Discover Costa del Sol’s countryside! Andalusia is a vast expanse when you are from a smaller country like myself it takes a little time to adjust, endless rolling countryside “campo” to explore and potential to get lost!!
I have a trusted hirsute companion to assist and sometimes hinder but is always grateful for every adventure!
He is of course my dog, rescued like so many here on the Costa del Sol. An unknown mix of many breads and a very handsome chap he is!
Why buy when there are so many rescue centres dotted all along the Coast.
When in my office in Calahonda, I get many requests from clients for a villa, townhouse, apartment with a varying description but very commonly punctuated with “walking distance”. This means an easy, preferable flat, walk to all, bars, restaurants, shops etc.
This is a prerequisite of many but by no means all, some are quite happy to on the fringes and some all out isolation.
It really depends on your preference and I can understand all, hence I am saving for all three options!
Normally we make trade offs, smaller for closer is the norm and this is even more evident if we approach that large body of water called the sea!
I fall into the middle ground, I want the convenience of being able to walk to all but also crave my rustic roots and for dogs and kids the “campo” offers so many adventures and delights.
“El campo” – the countryside
I live in Sierrezuela, just north of Fuengirola and just before the land rises for the ascent to Mijas Pueblo. There are so many tracks to explore and there is so much open space with stunning backdrop of the Coast and the Sierra de Mijas mountains. Thousands of square metres of nature, pure and awaiting discovery.
All land here has a little track, footpath or makeshift road if you look hard enough. When we go for a “Long walk” there is generally no plan just let’s see what we can find and learn today! The “campo” rarely disappoints.
Sometimes we find strange plants, flowers and sometimes it’s a ruin of an old farmhouse or shepherd’s dwelling. I am also always on the look out for edibles, a primeval urge to forage and have recently discovered a wild edible pea.
When far enough away you can really sense what it must have been like when the lands were first inhabited and exactly why the Moors, Romans and even me found reason to stay.
You can follow a trail as it meanders through the scenery and loose track of time and location. Luckily there is usually a large mountain or even the sea to get your bearings.
Sometimes I am amazed at how these tracks can be almost as suck as a car point to point, for example it takes 20 minutes to walk from Calahonda (upper) to El Soto near La Mairena, it’s the same in a car!
Often we come across a shepherd with hundreds of goats. He has a routine and you can set you watch by his movements.
His vast heard all equipped with bells around there necks move slowly over fallow fields. The bells warn me to grab the dog and put his lead on as the goats get him excited.
Once, with my daughter, we arrived at an open plain. There was a new born goat at the feet of it’s mother. Just born, very exciting for all, especially the dog! My daughter was quite distraught, “What will happen to the goats and new born”?
I pondered and thought it would be best to try and locate the shepherd. After an hours walk and no sign of them we reluctantly agreed to head back to the car. After a short drive we saw the shepherd on a hillside off the road. We stopped, waved and shouted.
He moved with an assured foot across rough terrain to get into earshot. We explained our discovery and he said he was aware. He always leaves the goats to give birth and returns to them on the way back.
It struck me that this has been the way for hundred, thousands of years, the ways and rules of the “campo”.
These type of things, fresh air, the non industrial noises of mother nature are becoming a rarity these days.
So even a 30 minute jaunt into the wide expanses of Andalusia’s wide and wonderful plains are so worth it!
Almost everywhere on the coast you are short walk away from an adventure!