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torcal[click to enlarge pic]

When I first made plans for this Málaga Getaway a few months ago, the idea was to take a couple of day trips with Victor (in his NEW CAR) to visit friends in Alhaurín de la Torre and Colmenar. It turned out I couldn’t have chosen a worse week as both friends were up to their eyeballs in work, so we came up with a Plan B, which was to visit Antequera and introduce Victor to the delights of Charo Carmona’s Arte de Cozina. But first Victor wanted to show me the stone monolith dolmens and the amazing rock formations of El Torcal. All went well until we got to El Torcal and Victor asked if I wanted to do the shorter “low effort” trail. “C’mon”, he said. “It’s easy”, he said. So like a fool I said “Okay!” and off we went.

fin de senderos

Turns out it’s easy if you’re a mountain goat. Or Victor. Or at least NOT an overweight 59-year-old woman prone to tachycardia with arthritic knees and twice-sprained dodgy ankles. It also would’ve helped if Victor had warned me about proper footwear, if it wasn’t mid-day under a blazing sun (34º), and if we’d brought some water with us. The 45-minute trek ended up taking just over an hour – the thing was that by the time I realised just how impossible this was going to be for me it would have been just as long going back as keeping on. Duh. Also, I’m very stubborn, so I refused to give up. But every step of the way (seriously EVERY step) I kept envisioning another swollen sprained ankle and me having to be air-lifted out of the place by helicopter. Because there really was no path to speak of, just seemingly endless clambering up and down the rocks. I tell you, I was so happy to see the Fin de Senderos (end of trail) sign, and that cold beer was the best I’d ever had in my lilfe. And, once it was over, I was really glad we’d done it.

arte cozinaThen it was off to Antequera for lunch, and although arriving as a sweat-soaked bedraggled mess hadn’t been my intention, it was great to see Charo again. We opted for snacks at her Arte de Tapas next door instead of the full restaurant experience next door (since we were going to be having a full restaurant experience in the evening at Restaurante Amador). Everything was great – the croquetas, morcilla with mango, fried rabbit ribs – but that unassuming looking tapa (lower middle photo) is worth taking a trip to Antequera for. It’s lomo de orza, or cooked pork loin that’s been preserved in pork fat inside large clay urns (orzas). It was served over confit potatoes on toast and each bite was heaven.

casa az
Finally it was time to go home, rest up a bit, and get ready for our evening out. By now my hair couldn’t have looked any worse so we drove back to Málaga with the top down and I managed to get this great shot of Victor driving with the Peña de los Enamorados in the background. An amazing day.