February 11 – 18 / 2011

There’s not too much to write about our time spent in Spain. We had an incredible resort thanks to Tom, Kathy and Interval timeshares! A beautiful Marriott Resort that is far more luxurious than any regular resort you can imagine because it can’t even really be classified as a resort. It’s more like a 2 bedroom 1200 sq ft condo complete with in suite laundry and a full kitchen. It was truly beautiful and the complex was set right on the ocean. So, true to our plan, we didn’t do much more than relax in Spain.

We spent one day going into the city of Estepona, which had a nice old Spanish style town with white washed buildings and narrow cobblestone lanes. We stopped in a little restaurant far off the tourist maps and had an authentic Spanish tapas lunch with beer. As with the GBP, the Canadian dollar is currently strong against the Euro giving us very affordable prices for food and everyday needs in Spain. Quite a bit better than the prices in Canada given that the Euro was once double our dollar and now is only 1.3 times and the cost of living still hasn’t quite caught up to this fluctuation.

We also did a day trip to a beautiful town called Ronda. Ronda, Spain, is a stunning old village set on a massive gorge that descends hundreds of feet downward at the town’s edge. We really enjoyed Ronda, we hiked up and down the cliffs surrounding the city and came across some nice Arab architecture, and a waterfall and dam. We stopped for a romantic picnic on the cliffs edge and ate a delicious lunch of chicken caesar salad that we had prepared the night before in our resort. A perfect place for Valentine’s Day. For sheer natural beauty and setting, this town is one of the prettiest we’ve seen.

view from ronda spain
The stunning view from Ronda, Spain.
Plaza de toros de Ronda
The oldest bullfighting ring in Spain, the Plaza de toros de Ronda.
puente nuevo bridge ronda spain
The massive Puente Nuevo Bridge. Towering 120 meters above the canyon floor! Ronda, Spain

Other than that we didn’t do too much in Spain. We played a made up drinking game one night which got out of hand and led to nicky nine door and temporarily stealing a giant chess piece from the courtyard… and yes, it was just the two of us.

As much as we loved the resort in Spain, we couldn’t help but to notice how much more we appreciated the one in Thailand. Yes the one in Thailand was far more beautiful than this one, but what made the last one so amazing is that we had been travelling on a shoestring for so long, that jumping head first into our own private pool, was more than just a refreshing splash in chlorinated water. And bedding down in a king size Posturepedic with down pillows and duvet with the breeze coming in the massive villa window was more than just a good night sleep. And cooking our own food in the kitchen and watching the big 52 inch screen was so amazing, not only because we were doing it in an exotic place, but because we had craved it for so long. It was so great to just relax and have a place to call home for a week.

marriott hotel spain
The most comfortable bed ever at our timeshare at the Marriott Hotel, Estepona, Spain.

But this time, in this Marriott, it was the opposite. We were craving to be on the road, to eat every meal in a hole in the wall cafe, to bargain for accommodation costs, and even to sleep on a shitty mattress. So the regular allure that we would normally associate with a 5 star resort just wasn’t there, because we were craving crap. As ridiculous as that may sound, I don’t think that we will ever vacation the same again. A vacation from the routine and monotony of home life will probably always be into the havoc and pandemonium of budget travel, and only a vacation from backpacking will ever be a 5 star resort with the regular comforts of home.

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Estepona & Ronda: Craving Crap

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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