So it’s true what they say, the Costa del Sol really does have a lot of sun if you visit in August. Perhaps too much for a family of pale skinned Brits who think Factor 50 sun cream is essential in the shade. We pushed on through – forced ourselves to get to the beach and tried not to get too upset about not needing the two jumpers and pairs of shoes we’d packed. We sat outside as the sun set, sipped our lethally strong, Spanish-style gin and tonics, and cheerfully offered ourselves up to hungry mosquitoes.
What a lovely feeling of sun on skin, sea water on legs and serrano ham on tongue. We spent time in Marbella which has a charming old-town, and parks very suitable for rogue 1 year olds. FYI – the 1 year old will not enjoy himself more if you stick your ice-cream in his eye. He might perk up if you buy him some new shoes and the lovely old lady in the shop squidges his legs while exclaiming, ‘Gordito! Gordito!’ (‘Chubby!’). The new shoes necessary because having put E in the car with two really pricey sandals on his feet, only one was ever seen again. The missing one is probably having a fine old time with his beloved monkey toy who decided to stay on in Spain, much to the chagrin of passengers on our Easyjet flight home when E’s tiredness hit epic, loud and monkey-mournful proportions.
The beaches were a mixture of very smart (sun loungers, waiters in matching raybans, over complicated salads) and more straightforward (sand, families, umbrellas, towels). The kids were more suited to the latter, and then were immediately identifiable as British by wearing swim suits covering most of their exposed skin while bronzed Spanish kids dashed around in nappies. Nothing like blending in.