Monday, 30 September 2013

Visiting Mijas, Near Malaga


I had the pleasure of visiting the small town of Mijas recently on a sun holiday which I'll go into more detail about later :)

Now, if you've never heard of Mijas (pronounced Me-hacking sound in throat-Kas) you're not alone, I'd never heard of it either, but The Boy had been there on a family holiday YEARS AGO and wanted to revisit it.

He went at a stage of childhood where you don't give a rats ass about quaint little squares and picturesque streets, back then he wanted BEACHES and FAIRGROUNDS and ICE CREAM and moaned at his mum for dragging him away from his bucket and spade. I can't say much has changed in that time but there's only so much beach and ice cream a grown man can take, so we took a day trip.

Mijas is located on the Costa Del Sol which is blessed with an alright public transport system, the bus and train systems are easy to navigate and fairly priced too - a great way to see more of your destination.

So we took a train to Fuerengirola and then a bus to Mijas which winds around some lovely steep mountainy roads so shut your eyes if you scare easy, ok?

The road to Mijas
You arrive into an aforementioned quaint little square right next to the Tourist Information office and the donkey stand where you can take a donkey tour around.

I chose to ignore the donkeys as they were tethered in such a way that meant they were facing the wall which looked cruel to me so I chose to opt out of a donkey ride. (I'd also eaten a LOT of tapas on holiday so I thought I'd spare the donkey's back).

If you head to the Tourist Information office, a nice lady will give you a map of the town for free with all the points of interest. It looks like this:

It's not a big place and it's so lovely to stroll around, so get moving on foot and try and find all the points on the map. We only skipped the highest one as we could see it from the distance which seemed good enough :)

Here's some photos from Mijas:

Have I tempted you to get up off your sunbed yet and explore more of the Costa Del Sol?

Should I mention I had some of the best tapas of my life in Mijas and I kick myself now for not taking note of the restaurant name, you'll just have to go there and find it for yourself - deal?

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday photo album

"Oh Uganda! May God uphold thee
We lay our future in thy hand
United, free
For liberty
Together we'll always stand"

The national anthem of Uganda is etched in my memory and is drenched in happy memories. I heard it every day for one month sung by children at school to a backdrop of spectacular scenery. How can I ever forget that?

I taught English in a tiny village in Uganda in 2007. One of the best experiences of my whole life and the starting point for my love of travel I'd say. Some of the villagers had never left to see the nearest town, so it was a real culture shock for both visitors and residents.

My time in Uganda was my first ever experience of Africa. I fully blame Uganda for my subsequent crush on Africa but I think I was a but overwhelmed by it and only came to appreciate the haphazard but organised chaos that is Africa. 

I hope you enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed going back over it :)

Home sweet home in Uganda!

Top notch toilets in Uganda

Monday, 23 September 2013

MONDAY photo album

OK so I messed up. I only started the Sunday album idea LAST WEEK and I already mucked it up and missed Sunday.


I have an excuse though. I was driving the LENGTH of the M1 in this godforsaken country where there are too many cars for the roads and no one knows how to drive properly. Can I stress at this point that the middle lane is not just for you to saunter down as you please??! 'Oh there's a lorry in the near distance, think I'll move over now so I don't have to think for a while'


Anyway, where was I?

Today's Sunday Monday photo album is from Honduras, central America.

I was a tour leader on a trip there in November 2010 and we helped to build houses in La Esperanza. At the weekends we kept the tour participants drunk busy and showed them around the delights of Honduras.

Honduras is an amazing country and is often overshadowed by it's neighbours, Guatemala and Nicaragua, not to mention it's friend down the road, Costa Rica.

Here's a selection of photos from the trip:

We installed a solar panel in this woman's house so her family could have electricity and stop using candles in her wooden house

There's nothing I love more than seeing children behaving like children. Too often they're given responsibility from an early age and don't get the chance to be a little bit silly.

La Esperanza, Honduras

Very modern methods used in La Esperanza

I have two regrets from this trip:

1. Not learning more Spanish. I really feel that learning more would have enhanced my experience and enabled me to chat with the local guys we were helping with the build

2. Not switching the date stamp off my camera! I could probably remove this but I know I'll never get around to it. I'll just have to live with it...

Monday, 16 September 2013

I'm buying a house...

Well technically, I'm not buying a house, The Boy and I are growing up a little and buying a pad of our own.

We love our little house right now but renting every month just feels like wasted money (except when it comes to changing the boiler, then it's GREAT to call your landlord and say 'Errr there's a problem).

So, most of my evenings are spent on Rightmove looking at places I can't afford. For some reason I like to put in the maximum price of £1,000,000 just for a laugh. Ha HA.

Consequently I find myself looking at:

When realistically I'll be buying something like this... *sigh* it looks quaint!
Litte seaside shack c/o -

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunday photo album

This week I decided to upload an album of photos here of a Sunday to round off the week and help me feel better about Mondays. Poor Monday. It's also so nice to go back through old photos you quickly forget about.

This week's album is from..... KENYA! (Most weeks will probably be from Kenya...)

Quel surprise! More specifically, we spent a day visiting seven different children's homes with a big blue truck dropping off donations of food, clothing and essentials. Such a humbling day to give to those in need and make a difference to so many people. You're left feeling like you'd love to give more but every little bit helps and if there's one thing I've learnt it's that you can't help everyone sadly...

So without further ado... Donation Day in Kenya - January 2013

Thanks for joining me on photo album Sunday! Which picture do you like best?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

It's been a year since I decided to quit my job...


One year since The Boy came to pick me up after the shittiest Monday on record.

The rain was showing no mercy.

It was dark at 5pm.

There was a huge traffic jam.


I'd had enough. ENOUGH! Life wasn't about this, there was so much more I wanted! I wanted adventures!

The Boy had an announcement for me and he didn't want to make it while sitting in a cold car in a traffic jam. I had a feeling I was either about to get divorced or in for some other serious news.

So off to the pub we went and himself announced that he was thinking of seeing more of the world at some point in the future - not right now (lest his employers happen to read this!) but in the future. This is progress.

I wanted to go back to Kenya since my quickfire trip last July for one week. I wanted to live in one place, learn Swahili and spend my days writing and making sure I really did enjoy writing and social media. So a plan was made and the very next day I handed my notice in at work.

That was one year ago.

Since then I spent the most challenging but happiest three months living in Mombasa, in my own little apartment. The Boy joined me for one month and we had a whale of a time living at our own pace, doing what we wanted.

Since coming home I've found full time employment (it started off as a contract and progressed to full time) which is a new challenge in itself. It's hard work and I miss Kenya so much that I ache some days, but I have no regrets in general. How could I regret this amazing year???