Welcome to Hollywood
We left baggage reclaim (with all 7 bags) and an hour later we were heading off to the villa in our hire cars. The villa is just outside of Colmenar and is about 40 minutes from Malaga airport. We had looked at the place many times on Google maps before, but one thing you don’t really appreciate is the steepness (as I discovered the night I went for a run, but that story is for another day). The other thing is the narrowness of the streets in Colmenar. The instructions took us down (what we thought) were tiny back alleys on 5% hills. In fact, this was the most direct and safest route. These alleys made the narrow streets of Bogarra look like flat boulevards.
After numerous ups and downs (and nearly as many ear pops) we found our way to the villa. You may remember that we named our 2013 villa “Villa Wow” (if not, check out the blog here). Well this is definitely Villa Hollywood. Imagine a typical Spanish villa on the outside, but at the centre of it a double height lounge leading to an Art Deco minstrel gallery with 4 bedrooms off it, furnished with leather and chrome sofas and huge pieces of pop art. It’s very LA. We arrived at 1:00pm and we had arranged to meet our host at 2:00pm. She did tell us there would be a key under the plant pot, which there was; but also the pool boys were here. (I saw boys, one was definitely a man. Quite an old man. I’m never quite sure what these chaps do other than have a little fish with the net thing and pop in and out of a room full of strange machinery. I suppose if they didn’t turn up and the pool turned green, we would miss them.)
We let ourselves in and planned on just dropping off the cases; but once we got in, we thought we may as well have a good look around. All in the name of research obviously so that we knew what we had to get when we went on the Big Shop later on in the day. (More about that tomorrow.) Upstairs we found one nice double bedroom with a balcony, and then another with the same (plus a bath). Then we came across the third bedroom with twin beds (which dad immediately baggsied for him and mum. I think after discovering the joys of two singe duvets in Poland, he fancied continuing the feeling of having the whole duvet to himself) and there was a final locked door. This seemed a bit strange, why leave 3 doors open and the fourth locked? At this point I began getting worried. This was definitely a 4 bedroom villa wasn’t it? I went out to the pool and I felt suddenly ill. Only 6 loungers. Oh no. How much had we drunk that night we booked this place? Karen came out to join me.
“I can only see 6 sun loungers”
Karen looked around
“Yeah, 6 here and 2 over there, so 8”
Ah, I had missed 2. So it does accommodate 8, but why was the door locked? Were they embarrassed by how poxy the room was compared to the others? We rang the host to tell her that we had arrived early and she said that she would be with us in 5 minutes. True to her word she arrived shortly and began showing us around. All of us were thinking “where is the 4th bedroom?”. Eventually we blurted it out “What’s behind the locked door?!!”
“Oh yes I kept that locked as I couldn’t remember if you had children and there are waterbeds in that room”. At this point I wondered if she was scared the children might drown. Were these open topped water beds? “Children have a tendency to jump up and down on them, so I keep the door locked until people arrive”. Ah, now it makes sense. She took us up and opened it. I had fears it was going to be the box room; but it turned out to be the master bedroom with a jacuzzi in the ensuite and a walk in wardrobe. As I say, very LA.
There were a couple of things that didn’t work and she told us that she was waiting on an electrician; but with it being a bank holiday she would have to wait until tomorrow. A bank holiday? We knew it was in the UK but this was news to us that it was also one in Spain. We said goodbye to our host, locked up and went into town for lunch (it was now 2:00pm and we hadn’t eaten since 5:00am). The plan was that we then drove on to the Carrefour in Malaga for the Big Shop. Our host had told us that the local Dia was very good and we should try there for our big shop. It was getting on and Dia was only a few miles away, so after lunch (now about 4:00pm…we lunched large) we headed off. When we found Dia it was closed. Strange. A sign on the door explained the reason why. The bank holiday. Carrefour it was then. Before we headed off though someone had the sense to ring. It was closed for the bank holiday. Ok, so we have no food and no shops. (Actually I had an Alpen bar in my hand luggage but I was keeping quiet about that. Well you never know when you might need it.)
So far, we had had a stupidly early morning, a good frisk down in security, the plane journey from hell, major stress because of some luggage eating wall, a panic that we were going to have to draw straws for who slept on the sofas’ and now we had no food. Monday 1st May was turning into our very own black Monday. As we sat outside Dia’s car park Tibu said “lets go to the garage”. About 100 yards away there was a garage. We pulled in and stocked up on bread, wine, beer and meat all with 200% mark up compared to buying it at Carrefour. So we spent the first night in Villa Hollywood effectively eating food from the local BP, subsidised with the random contents that we found in the villa’s cupboards and fridge. (FYI black vodka is rank, and we didn’t dare touch the toffee stuff. Thinking about it, it must have been left for a reason). Not quite the start to the holiday we wanted, but as they said in Gone With the Wind, tomorrow was another day. Well, we are staying in Villa Hollywood.
Tomorrow: The Big Shop.