a train to Granada, which there isn’t. A bus would be possible with Lewis but would also take our whole day budget away so we decide to just find a place to sleep and see what happens tomorrow. While Tim does his research about transport in Malaga, a lovely homeless guy, who after grabbing a handful of cigarette buds from the bin wishes me a safe journey in his perfect English. He leaves me behind quite astonished. Wondering why someone who speaks a language hardly anyone in Spain speaks has to live on the street.

After another three kilometers we find a spot of grass with palm trees on the beach. Without any hesitation we throw a t-shirt over our heads against the light and get another hour of sleep.

When it starts to get dark we continue our quest for the perfect tent spot, now we collected 5 hours of sleep and feel a little bit better. The old camping ground we were directed to seems to be not really an option as the whole ground is in full view, taking away any bit of privacy we could get. There is a park though, at the top of a hill, so after doing some steep hiking up through a hidden pathway we finally find it: a peaceful oasis. I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful before for such a simple piece of land in the shade. Thanks park on the hill.