So, you were wrong. Our flight from Manchester Airport took us not to the Beer Guide oasis of Jersey or Kirkwall, but rather the GBG desert of Malaga.

Bing Maps doesn’t have an air travel option, so you’ll have to believe it took us 43:35 hours by bus.

This short trip was a concession to Mrs RM’s need for some sun after several months of daft hours sorting French IT. Here’s us on the beach. Mrs RM is the one pointing out the Doom Bar pump in “British Pub”.

Obviously, Mrs RM hates sun and sand as much as I do*, and was really interested in the hiking trail on the Caminito del Rey, that we passed oved just before touchdown at Malaga Airport.

While of course I’m losing ten (10) days ticking in a crucial year, I was equally keen for a change of scenery, and this was the first time since the pandemic I’d felt like foreign travel.

The only Covid bureaucracy was an app downloaded to our phones with full vaccination details; scan the barcode, wave the passport, say “Grazious” in our best Spanish and we were off the plane and through checks in ten minutes.

Half an hour later we were in central Malaga via the commuter train that runs along the Costa del Sol allowing tickers to visit all the John Smiths Smooth bars in a day.

We’d picked the German B & B Hotel chain along the west bank of the Guadalmedina, a seeminglyb dry river now used for skateboarding and dog walking.

It was 20:30 now, Spanish tea time not even starting according to Twitter don’t believe Twitter),

but we were still full from lunch. I left Mrs RM to her decent Wi-Fi and investigated the residential streets up the hill.

Oh, that looks OK.

El Parral had Old Boys sitting at the bar with bottles of Estrella Damm, young lads smoking outside, even a few ladies chatting over wine.

I sat at the bar next to the tapas and asked for a bottle of that Estrella Damm.


“Estrella Damm”


etc etc

I gave up and pointed to the lone Cruzcampo tap (“One tap is plenty, sometimes more than enough”), daringly served in the glass of the local Malaga brewer.

The guvnor brought out a little plate of bread and cheese; I decided against risking food poisoning on the first night with the seafood.

Not sure I’ve ever had Cruzcampo before, but I certainly would again. Very silky, NFMSS 3.5+**

I asked for the bill, in Spanish. “La Cuenta Por Favore”. The guvnor raised an eyebrow, and wrote down a number on a scrap of paper.

1,90. That’s £1.60. I’d heard Malaga was cheap.

Back at the hotel I realised my Galicia mistake.

Damm is from Barcelona, Galicia is from, er, Galicia. Who knew ?

More disasters with the non-English speaking world later, no doubt.

*Which is just as well given the weather here has been more akin to Mansfield in January.

**National Foreign Muck Scoring System


  1. I love Malaga and am greatly looking forward to your forrin’ shenanigans. Hint: In Andalucía they have no plant pots and use the little napkin dispensers to pour their undrinkable beer into. You’re welcome!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I enjoyed Malaga -we did a great Tapas trail there -looking forward to reading about your adventures -I am sure you will find some gritty back streets to lurk in

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Never knew that about Estrella.
    Number Two (2) bro and sis in law have a house near Valencia and I have a favourite bar there, just opposite the Mercado Municipal. No idea what the beer is, I just say “Cerveza grande, por favor” and they give me a pint. Hits the spot on a hot day though.


  4. You didn’t fool me, he said smugly, and from what you have said, it certainly sounds like Mrs RM deserves a holiday.

    I’m also sure that a break from attempting to tick dodgy micro-pubs, that only open every second Tuesday, and then just for an hour and a half, after 7pm, will do you good as well. But what happened to the “no fly” policy?


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