Yesterday, Wednesday, started very positively – we were up early again as, with only two days to go, we wanted to get moving as soon as possible. I managed to resist the temptation of going for a run on the beach with Jan (I so want to play tennis when I get back to Prague that I am trying to be super-disciplined about letting my calf muscle heal) and instead did yet another 7 app routine and 45 minutes on the bike, and then we headed to the beach for a couple of hours – with the big pool still not properly open (we are not exactly sure why, but have given up stressing about it), and the temperature in the mid 30s, it is definitely better to be by the sea with a bit of breeze anyway.
By the time we dragged ourselves back home a bit of work had stacked up for both of us, so that was the first priority, and then it was a quick lunch and off we went into Marbella Old Town for a bit of shopping and a last look around. The shops are still very quiet and a bit depressed, and the historical centre was more or less deserted, but we think (and hope!) that that will be the last time we see it like that – I saw a post on FB yesterday about Prague still being without tourists and how sad it is, as is the case here too, but until the planes really get going again (and they still aren’t anywhere near to that yet – just a handful going in and out of Malaga yesterday, and not much more in Prague) I suspect that nothing much will change – but presumably, by early July, when it seems that most airlines will be back to ‘normal-ish’ we will start to see a difference…
Incidentally, on that, having said that Spain is open for anyone from the 21st, it seems that the Spanish government is starting to change its mind, at least regarding the Brits (not, it seems, because of fear that they may bring the infection in again, but as a ‘tit for tat’ with the UK for them saying that the Spanish have to go into fourteen days’ quarantine when they arrive there (well, anyone does at the moment, but I actually watched the UK Health Secretary saying that they don’t want to risk anyone coming in from other badly infected countries, and, when pressed as to which ones, mentioning Spain – I nearly smashed the TV up) – but I think it is still not resolved. How anyone can be planning to go anywhere much at the moment, mind you, is beyond me (unless they have to, of course… like us tomorrow!) since everything continues to change on a more or less daily basis…..
Anyway, we had planned to grab a drink somewhere in the Old Town, but since most of the cafes were closed up, we headed down to the beach and sat outside one of the bars there for a while, watching the world go by and feeling a bit sad about the whole situation – who would want to run a shop or a café/restaurant in a tourist area just now? Some shops, of course, are putting on a brave face (places like Zara, which are just as popular with locals as with tourists), but even then, it can hardly make sense to open if they only have a handful of customers, and for the cafes and restaurants you have to think that the cost of opening far outweighs any income they might get…. so why even bother….
After a bit of philosophysing, we decided to head home along the beach walk instead of the main street as it was cooler, and since it was early evening by this time it was nice to see that a lot more people had come out – mostly families on bikes and people walking their dogs, but at least they are venturing out more, to the point that it almost got quite crowded and difficult to keep the 2 metre social distancing, especially from those with dogs on my favourite long leads, who seem to manage to take up most of the path even when they are only one person….. we do try, though, so you can imagine how upset we were when an elderly lady walking her three yappy dogs who were weaving about all over the place, suddenly turned on us and started shouting at us in English to keep our distance, to not crowd her and to ‘have some respect’ – actually I didn’t really see or hear what was happening until I heard Jan tell her to calm down, that we were at least two metres away from her and she shouldn’t worry – but she was having none of it and started shouting even more. The icing on the cake, though, was when she screamed at us that ‘we should go back to whatever country we came from’ – I think she thought we might be the first of the English tourists to arrive, and whilst the government may not fear them bringing in the infection, the locals definitely do. Is this the shape of things to come, I wonder.
Anyway, that put a bit of a dampener on our day, so we were happy to get home and spend the rest of the evening pottering about and starting our preparations for departure. Today, then, followed similar lines – exercising in the morning, down to the beach and lots of walking about in the water to try to improve my legs, and then into Puerto Banus for another last walk about. One exciting bit there was the arrival of a yacht that was even bigger than the resident ‘Lady Haya’ and is apparently owned by some Mexican oligarch… presumably camping out here to avoid the virus that is all over Latin America just now. Not a bad way to do lockdown! Other than that, though, nothing too much has changed in the port – the shops are still open, no sign of any discounts or sales (other than in the big El Corte Ingles department store, which is trying its best) and most bars and restaurants boarded up. Puerto Banus, more than any other place around here, is in need of the foreign tourists – let’s hope not too many of the locals put them off (as above!).
Tonight, then, we are off out for dinner in one of our favourite restaurants, and then we will be up early in readiness for our adventure.. I will be reporting on that in due course!!!
Wish us luck