Hiking, a festival, even vegan popsicles!

We just finished up our second week here in Spain. Life is good! Time is passing quickly and we feel like we’ve been in Torremolinos for longer than a few weeks already. Perhaps it’s because we keep a full schedule of work and play, or because we like it here and feel right at home. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pinar de los Manantiales hike

We went on our first hike in Torremolinos this past week. Kuba really likes hiking and trekking up mountains. I don’t feel like I’m in the best shape for a rigorous hike just yet, so we started out with an easy hike named Pinar de los Manantiales just outside the city centre.

Kuba found this hike through the WikiLoc app, an offline hiking app full of maps and routes of hikes around the world. This app is useful because you can use it offline, meaning you don’t need cell reception to find your way. It beeps at you if you stray too far off course, and it remembers your route if you decide to venture off the trail. That way, you’ll always be able to find your way back to where you started.

The hike had a slight incline and wasn’t too strenuous. We went further than the map recommended and climbed a bit higher, which was worth it! It took us around two hours including time to stop and film along the way. It was a nice way to break in my new Merrell shoes.

Check out Kuba’s vlog of our hike if you want to see our view of Torremolinos down below. ๐Ÿ™‚

Playa de la Carihuela

We like to walk along the beach front promenade in the evening. Sometimes Kuba will go for a quick dip in the sea, and then we’ll toss the frisbee around until he dries off. Usually, we stick to the Playamar beach area just past Playa del Bajondillo because there’s plenty of free space for frisbee and palm trees for shade, but last week we decided to walk the other way on the promenade, South of Torremolinos toward Benalmรกdena and Fuengirola.

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Playa de la Carihuela didn’t seem as busy as the Bajondillo area, but it was still lined with plenty of cafรฉs and shops. Unlike the promenadeย that goes along Playa del Bajondillo and Playamar, the promenade here was strictly for pedestrians only, as bikes were directed down another path. We’ll need to investigate this alternative path further as we hope to rent bikes one of these days.

We definitely prefer strolling along the beach during the week as it’s less busy. Even though we don’t visit the beach every day, I’m glad we have the opportunity to do so because the beaches here remind me of those in California. The palm trees remind me of the beaches in Santa Barbara; the wide sandy beaches remind me of Venice Beach. I feel right at “home” here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

el Festival de las Culturas

This past weekend the 2nd annual Festival de las Culturas took place in Torremolinos in the Plaza de la Nogalera from Thursday to Sunday. We found out about this festival thanks to Facebook, as we regularly browse through local events just in case we find something interesting.

Various countries were represented in this festival (I think I counted 16) including Mexico, the US, Thailand, and India, among others. Typically they were represented with a food stall or artisan crafts but also with music and dance performances. We didn’t spend much time here since most of the food was meat-heavy (and the smell of grilled meat put us off) but we couldn’t resist these colourful umbrellas.

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Visiting local events like this is fun because it makes us feel less like tourists. I’m sure plenty of tourists enjoyed this event as well, but listening to music and unwinding in the plaza, which happens to be a few minutes walk from our flat, is a nice feeling. We’re never in a rush here since we have three months to soak it all in. ๐Ÿ™‚

vegan popsicles in Fuengirola

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Fuengirola is a quick trainย ride down the coast so we figured why not explore the city for the first time.

Based on what I found as I browsed HappyCow, Fuengirola is full of vegan-friendly shops and cafรฉs. A vegan-friendly popsicle shop, named Stickhouse, piqued my interest. Kuba and I both tried the chocolate popsicle, and we opted to have it freshly dipped in chocolate and rolled in almonds. Yum!

Not all of Stickhouse’s popsicles are vegan, however, but several of theย fruit and chocolate ones were. The man working there was very friendly and knowledgeable about the vegan options. I haven’t had a dipped chocolate popsicle like that in years, so I was happy to indulge. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the end, we didn’t find much else to do in Fuengirola besides walking along the beach. We just prefer the quieter beaches of Torremolinos, I guess!

That being said, I wouldn’t mind returning to Fuengirola at some point to tour the Castillo de Sohail since entry is free. (It’s openย Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 – 14:00.)

the week ahead

This week we plan to visit Nerja (another resort town east of Mรกlaga on the coast) for a hike up the Rio Chillar. We don’t have anything else set in stone besides a day trip to Madrid on the 27th. This will be my third time in the city. We are meeting up with another nomadic vegan couple, as well as revisiting some of my favourite sites. Madrid will always be special to me because it was my first trip to Madrid that inspired me to quit my job in the States and start downsizing my life. ๐Ÿ™‚

We are considering visiting Granada or Seville as well. Do you have any recommendations for these cities or any other cities in Spain?

Thank you for reading! โค

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